How To: Working Out Successfully

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A few years ago I was struggling to work-out on a regular basis. At that time, I went to university 5 days a week, had a job on the side for 3-4 days a week and played couch potato for the remainder of the time. Sometimes, sometimes I’d have a sudden motivation to work-out. (a.k.a #feelingfat). Whenever I got that sudden motivation, I’d start working out fanatically. However, it never lasted long. At most, I’d go to the gym/go swimming regularly for 3 weeks in a row: In week 1 I’d be proud of myself, in week 2 I’d feel exhausted and demotivated, and week 3 was perfect for giving up. Never had I imagined I’d be going to the gym 4 days a week someday and even missing it when I can’t go! Seriously, whenever I have a stressfull day at work nowadays, I can’t wait to get back home and go to the gym. Freedom.

In this post I’ll be sharing the switch I made to love going to the gym (regularly). Please note that I talk about “going to the gym” and that my examples are gym-related too because I’m talking from my own experiences. However, these tips count for any way of fitness you want to incorporate in your life.

Set realistic goals

I feel like one of the biggest mistakes when you’re getting started is setting unrealistic goals. Before you start it’s good to take in mind what state your body is in and how to keep it fun. Setting unrealistic goals can be very disappointing and demotivating. For example: if you want to start on a treadmill, you can’t expect your body to go on for 45 min on the highest speed. Instead, try medium speed or run for a shorter time. The same goes for weight-lifting: If you’ve never done weight-lifting before and you don’t have a lot of muscle power, start with a low weight. Don’t be ashamed; everyone starts at the bottom. Besides, if you make a good start, you’ll be at the top sooner than you think 😉

Build up your schedule

Start with one or two days at first and go from there. When your mind isn’t really set on going to the gym yet, it is very challenging to hit the gym 5 days a week (or more) right from the start. Additionally, it can be difficult to fit such an intense work-out schedule in your daily life right away. If you’ve failed before with working out successfully and if you really want to work out successfully on a long-term basis, try this tip. Incorporate the gym gradually. Don’t worry: After a while you’ll notice you WANT to up your schedule instead of FORCING yourself to do so.

Throw out that scale!

And this one is especially for the ladies out there! Constantly weighing yourself is demotivating and I’ll tell you why. First, your weight can vary a couple kg’s a day. Meaning: everytime you think you’ve “gotten fat”, it’s possible nothing really changed but natural fluctuation. Second, your weight doesn’t have to correlate with your fitness. Building muscles can make you gain weight, but lose inches. Which one would you rather want? Think you look slimmer or actually looking slimmer? Take your pick. And third, weight is just a number. It doesn’t define who you are. It’s might sound cheesy, but it’s all about the way you feel. So pick up that scale and throw it out the window!

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Just do it.

Nike’s totally right. My biggest mistake was overthinking going to the gym. For example: I’d plan two days of gym in my schedule, but whenever it was time to go i’d sit at home pondering whether “I want to go or don’t want to go”. Even if it fit perfectly in my schedule I’d wonder if I shouldn’t just be doing “chores” (or any other excuses) instead. Afterwards, I’d realize I spent the same amount of time for a workout on thinking about going or not going…. -___- I know, ridiculous right? So don’t think about whether you’re in the mood or not. Plan your work-outs ahead and go.

Partner up?

Finding a work-out buddy can make your work-out routine a while lot easier. However, be careful of partners who say they want to do this, but actually back out more often than they work-out. Their failure can become your failure if you depend too much on your work-out buddy. Personally, I love working out by myself because it’s part of my weekly “me-time”. However, if you want to work-out with a partner, make sure you find one that will motivate you when you need it. Also, be sure to return the favor when it’s needed the other way around.

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Get the right gear

This last tip is optional. Naturally, it depends on your budget if you’re able to get new gear. Buying new proper gear can add some extra motivation to your work-outs though. However, if you don’t have a lot of money please don’t go spending your hard earned cash on hippy-dippy gym stuff. Just make sure you have shoes with the right support and you’re good to go. Sweat resistant shirts, bright colored gym leggings… It doesn’t affect your work out at all. Trust me, I’ve seen people with all the right gear and do nothing but checking their phone when they’re at the gym. “Just spend 2 hours at the gym! #fit #tired” How about no? -____-”

And that’s about it. Wow, this post ended up being way longer than I intended it to be ^^” I hope you guys find this post useful. Leave a comment down below if you’d like more tips on working out. Also, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to post them in the comment section below. And finally, remember: No matter what your current state (big, skinny, tall, small) and goal is, be proud of who you are and what you’re doing. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise or keep you from reaching your goal by making you feel ashamed. Unless it’s constructive criticism, forget what others think/say and make it happen 🙂

Love,

My Linh

6 thoughts on “How To: Working Out Successfully

  1. ah this post motivates me! op dit moment ga ik maar 1x per week naar sportschool T___T en ik herken heel veel patronen wat jij eerst had in terug 😛 to go or not go! wij moeten ook een keer weer samen gaan! ik wil echt beginnen met weight-lifting! the bf gaat naar andere sportschool nu dus kan niet met hem samen doen 🙁

    1. Mission accomplished! 😀 to go or not to go moet je echt helemaal uit je hoofd zetten. En ik vind t helemaal goed om samen te sporten! Trouwens, begin lekker met weight lifting, wacht niet op mij; op jezelf kan je het ook, really!

  2. LOL “people with all the right gear and do nothing but checking their phone” and all the selfies as they NOT sweat 😀 Great job My Linh! I like working out by myself actually a bit more, but don’t mind when someone tags a long. I love challenging myself and most of the time I do reach my goal but the day after my body is letting me know the cost of it -_-

    1. Hahaha indeed, #nosweat :’) defintely feel the same about working out alone. And indeed, it’s the challenge that keeps it interesting 😀 The day after is confirmation you did well 😉 What exercise(s) do you usually do?

      1. Muscle exercises and some jogging. Not too heavy but enough 😛 I’m deciding to make a stand alone post about it, but still needs some details worked out.

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