Updated: Mar 15
The hardest part of getting fit is starting. However, once you get into the gym habit, you'll never want to break it! Here are some helpful gym schedule tips.
You aren’t the only one who skipped a gym workout today. Each year 5.1 million Americans spend $1.8 million on gym memberships they don’t use.
There are many reasons people skip their workouts. Excuses range from “I don’t feel like it” to family obligations.
When you miss enough workouts it becomes your new habit. Soon, it’s been months since you used your gym membership.
If stress, your job or time management stop you from exercising, you need a new fitness plan.
But how do you stick to a regular gym schedule? Keep reading. This post outlines 5 ways you can focus on your fitness.
1. Choose Realistic Goals
Are you trying to lose weight? Do you want to build muscle mass?
Whatever your reasons for working out, set realistic goals. You can't deadlift 75 pounds on your first try. It's impossible to lose 10 pounds in one day.
Unrealistic goals increase your chances for failure. Consider the time, place, and type of exercise along with your fitness level.
Time of Day
Don’t schedule gym workouts for 5 am if you’re not a morning person. If you use the snooze button until you run out of time consider going to the gym later in the day.
There are pros and cons to both morning and afternoon workouts. Figure out a time that’s good for you. Make it as easy and enjoyable as possible so you get to the gym.
Where You Workout
Pick a gym that’s convenient and comfortable. Try to remove barriers like travel time and budget constraints.
If your workplace has a gym and showers consider working out there. Don’t want to sweat with your coworkers? Create a gym at home if that suits your personality and budget.
Length of Workout
Aim for consistent workouts. In the beginning, do short workouts to condition your body. Go for quality, not quantity.
You want to establish a routine that fits your lifestyle. Short workouts are easier to manage. Over time they become a regular part of your week.
If your schedule is tight, consider circuit or interval training. You get a full body workout in less time.
Aim for Steady Progress
Start slow if you’ve never worked out or been away for months. You don’t have to work out every day. Begin with 1 or 2 sessions per week.
The goal is to start and maintain a habit. Don’t sabotage your efforts by trying to do too much.
Be patient with your progress. It takes practice to lift heavier weights. Plan on steady increments that build on each effort.
If you want to run, start by walking fast. Once it's easy to walk a fast mile challenge yourself to run it. Increase your distance and speed as it gets easier.
Don't risk getting sore or injured by taking on too much too soon. If you get hurt you won’t be able to exercise.
2. Hold Yourself Accountable
The hardest part of exercising is getting started. Right after that is maintaining a consistent schedule.
Stay accountable by registering for a training session or class at the gym. Join a community of like-minded people who meet to run, ride or lift together.
Schedule workouts with a friend or family member. It’s hard not to show up if someone is waiting for you. Workouts are faster and more fun with a friend.
Schedule workouts with the same way you plan a dinner date or business meeting. Put it on the calendar and commit to it.
Don’t have a local friend? Get social. There are lots of apps that provide social interaction and accountability.
You can ride a bike with people around the world. Run in a virtual race. Exercise apps let you give and get cheers and encouragement from fellow exercisers.
Another benefit of an exercise app is it lets you track your progress. Seeing your gains helps keep you motivated.
It's good to be accountable, but be wary of an all or nothing mindset. Any exercise is better than no exercise. Do what you can, when you can.
3. Make Exercise Fun
The more you enjoy your workout the more often you'll do them. Try a variety of activities to find the ones you enjoy.
If you hate running, don't run. Like to bike? Sign up for a spin class at the gym.
Do you like a challenge? Sign up for something new like:
Couch to 5K Running Plan
Train for a Mud Run
Take a Martial Arts Class
Functional Fitness Class for Older Adults
Hire a Personal Trainer
Strength Training Class
A structured class gives you people to workout with and a regular schedule.
Don't hesitate to use all the resources available at your gym. Learn the proper way to perform different exercises so you enjoy them.
4. Build a Flexible Schedule
A schedule is important at the start of a workout habit. But, at some point, you'll want more variety. You don't want your routine to feel stale or boring.
Try different exercises to challenge various muscle groups and keep things interesting. Lift weights on Mondays. Take yoga on Wednesdays.
Use the elliptical and stairclimber on the weekend. Go for a long or short run. Take a kickboxing class.
There are plenty of possibilities. Establish your core workout, then add in other activities to keep your mind and body engaged.
Sometimes, life gets in the way of a scheduled workout. It's important to be flexible if a work or family obligation displaces your time at the gym.
When you can't get to the gym improvise at home. Stay focused on healthy choices until you get back on schedule.
5. Do It For Yourself
People who exercise for themselves are more successful. They maintain an exercise schedule over time.
If you workout to lose weight for a wedding or class reunion, you may stop after the big event. People with internal motivations like improving health and mood stick with a plan.
Many people quit exercise programs because they're too hard. Be kind to yourself and leave save the boot-camp drills for later.
Keep a fitness journal or use an app to record your progress. Acknowledge and reward your successes. Celebrate when you reach a goal.
Create a Gym Schedule That Suits You
Set yourself up for success by building a gym schedule that works for you. Use the tips outlined here to stay on track.
A good attitude and personalized fitness routine make exercise fun and effective.
Contact Army Gymnastics for help with your fitness plan.