How to Stop Skipping Workouts For Good

Somedays, working out isn’t too enticing. And those feelings seem to hit hardest at 5 o’clock hits when it’s time to head to the garage to move some weights, rather than joining in on happy hour.

I’ve found that training at a gym helps this problem, especially in a group environment, where there are people to see and someone to tell you exactly what to do. Still, sometimes, you’ve got to be your coach and find the motivation to make it happen.

Follow these moves when inspiration is lacking. Or, if you’re trying to create a workout routine in your life.

Have a Plan

Psychologist Bluma Zeigarnik found that waiters could recall open orders better than ones that had been paid and closed out. This observation led to a series of experiments showing that people remember unfinished or interrupted tasks better than completed ones—this is now called the Ziegarnik effect. 

This highlights the need for closure in human psychology.

By having a workout plan for the week, the itch is much stronger to check off that box than if you were just going to “figure something out.”

The need to decide on a workout also takes mental effort, which adds another barrier to getting started.

So if you’re wrestling with workout commitment, start with a structured training plan that takes away the obstacle of planning and holds you accountable to a schedule.  

Make an Investment

I’ve spent a good deal of my life teaching people how to exercise, but I learned a lesson about being my own client very early on.

Despite the time committed drafting up the most elaborate training system that I was convinced could have me breaking records, I found that coach Matt and athlete Matt were a poor team.

I avoided things I sucked at or didn’t enjoy but probably needed, and things were loosely structured to change as I wanted.  

Now, I pay for a program, which will be that way forever.  

And thanks to the internet, there is no shortage of workout programming that you can find online either, so find a coach that you enjoy and pay for their training plan.  Or, we offer some good training plans with your Crossover System in the Toolbox of the Training Zone.

(Back in my day, I had to walk to the gym with a Discman and torn sheets of Muscle & Fitness.)

Subscribing to something also reinforces the advantages of a plan. If you’ve got some skin in the game, you’re less likely to bail on it.

A quick aside, I think we do many things right with Crossover Symmetry to eliminate pain, but we rarely talk about the investment. I’ve found that buying into a therapy plan creates a much stronger commitment for those struggling with pain than a cheap theraband given to you.  

Get the Ball Rolling

Lastly, a good amount of research shows that the warm-up improves performance, strength, and endurance. You become more flexible, your risk of injury decreases, and muscle soreness tends to dissipate.  

We cover all of that here, but a significant factor to workout success is that your pre-training routine acts as a “go-switch” to getting things started.

I covered my go-to warm-up this week on our social, but here is the gist:

  1. Burn 100 Calories- I don’t have any science to support 100, but I noticed that things seemed to change as I crossed that threshold, and you can go as fast or as slow as desired.
  2. CS Activation Programs- You feel me on this one since you’re already on Team Crossover. As you go through the Activation, the switches get flipped and you feel more prepared to move.
  3.  7 Minute EMOM- I like to do this to help light the fire. I’ll do 3-5 reps every minute of something dynamic like power cleans, or box jumps to turn up the intensity.

It takes roughly 20 minutes, and when paired with some sick beats, my outlook on training usually looks different.

If I’m still dragging, I ask myself if this workout will make me better.

If the answer is No, I convert to a recovery day and come back ready to perform another time. Although, if you feel like the answer is always “No,” then there are problems like sleep and nutrition to address.

Fight the Fight

If you feel like workout consistency is a struggle, then I hope you can put these tips to good use to find your groove.

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