Sticking to a Gym Routine
by Justin Zimmerman
Consistency is key for gym goals but the reason reaching those goals is so challenging is because of how difficult it is to stay consistent for the long term. Anyone have a gym resolution to begin the new year? Let us help offer a few tips to best set up new and advanced gym goers for long-term success.
Pick a Time and Stick With It
There has been much debate and conflicting research on what time of day is best to workout (morning vs. afternoon) for optimal results. The evidence leans towards the early afternoon. However, that is meaningless if you are inconsistently getting to the gym. Life happens. Plans and work can change and that 4pm workout can end up taking a backseat to other priorities. I recommend morning workouts for this reason. (Yes, you’ll need to wake up a little earlier.)
Pick days and times that work best for your schedule that can be kept the same week after week.
Make it a Priority
Your health is important. Make the switch in your mind that going to the gym and improving your overall mental and physical health is a PRIORITY! Establish your gym time as non-negotiable.
The gym is a long game, not a short game. True physiological change takes time. A common mistake people make is trying to do too much too soon. They break their body down before it has had a chance to adapt. Little aches, pains, and compounding levels of muscle soreness (even injury) lead people to skip days for a “rest” day. The inconsistency can lead people to feel mentally defeated.
Remember the 25% rule. When starting a new gym routine simply do 25% of what you think you are capable of doing. This helps cut total workout volume and reduce the likelihood of developing delayed onset muscle soreness or possible injury.
Recovery is an essential component of hitting gym goals and maintaining a consistent routine. We break our muscle tissue down in the gym. We build muscle tissue when we sleep. Get plenty of sleep, hydrate, focus on proper nutrition, and you will be able to take full advantage of all those gym gainz!
About Justin Zimmerman, MS, ATC, CSCS
Justin has been with Work Right NW for almost 3 years as a Certified Athletic Trainer & Injury prevention specialist. He believes in utilizing strength and conditioning concepts to help build injury resiliency in the industrial athlete. In his free time, you can find Justin in the gym, coaching wrestling, or on a hike.
Be sure to check out our other blogs for further injury prevention education and tips from Work Right NW!