Never Miss Another Workout With These 3 Tips
For many of us, the hardest part of hitting the next level with your health goals isn’t the search for the perfect workout or diet, or even the desire to commit to making the change.
It’s the action of doing the work over and over again. Lack of consistency is what prevents most well-intentioned people from turning their goals into a reality. When life is hectic or your motivation is lagging, it can be hard to stick to your workout plan.
So how can you avoid falling off the workout wagon or hitting a rough patch? Here’s what you need to know so you can understand your barriers — and break through them.
5 Stages of Making Changes
Psychologists who study behavioral change use the transtheoretical model (TTM) to explain the five stages of making healthy changes:
With fitness and nutrition goals, the first three steps are typically easy. During these steps, you’re simply becoming aware of what you need to change, and setting your intentions to make those changes.
The action step is where you’re likely to fatigue and drop off before you see the payoff of your efforts. But with a simple three-step strategy, you can get the mental edge to keep pushing hard.
3 Simple Steps to Avoid Skipping a Workout
According to research, you’re more likely to stick to your rituals when:
- You increase awareness of your behavior.
- You take an action that increases commitment.
- You create additional accountability.
To cross off all three, you can use the calendar in your phone to set reminders that can provide built-in awareness and accountability. It’s an incredibly effective method recommended by Mike Mancias, LeBron James’s trainer and Ladder Advisor.
If you’re looking to miss fewer training days, schedule your workouts for the week, then set three reminders per workout. Each reminder serves a psychological purpose.
1. Awareness reminder (60 minutes prior to workout)
Before the excuses can begin, this serves as a reminder of the commitment.
2. Action reminder (30 minutes prior to workout)
Set an alarm to take Ladder Pre-Workout. This is the ideal time to help reduce fatigue, increase energy, make sure the strength and endurance boost hits during your workout.
3. Accountability reminder (workout time)
Include a note that makes the commitment personal. Behavioral change is most likely when it’s self-motivated, so attaching to a goal like “be healthy for your children” provides added accountability that reinforces your “why.”
Ready to tackle your workout? Try this Mancias-approved training plan to help push your body to the next level.
Level Up With This Circuit Workout
This workout is designed to help you see results that last. It’s not easy, but it definitely works to burn fat and make your muscles pop.
This workout consists of three circuits. You’ll do three rounds of each circuit, completing the number of reps specified, then move on to the next circuit. Rest as little as possible between sets.
Single-leg hip raise (20 reps per leg)
- Lie face-up on the floor with your arms by your sides, your right foot on a bench (or other immovable object), and your left foot elevated.
- Squeeze your glutes and push through your right foot, raising your hips until your body forms a straight line from your right knee to your shoulders.
- Pause, then return to the starting position. Do equal reps on both legs.
Push-ups (As many as possible)
- Get on all fours with your feet together, your body straight from head to heels, and your hands in line with (but slightly wider than) your shoulders. Clench your glutes and brace your core to lock your body into position.
- Keeping your elbows tucked toward your body and your head down, lower your torso until your chest is within a few inches of the floor.
- Pause, and then push yourself back up to the starting position as quickly as possible.
Bodyweight squats (20 reps)
- Stand tall with your hands by your sides, feet shoulder-width apart, and toes pointed forward.
- Keeping your back flat and core braced, push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor. You want to “sit” into the exercise, pushing your butt back like you’re lowering yourself onto a chair or bench. Never bend forward at your waist — that will only increase the stress on your spine and throw you off balance.
- Pause, and then push yourself back up to the starting position.
Dumbbell lunge (15 reps per leg)
- Stand tall holding a pair of dumbbells at arm’s length by your sides (palms in) with your feet hip-width apart.
- Keeping your chest up, shoulders back, core braced (imagine someone is about to hit you in the gut), and back flat, take a large step forward with your right foot. Lower your body until your front thigh is parallel to the ground and your rear knee is bent 90 degrees (it should hover a couple of inches above the floor).
- Pause, and then reverse the movement to return to the starting position. Repeat, this time stepping forward with your left foot. Continue alternating legs with each rep.
Dumbbell overhead press (20 reps)
- Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart, and hold a pair of dumbbells in front of your shoulders with your elbows tucked and palms facing each other.
- Press the weights directly above your shoulders until your arms are straight and your biceps are next to your ears.
- Pause, and then lower the weights back to the starting position.
Band military press (10 reps)
- Hold the handles of a resistance band and assume a shoulder-width stance, using both feet to stand on the center of the band to secure it.
- Raise your hands to the side of your shoulders, palms facing forward.
- Press the handles upward until your arms are straight.
- Lower your hands back to your shoulders and repeat.
Dumbbell squat (20 reps)
- Stand with your feet hip to shoulder-width apart, holding a pair of dumbbells at arm’s length by your sides.
- Keeping your back flat and core braced, push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
- Pause, then push yourself back up to the starting position.
V sit-up (12 reps)
- Lie on your back with your legs straight and arms extended over your head against the floor.
- Keeping your back neutral and your core engaged, lift your legs and arms off the floor until your body forms a V shape. You can reach your arms straight forward or up toward your feet.
- Pause, and then slowly lower your arms and legs back to the starting position.
- Repeat, avoiding the use of momentum as you move into each rep.
Mountain climber (30 seconds)
- Assume a push-up position: feet together, core braced, body straight from head to heels, hands in line with and slightly wider than your shoulders.
- Lift your right foot off the floor and draw your right knee toward your chest, making sure to keep your back flat, your butt down, and the rest of your body stationary. Tap the floor with your toes.
- Return your right foot to the starting position, and immediately repeat with the opposite leg. That’s one rep.
- Continue alternating legs, performing equal reps on both sides.
Dumbbell lateral raise (30 seconds)
- Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart, holding a pair at dumbbells at arms’ length by your sides, palms facing inward.
- Maintaining a slight bend in your elbows, raise your arms directly out to your sides until they’re at shoulder level (your palms should be facing downward at the top of the movement).
- Slowly lower the weights back to the starting position.
Biceps curl (30 seconds)
- Grab a pair of dumbbells and let them hang at arm’s length by your thighs, palms facing forward.
- Keeping your elbows tucked and your upper arms locked in place, curl the dumbbells as close to your shoulders as you can.
- Pause, and then slowly lower the weights back to the starting position.
Russian twist (30 seconds)
- Sit on the floor, holding a pair of dumbbells in front of your chest, and balance on your butt with your knees bent and feet together a few inches off the floor.
- Keeping your back flat and core braced, rotate your torso to your right and lower the weights toward the floor outside your right hip.
- Return to the starting position, and repeat to your left. Continue alternating sides, performing equal reps on each.