Monday, 13 March 2017

SURVIVING THE SOLO WORKOUT...

Solo workouts can be a challenge. Since training on my own through good and bad sessions, I have put together some words of advice that I have found work well for motivating myself whilst training on my own.

Structure Your Session


   I have found that my structured workouts are much more successful than those sessions when I have entered the gym with no idea what body part I am going to train and how exactly I am going to train it. I went through a phase recently, lasting about a week and a half, feeling so unsatisfied and unmotivated with what I was doing. It almost felt like a gym "writer's block". However, I knew it was important for me to get through in order to carry on and keep my training consistent. In the last few weeks, I have been feeling much happier about training and my progress. I believe that planning and structuring my workouts beforehand is a really important factor. For example, I would structure my own workout beforehand by planning the following: 5 minutes cardio of my choice for a warm-up exercise; 5/6 different exercises or machines that I wanted to use; the order and layout of those exercises (including the amounts of weights, reps, and sets that I was going to undertake); and to finish, my choice of cool-down cardio.

   Working in this way, I feel much happier as I am almost ticking off each exercise from my “list”. Therefore, feeling more successful in myself, and feeling like I have achieved a well-rounded hour-long session. It is understandable that not everyone wishes to work in this way, but for those organisational people, like me, you should find this helpful!

Give Yourself A Boost

   If you are one of those people currently reading this post and thinking, "I don't have the confidence to go to the gym". I understand completely, I was once that person. Believe me, if I can do it you can! I always try to remind myself this: we all started off as babies, most, born the same way, so why is someone else allowed or able to do something that I cannot? I then always think, actually I am capable, so why am I letting my mentality hold me back? I know the gym can seem so daunting initially, but it is one of those things you grow in confidence with. 

   Me being me, a fashion and beauty addict, on the days where I feel like I need a boost, I wear my favourite gym wear. New clothing can always have the power to make me feel more confident, so why should that stop in the gym?! This can really help me in terms of confidence because my self-esteem has had that little boost when it needed it.

Push Yourself Further

   Without my trainer, boyfriend, or brother motivating me with their words of encouragement, I find that it is often harder in solo workouts to push myself. I have to admit, when I am struggling to finish a set on my own, I do often have to give myself a few of words of encouragement under my breath or count for 5 seconds before carrying on. This also helps with my concentration on myself and what I am doing, rather than focusing on anything else surrounding me.

   In terms of pushing myself, I do like to incorporate what I call "extras" into the session. "Extras" refer to doing something extra that I have not necessarily done before. That may be via increasing the weight that I am using; an extra exercise; an extra set; an extra three reps; or maybe incorporating a completely new exercise. By doing these "extras", I feel like I am achieving more than what I did previously, no matter how big or small. I feel more satisfied, and I also feel a sense of accomplishment.


Musical Motivation

   Whilst I am concentrating on my body in the gym, I do have an appreciation for background music. The music played in the gym that I attend varies between the instructors and trainers that are working at that time, so it is fair to say I have trained to a variation of sounds. Obviously, it is not the most important factor, but I have found that music can help me stay positive and upbeat. So pick your favourite tunes, and remember to bring your earphones with you!

Reward Yourself

   I have recently discovered the delicious, Grenade 'Carb Killa' protein bars. These high protein, low calorie bars contain over 23g of protein per bar - perfect for a postgym treat! My sweet tooth adores these bars, and they really help me feel less guilty! After the gym, I sometimes reward myself with one of these bars. Not only does it cut my sweet cravings, but thanks to their high protein content, the bar also aids muscle growth and repair. I highly recommend my current favourite flavour, white chocolate cookie.


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