6 Foolproof Ways to Never Skip Another Workout
When it comes to fitness, you know the results you want and you’re aware that it takes consistency and motivation to get there. What’s missing? For many of us, it’s an actual workout schedule.
“If you don’t schedule your workouts, they often drop way down on your to-do list for the day,” says trainer Aaron Leventhal, CPT and CSCS, owner of Minneapolis-based Fit Studio. “By the time you might get to it, you’re already tired and that workout is much more likely to get bumped to the next day. And then the next.”
Need some tips on how to stick to a workout schedule? We asked trainers to offer some insights to keep your workout from slipping off the calendar.
1. Follow a Structured Program
Putting together your own workouts — let alone a whole program — can feel overwhelming, and unless you’re a certified trainer, that probably isn’t an effective option anyway. Fortunately, you don’t have to go it alone. Every Openfit program has at least one workout schedule plan, like Rough Around the Edges, Bomb Body With Sophia Rose, T-MINUS 30, and 4 Weeks of Focus with Shay Mitchell.
“Progress comes from having a plan,” says trainer Kourtney Thomas, CSCS. “Without that, you’ll probably be taking a willy-nilly approach to workouts and that can decrease your motivation very quickly. An established program or plan gives you that ‘set it and forget it’ quality you need for a good workout schedule.”
2. Print It Out
While it’s helpful to have reminders on your phone or computer, there’s something about a printout that’s helpful, especially if you put it up where you can see it frequently. That might be above your desk, on the fridge, or even next to the bathroom mirror.
“Having that paper copy works,” says Thomas. “Even better, also keep a copy of the calendar on your phone, so you’re seeing it regularly.”
3. Set Appointment Times
In the same way you’d schedule a work meeting or doctor’s appointment, take time to use your program calendar to create appointments for your workouts. Then, set a timer on your phone to ping you when it’s time to work out.
“You want to make your workout schedule as automatic as possible,” says Leventhal. “It should be like brushing your teeth, where you don’t even think about it — it’s just a habit. Putting workouts in your calendar as appointments can help get you closer to that point.”
4. Be Consistent with Your Time
With consistency comes results, and your workout schedule is no different. Figure out what time of day works best for you and then set most, if not all, of your workouts for that time. That might be first thing in the morning to get you moving for the day. Or it could be at the end of your workday as a way to create a solid work-life boundary. No matter what you choose, stick to it.
“Play around with what time feels best for you, because it might be different than you think, and it may be different than what works for other people,” suggests trainer Jimmy Minardi, CPT. “Once you find that time, ‘reserve’ it for yourself.”
5. Start Small
Even if you ultimately want to do a workout almost every day for at least an hour, that might feel like too much right now. Not a problem. (Don’t forget to add recovery and rest days, though, to reduce soreness and optimize muscle building.)
Start by setting a goal to work out at least three days a week, and keep your workouts to 45 minutes or less. Need some inspiration? 600 Secs can get you a highly effective workout in just 10 minutes.
6. Recruit a Workout Partner
While it’s helpful to have a workout buddy meet you at the gym, that’s not possible for most of us right now. No worries. You don’t need to be in the same place at the same time to get that accountability. Simply checking in with a friend who has similar goals can help keep you on track, says Thomas.
ISO a sporty pal? Consider joining the Openfit Teammates group on Facebook, where many Openfit members post their progress, share workout badges, and get insights from each other.