According to the Cambridge dictionary, the definition of consistency is “the quality of always behaving or performing in a similar way, or of always happening in a similar way.”
Whether one is a beginner to the gym, or someone that has been working out for decades, having a consistent routine is imperative to reaching goals.
When building a consistent routine in the gym, the most important thing to remember is not to rely solely on motivation. If we rely on motivation alone, we will lose 100% of the time because there will be days that the motivation is not there. When motivation is lacking, remember, discipline over motivation will win 100% of the time.
Take a minute, and think about how many times you have said to yourself “It’s fine, I will just go back tomorrow.” If you find yourself taking unplanned rest days once per week, that’s 52 days per year, taking you one step further from reaching your goals.
Here are a few ways to develop consistency and routine in the gym:
- Determine your SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, & Time-Bound). Make sure the goal is attainable, and something that is realistic when creating a timeline for your goals. (ex: if one's goal is fat loss, a healthy weight loss is between 1-2 lbs per week)
- Based on your SMART goals, determine how many times/week you can commit to coming into the gym.
- Mark your calendar with the allotted time that will be dedicated to coming to the gym.
- Make a plan for when you arrive to the gym, whether it be strength training, cardio, or taking your favorite class Merritt Clubs has to offer.
- Make every workout count, make it purposeful, do it with a purpose. Remember that this is the body the universe granted you with, take care of it.
- Jane has determined her goal is to lose 15 lbs over the next 4 months because she is going on a two-week vacation to Europe.
- Jane has committed herself to coming to the gym 5x per week and allowing herself two recovery days. Jane has also decided that for the next 4 months she was going to eat extremely clean and eliminate sweets, and alcohol.
- Jane works a crazy schedule and she oftentimes is on call for her job, but she has decided she will workout 5:30 AM on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and 10:00 AM on Saturday and Sunday, still allowing herself to have a couple of mornings to herself.
- Jane will pre-plan all of her workouts - strength training for 60 minutes 3x per week, and do cardio the additional two days. However, when her trip gets closer, she will implement cardio after her strength training days as well. If Jane has the time, she will even try and attend her favorite Yoga class at Merritt Clubs.
- Not all of Jane's workouts are going to be executed 100%, but she still made it to the gym, and did not regret her decision to come to the gym regardless of how tired she was.
- Jane hit her goals for her trip to Europe by creating a consistent routine at the gym!
Creating a routine at the gym and sticking to the plan will not only result in reaching one's goals, but having consistency will help prevent tightness in muscles, and over time will lead to better performance. Going hand in hand, the more inconsistent one is, the more likely they are to fatigue quicker.
It is important to note that building consistency in the gym and creating a routine does not automatically promise goals to be reached. The three components to hitting your goals, regardless of if it is fat loss, or muscle gain, are strength training, cardiovascular exercise, and nutrition. All three of these are equally important to achieving the fitness milestone set into place. When one of these is not executed consistently (20% margin for error and inconsistency) the other two components, and progress, will suffer.
The plan will not be executed 100% at all times, and that is okay; but always keep in mind, discipline over motivation.
For more information on building consistency, or creating a structured workout plan, see one of the Fitness Professionals at your Merritt Clubs location and don’t be afraid to ask for assistance.