Sure you were geared up to get back in shape this January—you got new sneakers for Christmas and truly committed to losing that extra holiday weight—but as the month drags on, that initial excitement and motivation start to slip. Last year Gold’s Gym identified February 18th to be the “Fitness Cliff,” the day that most people usually begin skipping the gym.
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Following the initial spike that occurs after the New Year, there’s a gradual decline in check-ins with the biggest drop occurring in late February. So how do you stay motivated and avoid the “Fitness Cliff”? We’ve got you covered. Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute Experts Robert Reames and Ramona Braganza have identified ten ways for you to stay motivated in 2014.
1 .BE A GOAL CHANGER.
“It’s not a bad thing to tweak what you have set out to do. If you planned to make it to the gym five days a week and you only made it two, don’t beat yourself up,” Reames says. If this keeps occurring, think about changing your goal from five days a week to three, but try high-intensity workouts that can help you achieve a better workout in a shorter time.
2. SWITCH UP YOUR WORKOUT.
A new class can be the perfect way to spice up your fitness regimen, plus you might meet some new workout buddies (see #4). Try a few to find the best fit—maybe a functional training class is the workout you’ve always been looking for.
3. TRY A NEW CLASS.
Braganza suggests challenging yourself with a new sport. “It’s winter—so think about joining a gym basketball league or try indoor rock climbing.
4. FIND A WORKOUT BUDDY.
Study after study has proven that people perform better when teamed up with a partner. Your buddy doesn’t have a membership? Gold’s Gym allows members to give friends a 7-day free pass so you can convince them to join.
5. REWARD YOURSELF.
When you reach a goal—like going to the gym five days in a row—make sure to pat yourself on the back. Buy yourself a new workout tank top or have a glass of wine. Knowing that there’s a reward down the line can help motivate you on the tough days.
6. CHANGE UP YOUR PLAYLIST.
A study in 2010 showed that people will workout better with high-energy music that they genuinely like. So make sure to keep your gym music fresh—try using the radio feature on Spotify or Pandora to find new tracks or swap playlists with friends.
7. PUBLICIZE YOUR GOALS.
Share your goals with friends and family on Facebook or Twitter. Or make a bet with another friend who is also committed to getting in shape. Telling other people about your progress can give you a much needed fan base to cheer you on—or help you get through a plateau.
8. BOOK SOME TRAINER TIME.
Speaking of plateaus, when your routine no longer seems to be getting real results, think about booking a few personal training sessions. A trainer can help assess your current workout and offer tips on ways to refresh it and increase the intensity.
9. TRY A FITNESS APP.
Based on what your goal is—i.e. lose weight or build muscle—there’s probably an app for it. The MyFitnessPal app lets you track calories and log workouts. If you want to squeeze in extra workouts at home, Braganza has her own app called Ramona321, which has workouts that require minimal to no equipment.
10. FIND BALANCE.
Most of all, staying motivated means finding a healthy balance—not just seeing results. You need to figure out the proper diet, sleep cycle and exercise plan that is manageable for the long term. “If you need to skimp on one of the balancing factors such as exercise, then you need to make sure that you keep your diet and sleep patterns in check,” Reames says.
Gold’s Gym Members share their secrets to Success
Everyone finds different sources of motivation: Some may just want to fit into that new pair of jeans, while others are spurred on by something more serious—like a doctor’s warning. Here is the incentive behind some of our best success stories.
Lost 55 Pounds
Motivation: “The will to become a healthier person for my wife, son and two stepdaughters gave me that extra drive to walk through those doors at Gold’s Gym in Grand Junction, Colo. At times I had to push myself to go to the gym. I stifled the pain and the excuses that rolled through my head, urging me to pass by [the gym] on my way home.”
Lost 105 Pounds
Motivation: “A good friend can make all the difference. I had one such friend. As she saw my size diminishing, she got excited and even joined the gym with me. I would text her with every pound of progress, and she would celebrate it with me.”
Lost 350 Pounds
Motivation: “Seeing changes! I started getting stronger and the weight came off. A couple of months went by, and I had to buy new clothes. I lost 20 inches around my waist. I lost almost 250 pounds in a year and a half.”
Lost 41 Pounds
Motivation: “I was missing out on so much life. My husband and daughter are both very active and did so much without me because they knew I couldn’t keep up on their outings.”