As much as I don’t like to admit it, I’m a creature of habit.
My workout ruts will come and go as the seasons do: they are inevitable and uncontrollable (at least at the time of writing. I’m sure Google and/or Elon Musk are working on it.)
As the mornings grow darker and colder (and if y’all don’t know by now I’m a 5am-type) my enthusiasm for the 25-minute walk to the gym becomes less and less appealing.
Dat bed tho…
But, I LEARN. It may take a while, but I do learn from my weaknesses.
So this post is a step-by-step guide of how l recently conquered by winter workout rut – and if you can relate, hopefully it can help you too.
1. Made a (detailed) plan
Not just any old workout plan. This needs to be a week-by-week, day-by-day plan.
Mine is 8 weeks long (I designed it so it would take me to the new year. FYI you have 6 weeks now, which is the perfect amount for a mini-plan!)
Each week is similar in terms of muscle groups. I’m not doing anything totally radical because that will stress me out and make me less likely to follow it.
So that’s two upper, two lower days a week and one for core and HIT.
What does differ is that each week (or two weeks) we step up the game a bit.
This could be:
– adding a sprint session
– changing reps / sets (and adju sting weight accordingly)
– adding a finisher
All that gives me extra motivation because I know by following the plan, I’m making progress.
2. Track that
No plan is worth a damn if you don’t follow it.
For most of us, keeping track of our progress is the number 1 way to do this.
It doesn’t have to be some obsessively detailed spreadsheet of sets and reps and weight (like mine…) It could be a pretty calendar where you add a big tick (or gold star?) for each day you workout.
Plus, there are plenty of apps to make this a pleasure too.
3. Look the part
I used to think my Primani leggings and whatever tee I slept in the night before would be give as as gym hit.
But let me tell you: WHAT a difference a gym ‘uniform’ makes.
My current workout garb that makes me want to get to the gym just to showoff:
- Leggings from USA Pro
Seriously £9? These are top quality (honestly I actually prefer them to some Nike ones I have) and the pattern is just purdy.
- This Fabletics outfit
It took some time but Fabletics finally wore me down with their targeting ads and before I knew it…
I grabbed it for £15 when the offer came up (and immediately cancelled my subscription – sorry guys but I don’t need that much sportswear).
I do really love the fit of both the top and leggings, and would be happy to get more gear from them in the future though.
- These sports bras from Shock Absorber
These were sent to me, but I was actually in the market for a new sports bra. Ones I had had in the past were either too tight, super unflattering or just uggers.
The ones from Shock Absorber are GORGEOUS. Like… super bras. I love the front zip opening of this one – especially for upper body days when my range of arm movement post-workout gets… limited.
Plus I love the colours!
4. Have a backup plan
As great as your intentions are, sometimes life throws a curveball and before you know it you’re making excuses and eating mince pies in your pjs.
I made a list of recent excuses and brainstormed ways of overcoming these ‘inconveniences’.
One was clients calling me in for in-house work. I worked out what times I would have to get up to get to the gym first, and freshen up etc. for each likely location.
No excuses to avoid a workout at the risk of being a sweaty freelancer.
5. Get some extra help
Some mornings are harder than others: fact.
For the mornings I’m really struggling, I like to reserve a special turbo boost that can help me through.
No, not crack.
I like to add BCAA’s to my morning cocktail (lemon juice and apple cider vinegar) and I’ve recently been experimenting with Glutamine – which seems to be doing wonders for my epic DOMS.
l was also sent this beautiful pre and post workout lotion with magnesium from Mio that I’m convinced is giving my legs superpowers. Either way, the smell perks me up and gets me going!
You know what I’m like about products I put on my skin, but I was really impressed with Mio’s range – you can see their ‘No Nasties’ promise PLUS they don’t test on small furry ones.
6. Treat yo’ self
For every week l stick to my plan, I think of a way to reward myself. The carrot, if you will.
I’m trying not to choose destructive treats (alas! cocktails and cupcakes are not legit rewards) but things like:
- a massage (l went for one the other day and worried my girl was going to remove my head. Never underestimate a ‘hard’ Thai massage!)
- a new piece of workout gear (see #3)
- an extra episode of that series you’re binge watching (l don’t do this much BUT I recently discovered Mr Robot and I am hooked)
There you have it! I’m currently killing it in the gym thanks to this plan – and I hope to keep it up! Watch this space…
Do you ever find yourself in a workout rut?
Got any tips for when the winter days get the better of us?
(Alternatively send me a tweet @CatFoodisGood4u to let me know if you found this useful)