The key to working out successfully? Simple: A workout program.
You don’t need the latest fad, CBD oil, or steroids. An individualized workout program will do.
If you go to the gym, you should have a workout program. It’s that simple. As a matter of fact, your lack of workout program might be the reason why you’re not going to the gym in the first place!
I’ll give you a few reasons why.
#1: Your time is precious. Use it effectively.
In the user research for my next company, one person I interviewed mentioned something that caught my attention:
“I don’t have a lot of free time. And much of that free time, I spend in the gym. I recently asked myself: if I’m spending a lot of time working out, shouldn’t I make sure I use that time in the most effective manner possible?”
Yes, absolutely! A workout program will ensure that you use your time in the gym as effective as possible in two ways:
- You won’t lose time thinking about what to do next, because you already know what to do next.
- Ideally, you have a strength coach who knows what he’s doing. By doing the exercises that benefit you the most, and neither under- nor overtraining, you’ll get the most out of your time there.
If you keep going to the gym, but don’t get any results, you might want to change up your program a bit. The human body responds to different triggers, so a little variety won’t hurt. And maybe you’re just doing the wrong things.
Use your time effectively. It’s the most important thing that you have.
#2: What gets measured gets managed.
The above quote from Peter Drucker gets thrown a lot in management studies — but it works for lots of other areas in life, too.
If you walk around without a program, and just do some exercises here, and some exercises there, you’re probably not tracking it. And even if you are, you don’t get good comparison values.
With a designated program, you can see your week-over-week progress, as you’ll be doing the same exercises every week. And if you stop seeing progress, you’ll know it’s time to change something.
Progress equals motivation. It’s hard to stay motivated if you’re not seeing any results. By tracking and documenting your progress properly, you’ll see that you’re getting better — which, in turn, will hopefully lead you to stick to your workout program better.
#3: Creating a habit becomes a lot easier.
According to BJ Fogg and his book “Tiny Habits”, behavior equals motivation + ability + prompt.
Motivation shouldn’t be an issue. After all, every person is in some way motivated to be healthy and look good.
The breaking points are ability and prompt.
Let’s take a look at the “action line”:
Your motivation probably falls somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. Not super high (you’re not trying to save your life), but not super low either. The problem lies in the “ability” part.
Working out for you is hard because you don’t know what to do. By getting an individualized workout program, you don’t have to think about it anymore. On the diagram, it moves working out further to the right, and hopefully across the “action line”.
Now, you just need a prompt. This could be a calendar reminder (because you’re smart and plan your workouts beforehand), or your coach reminding you to submit your workout data. Since working out is now easy enough, you’ll do it — and the more often you do it, the more likely it is to become a habit.
On a side note, there are plenty of other things you can do to reduce friction and make working out easier:
- Pack your gym bag the day before and lay out your workout clothes
- Sign up for a gym that’s close to your home or office
- Get training gear for your home so the way to the gym isn’t an issue anymore
To quote a woman that I’ve interviewed for my user research:
“Having a coach who writes my programs significantly reduces my stress about working out. I don’t have to think anymore — I just do.”
It’s simple: get a workout program. There are (way too) many resources on the internet, but from my personal experience, it’s even better to have a personal trainer who writes the program for you and you only.
Everyone has different goals, different needs, different backgrounds. I had lots and lots of trouble with injuries, and my upper body was a lot stronger than my lower body — so a generic plan might not work for me as well as it would for someone with less asymmetries.
If you’re looking for an individualized workout program (and here comes the shameless plug — sorry about that), we’re currently working on a product that does exactly that: getting you an individualized workout plan. On top of that, it also provides you feedback on your form when doing the exercise — and all that for significantly less than a real trainer would cost.
Right now, we’re looking for people who want to help us co-create this product. There are still many questions to be answered, features to be built and workouts to be done — and we can do all that only by testing a prototype. With you.
So if you’re interested in preventing building the habit of going to the gym, using your time more effectively and becoming an overall better athlete, sign up here to be among the first to get access. Don’t worry, it won’t take longer than 2 minutes. 😄
I’ll be in touch personally very soon.
Oh, or you could just fill out the form right here inside Medium — maybe that’s more convenient. After all, your motivation is probably not super low since you’ve read this far, so we’ll give you a prompt AND make it super easy. ;)