4 key steps for success in a new fitness regimen

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So you've decided you want to get fit and make change happen. Hooray! You know getting fit is easy but what can you do before hand to get yourself in the zone? With these simple tips, you can stay the course and get the results you want!

1.Getting The Right Clothes

This photo is from the very talented Zeno Watson. Check out his other work here!

4 key steps for success in a new fitness regimeHaving clothes you enjoy working out in makes all the difference in motivating you. I got an amazing pair of jogger bottoms with a monkey on the side for parkour and I loved them. Never have a pair of trousers been worn so much. I still wear them now 6 years later when my wife hasn't stolen them. But because I loved the so much I always wore them while training which made them built in motivation! As soon as I put them on a trigger went off in my head going "Yeah it's parkour time! Let's get out there and kill it!"

So If you dedicate a pair of clothes to whatever you're doing you'll get a solid association in your head. You can lay your clothes out in the morning, and when you see your outfit your brain will go into workout mode. Nice!

Wearing clothes you love boosts your self-esteem too. If you feel good in what you're wearing you'll feel more confident so you can just be you. And you're awesome so always be you! At the gym, no one is judging you. Everyone is just getting there head down and working hard. So don't worry! You look awesome in your gym clothes now get out there and move it!

2. The Perfect Playlist

Now I have big ideas of what the perfect playlist is. Full of all my favourite songs with awesome driving bass and motivational lyrics. I have learned to accept that for me, at least, this does not exist. I have tried and tried to create an awesome playlist of music to keep me psyched at the gym but I just can't do it.

So you can leave it up to the professionals. There are people who make great playlists, on Youtube and Spotify for instance, they may even be paid to do so! And they can do a way better job than me or you could so why not listen to one of them if you can! Personally, I don't do this. My phone isn't normally up to the task, given it's about 17 models behind the latest.

So what do I do? I listen to my favourite artists. Jack Johnson is far from pumping but I love him so I listen to him. This makes the experience more enjoyable and if I'm having fun I'm more likely to come back.

Or sometimes I'll listen to an audiobook. If I'm cracking out 20 minutes on the running machine the pace is kept for me so I just have to power it out! An audiobook helps me focus away from my fatigue and enjoy the story I'm listening to so I can try to push myself further.

Or even better most gyms tend to play music anyway so unplug and take in the gym. The music playing usually isn't to my taste  but that doesn't mean it's any less pumping!

If you can make a solid playlist for the gym then do it! It is just a skill I am lacking in so wanted to give some alternatives.

3. Set Goals

Goal setting is the best way to motivate yourself and see definitive improvement. I know for me, at least, going to the gym seems like a meandering process. It doesn't have an end goal and no obvious challenges along the way like other hobbies.

While I was training parkour there were always bigger jumps I could work towards or certain numbers of push-ups stuff like that. These goals really kept me spurred on as I always had so much I could improve and work towards.

I went to the gym anyway because I wanted to stay healthy but I never really enjoyed it until I started setting goals. They weren't big life changing goals just goals that when reached made me feel good. Small ones, like running on the treadmill for 20 minutes at 7.5 on the speed setting. This wasn't groundbreaking stuff but it was something I could work towards before setting a new goal.

So decide on your goals. It's ok to take a couple of sessions finding your feet. Find out what your capable of before setting these goals because having them really makes you work harder. They could be anything:

  • A certain distance to run.
  • A number of lengths to swim.
  • A size of weight to lift.
  • A number of times to work out a week.

I could keep this list going on and on so there are just a few ideas for you. I am also a fan of setting huge longer term goals. A lot of people advise against this because it can be very disappointing not reaching your goals. This is understandable, but for me if I come close to a goal I still get stoked knowing I tried my hardest. If I miss it completely I look back at how far I've come regardless and am quite content with my progress.

Either way always make sure you have a goal in mind.

4. Find a friend

Having a friend to help you stay motivated is a great help when starting out, especially if they already have routines. If you know someone who regularly goes to a fitness class ask them if you can tag along. Working out might be a solitary activity for them so they may so no but that's OK I'm sure you know someone else!

Don't be scared that they will be "better than you". There is no judgement, everyone is pushing themselves. People you think are better than you have been training much longer. They should give you something to aspire to!

Sometimes you don't even need to know the person. When I was in a regular gym routine there was a couple of people I would see who had the same routine as me. I would act as if they were counting on me to be there. I didn't even know there names! I would think to myself "I cant miss the gym today what if mohawk guy's there and I'm not!" It was a sort of competition between me and what may as well have been my imaginary friends, but it worked. Then when I was there and they weren't I could gloat to myself. Again not my finest moment but it wasn't hurting anyone.

So there you have it! If you get these 4 steps locked in and sorted you'll have an even higher chance of success when you start your new fitness regime!

I made up this infographic of all the information here!

Success in a new fitness routine

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