One of the biggest fitness obstacles that I notice SO MANY people go through is finding a way to be consistent with their workouts on a week-to-week basis.
If you’re the type of person that doesn’t have a problem getting to the gym, skip this chapter.
On the other hand, if you find yourself having a hard time being consistent with your training for whatever reason (whether it’s a busy schedule or making excuses, etc.), keep reading.
This little “trick” has helped dozens and dozens of clients in minimizing missed workouts. Obviously, life happens and things will get in the way, but the steps outlined below will always be applicable on any given time of the year.
Step 1: Before the week starts, look at your calendar for the coming week and mark all the days that you can for sure (as in 95% sure) get your workouts in
We are essentially setting your workout days in stone.
By planning your workouts BEFORE the week starts, you are literally prioritizing your workout sessions just as you would with your work days.
You’ll go through what you have in your schedule, and find a way to fit your three workouts in. Think of it as a self-written contract. That way when those days come, you have to take complete responsibility if you can’t make it to the gym.
Here’s an example: Bob works as a corporate manager on Mondays through Fridays from 9am to 5PM. Knowing that he’s pretty much free every day after work before dinner time, he will then mark Monday, Wednesday, and Friday as his workout days (leaving a day in between those days for recovery).
Step 2: After figuring out your workout days, you’ll then figure out the exact time of your workouts
Again, just like Step 1, you’re simply locking in your workout by writing down the exact time you’ll be working out. It can either be before work, after work, etc. The time you select will be completely dependent on your lifestyle. Some of my clients prefer to work out before they head to work, while some prefer to work out after. It’s your job to figure out what works best for you to set yourself up with a sustainable schedule that will last not just a week, but for months (and even years) to come.
Now in order to do this properly, though, you have to LITERALLY mark it in your calendar. That’s where the magic happens. Don’t just make note of it in your brain.
If you use your smartphone or computer’s calendar, add your
workouts as new “events”.
If you have a real-life calendar you prefer to use, then you’d circle those days in and write down the workout times.
And if you don’t own a calendar, download and print out the workout calendar all the way at the bottom of this page.
Let’s go back to the example above in Step 1. After setting Monday, Wednesday, and Friday as his workout days, Bob now needs to figure out the best time for him to work out. Since he usually has dinner with his family at 7PM, going straight to the gym after work is his best bet. Doing so will give him just enough time to work out from 530PM-630PM before going home to his family for dinner, and he is 99% confident that this is something he can do on a consistent basis.
Boom. Done. Easy peasy.
Step 3a: If you have a sporadic schedule, repeat this next week, and the next, and the next
If you travel for work, or have a very sporadic schedule, you will have to look at your calendar every week to plan things out ahead of time.
Remember, no matter how busy we think we are, there will always be 3-4 hours of the 168 we have every week to work out. Putting your workout sessions on your calendar is the most fool-proof way of never missing a workout.
Step 3b. If you have a fixed schedule, one sitting with your calendar should be all it takes to figure out a consistent workout schedule
Once you figure out a workout schedule that works well for your lifestyle, that’s the one you’ll stick with.
What To Do When Life Gets In the Way
I understand that life can get in the way sometimes, so here’s what you do if you have to miss a workout day for whatever reason.
It’s quite simple, really — do the workout the next day.
Yep, that’s it. That’s all there is to it. And if you have to, you’ll just shift over the rest of your workout week.
So if Bob’s schedule was MWF and had to miss Wednesday because of a late work meeting, he’ll just do Thursday and Saturday instead.
The main lesson here is this: plan your workouts ahead of time.
Just as you would plan every other event in your life ahead of time, you’ll do the same with your workouts. It’s all about priorities, my friends, and if you prioritize your health and fitness, you shouldn’t be missing workouts again.