I had a client once who wanted to lose some weight for an upcoming wedding. With his busy work schedule, the only time he was able to fit in a workout was 6am. The first two weeks was solid. He arrived on the dot, with all the motivation in the world. By the third week, he came late for only one of the appointments. By the fourth week, he cancelled an appointment last minute. And by the fifth week, the last minute cancellations started happening more frequently.
He finally ended up confessing that he just was not a morning person and it was too difficult for him to get up in time and go, even though he genuinely wanted to. This made me realize that motivation alone has very little to do with successfully changing behaviors. So we put our heads together to find a solution that would help him get up in the morning and go.
He tried going to bed earlier than usual, but it didn’t help. He tried setting up his alarm a little earlier, but that didn’t help. He even tried watching workout videos in the morning when he got up, but ended up falling back to sleep anyways. It felt like a time to really change his schedule and get the workout in during lunch or after work, until he realized how much time he took to get ready in the morning. He had to go to another room to get his gym clothes, then go to yet another room to iron his work clothes and pack it. When you’re groggy in the morning, that seems like a lot to do and its a heck of a lot easier just to stay in bed.
So he tried prepping everything the night before, leaving his gym clothes next to his bed so its ready to go in the morning. His gym attendance shot back up.
What can you do to increase your gym attendance? Maybe find a workout partner to hold you accountable? Hire a trainer? Or prep everything the night before so you provide the least possible resistance to get up and go? It’s worth it to keep giving it a try.
–Xaiver Quimbo, personal trainer at Urban Med
Xavier Quimbo is a certified personal trainer and nutritionist through the National Personal Training Institute. With 10 years of experience in the field of personal training, and 4 years working directly under Physical Therapists and Doctors, he has helped many from the recovery of acute sports injuries to post-operative rehabilitation, and from injury prevention training to weight loss and muscle building. With current techniques, a program is tailor made with your goals and your own personal body’s condition in mind. “Your body is the only thing you’ll ever really own… so own it.”