How high on your list of commitments do you place your health and well being? It is surprising to me that many people make any number of things their top priority over their own personal longevity. Then, when they decide to get back in shape, they take any number of unhealthy shortcuts to get there that are as unsustainable as they are detrimental to their well-being.
Related: What is Fit or Die?
I remember the day that I decided to get in shape the right way. Instead of making large cutbacks to calorie intake or weight loss pills from vitamin stores to speed up my metabolism during cardio, I decided I would take my time and make a sustainable lifestyle change. It took much longer to lose the weight than it had in the past, about 10 months versus 3-4, but the whole time I have felt more energized and excited about the process than previous attempts. In fact, in the past by now I would be on my way to putting the weight back on, after a summer being thin or something.
Sustainability is one of the most important factors in the fitness lifestyle, and one of the key principles we preach at fitordie. It is about making lasting lifestyle changes instead of going on a diet or working out to lose some weight.
Here is how I did it.
1) Get a gym membership that is close. I bought a gym membership with two locations: one by my apartment and one by my work. If you are lucky enough to live close to work, make sure the gym is within ten minutes from both. This is HUGE for motivation and time savings.
2) Buy some instant coffee. While it does not taste the best, instant coffee has provided me great workouts on a regular basis. I keep some in my desk at the office as well as at home for emergencies. I do not believe in typical ‘pre-workouts’ being a necessity, and really only drink this if I am particularly exhausted and need that extra kick. I pour just a few ounces into a cup and take in concentrated shot form.
3) Pack your gym bag in advance. This has gotten me to the gym more times than I can count. Having my gym bag packed when I leave for work and in my car so I can hit the gym on my way home is an absolute must for making sure I am getting a workout in. You never know when something is going to come up later at night and you may have to switch to a quick workout over lunch instead.
4) Hit the gym on your way to or from work. Do NOT stop at home on your way to the gym. Your home is like a giant excuse machine after office hours. I can’t tell you how many times I have stopped by home for a quick minute to grab something on my way to the gym only to end up missing a workout instead. Don’t. Do. It.
5) Make the Gym the Norm. Give it a month. Hit the gym every day for one month and I guarantee your entire mentality will change. No longer will it be something that you ‘make time for,’ but something that you simply do. It will be a habit, and it will feel very weird to you to break that habit.
6) MAYBE get a workout buddy. This can either be a great thing or a good thing. If you vibe well, a workout buddy can be the best thing to happen to your workouts. It can also be the worst. Find someone with the same goals that will hold you accountable. I wrote an ENTIRE article on this here. Read it, and proceed accordingly. How to tell if your training buddy sucks and what to do about it
7) Don’t go crazy- Take your time with things, this is not a race. Sure, you want to hit the gym with absolute purpose and intensity, but you want to be able to do this for the long term. Start slow, then add more as your body gets used to it. You do NOT want to burn yourself out, and far too many people make this mistake.
8) Find a workout circuit or routine online so you can plan in advance- This is hugely important. One of the key components to my training routine is having my workouts planned well in advance. This way, I know exactly what I am going to do when I get to the gym and can focus on working toward my goals. Also, it makes it hard to skip out on the last few exercises. If you are doing a routine someone else created and put logic and science behind, you will want to see it through to the very end. One of my favorites is Jim Stoppani’s Shortcut to Shred