I am always getting asked “What exercise should I do to get in shape?”. While the person asking usually is looking for a sound bite to fit their existing beliefs the truth is more long winded. This is due to the most important element of exercise being consistency and not any one method or facet of training. So what is the key to being regular with your exercise routine?
Well first you need to learn how to exercise, if you don’t have a clue what you are doing then you must learn. Do this by reading a book, watching a video, taking a course, teaming up with a friend or hiring a professional. Without a underlying knowledge of what you are doing you will never become consistent.
Once you know how to exercise then you need to form some positive connections to moving. This is done by doing exercise in a way you enjoy it, this usually is not the “Best” exercise plan someone could design. The goal is simply to enjoy moving for a period of time so you develop the needed positive associations to exercise.
IF you haven’t done these two things then the consistency conversation is yet to apply as you simply don’t have the basic exercise skills for success. No drama, just go out and develop them
Once you know what to do and generally like doing it the antidote to inconsistency is a “Low motivation exercise plan”. This is what allows you to be regular with your sessions. When people ask me for the exercise solution it is on the premise they are focused and ready to go. However, no one is focused all the time and more usually they are unfocused perhaps half of the time. It is natural for motivation to cycle between low and high focus.
To get yourself to move when you are in a lower period of focus you simply need to have an exercise routine to get around your main objections. The main emotional objections you will have are usually “Can’t be bothered to put in that effort”, ” Haven’t got the time to do it” or “No desire to do exercise in that form or location”. Your low motivation plan should look to get around these issues. Here are some examples;
High Motivation – 5km Intervals running plan
Low Motivation – 5km Walk / gentle easy jog
High Motivation – Total body weights (Squats, Chins, Bench press, Lunge, bent over row, standing shoulder press, 1 leg squats, cable twists, back raises, leg raises
Low Motivation – Seated chest press machine, seated row machine, stretch
High Motivation – 4 weight sessions and two cardio session per week
Low Motivation – 1 simple 30 minute tick over session, 10 minutes cardio, 15 minutes weights, 5 minutes stretch
High Motivation – Cross Fit Workout of the Day
Low Motivation – Home Yoga Video
Photo – The two sides of your motivation as depicted by my old dog Ajax.
The goal of a low motivation plan is to get you to do something when you cannot be bothered. When you actually do something you will usually do more than planned, probably 75% of the time. For the other 25% though be happy with the bear minimum. When higher motivation returns you would not have taken any backward steps because of using these methods.
The other benefit of getting yourself to move using a low motivation plan is that it rapidly increases speed of cycling between low and high motivation. So before you know it you are back being motivated. If you do nothing however, it prolongs the state of de-motivation. Yet another catch 22 and positive or negative spiral in health and fitness.
Need Support Getting In Shape? For support, coaching, nutrition and exercise plans wherever you are in the world read more here>>>> If looking for Personal Training Battersea please contact me. I am available for sessions in homes, private gyms or Personal Training Battersea Park. To see my locations please visit my Battersea Personal Trainer page>>
Battersea park was created in 1858. For me and many others Battersea Park is considered one of London’s most interesting Parks housing Battersea Zoo, Battersea Evolution Exhibition Centre and right next to Battersea Park Dogs & Cats Home and the iconic Battersea Power Station.