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4 Strategies to Make More Progress in the Gym

4 Strategies to Make More Progress in the Gym

There’s always going to be a few bumps along the road to becoming fit.

Not everything will go as planned and it’s perfectly normal to sometimes feel that you’re just not making the progress in the gym that you had hoped for. But don’t give up! I’ve compiled a short list of strategies that you can apply right now to help get you back in the game.

Whether you’re an advanced lifter or a complete novice, the following tips will help you to get back on track and make more progress in the gym.

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1. Make time

Admittedly, this one seems like a no-brainer. But simply showing up is oftentimes the hardest thing for many people who don’t consider themselves the ‘fitness type.’ And while it’s relatively common knowledge that exercise may help to lower levels of anxiety and depression, it’s also been show to do so even if you are forced to exercise.

So, if you’re struggling to make progress, try scheduling time for exercise in the morning. This way, you’re less likely to make other commitments or encounter conflicts that may bump your date with the gym to a late time, or worse, erasing it from your to-do list altogether.

Not the 6:00 am workout type? No problem. Schedule your workout, even if it’s just a brisk walk, during your lunch hour. This way you’ll still have your afternoon and evening free to attend to your other commitments.

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2. Find a buddy

Everything is more fun when you can share it with someone else, right? And health and fitness isn’t any different. Some of my most memorable times in college were when my two roommates and I would gather our gym gear and head off to the gym in the evenings. Usually one of us would remind the other two that it was time to go, no excuses. And guess what? We always went to the gym.

So, here are a couple of things that you can do:

Firstly, survey your closest friends and find one (or two!) who are interested in joining you in your fitness program. Maybe they are way ahead of you and in better shape. That’s great, because they will be able to help you out, provide you with valuable advice and give you a goal to shoot for. On the other hand, maybe they could use a little help just like you to achieve their own health and fitness goals. And who knows? Maybe they are yearning for someone just like you to come along and help motivate them. Regardless, I think you’d be pleasantly surprised to learn that one of your close friends is just as interested in becoming healthy as you are.

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Secondly, if now is simply not the time for your friends to begin their own fitness journey, then I recommend joining a group training program. Not a class of 35 people, but a group program of 10 – 20. These programs are typically found at the now ubiquitous micro-gyms. They typically offer at least some level of personalized service and, most importantly, are filled to the brim with enthusiastic and motivated people who may have started out just like you but then progressed to become a fitter version of themselves. There is no better exercise support group.

3. Keep it simple

It’s easy to look at a lot of the fitness magazines today and think that you need to perform the most complicated movements out there because they should be the most efficient, right? But this isn’t always the case. In fact, regressing in fitness complexity is often what pays the real dividends. We are learning more and more every day that our bodies move in an integrative way. When we isolate our body and train each piece one at a time, it’s not only a more laborious process, but can even lead to detrimental movement down the road. Search for a workout program or training group that understands this concept.

4. Ask for help

This is hands down the best thing you can do if you’re looking to make more progress in the gym. Because we are all students of fitness and we are all still learning. No one has all the answers. And if you feel like your fitness regime is in a rut, then ask yourself who you can reach out to.ÂEven I have a coach! In fact, at a conference I attended earlier this year, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that one of the most prolific names in the fitness business had his own coach too.

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So look around and see who may be able to help you out. Maybe they are the credentialed trainers in the gym or other fitness professionals in your neighborhood. What I think you’ll find is that people are more than willing to help you out if you ask.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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