Have you been dreading your workouts? Do you have to force yourself to go to the gym? If you’re burned out, bored, or just have a case of the workout blahs, chances are you need an attitude adjustment.
Attitude can make a difference between a so-so and a stellar workout, so here’s how to know if it’s time to get a better workout attitude–and how to do so.
Answer true or false to these five statements:
- I’ve been making excuses to skip my workouts.
- When I do work out, I cut my workout shorter than usual.
- I’ve stopped seeing results from my routine.
- I’ve been doing the same workout for more than six weeks.
- I’d rather do anything—including clean the bathroom—than work out.
The more “trues” you answered, the more likely you need an attitude adjustment. Now, here’s six ways to shake it up for the better:
Give Yourself a Goal
Forget just showing up. Give yourself a specific goal for your workout—like “I’ll do 30 minutes on the elliptical trainer, including 20 minutes of one-minute intervals” or “I’ll do two sets of 15 reps of squats, bench presses, bent-over rows, and bicycles tonight at the gym.” Your goal helps keep you focused, and reaching it helps improve your self-efficacy, your belief in your ability to perform a task.
There’s a reason why parents reward good behavior in kids—it inspires more of the same. Set a goal for yourself—say, hitting the gym three days this week—and give yourself a treat for achieving it, whether it’s
picking up a new book to read, a movie with a friend, or simply letting yourself sleep in on the weekend! Depending on your relationship with food, it may be wise not to make food one of those rewards. You know yourself well enough to decide that on your own.
Compete Against Yourself
One of the most common mistakes women make at the gym is that they don’t push themselves hard enough during a workout. If you’re reading a book or magazine while strolling on the treadmill, you’re not going to get much out of it. Instead, try for a personal best during your workout. If it usually takes you 12 minutes to jog a mile, make a goal of doing it under that time—or go for 50 crunches instead of your usual 30.
Try Something New
Often a blah attitude is simply due to boredom. It’s easy to slip into a workout groove, but if you never try anything new, you will start to feel stale. Ask your friends if they’ve tried a new class they’ve enjoyed, and check out what your gym offers. Whether it’s Zumba, CrossFit, or a strength training class, something new will bash boredom.
Add Music to the Mix
Research proves that music can not only lift your mood, it also enhances exercise performance and reduces perceived exertion. Put together your own playlist on your iPod or smart phone with music that pumps you up—or better yet, create several to match different workouts. Just keep the volume down to protect your hearing, and remain aware of your surroundings whether you’re indoors or out.
Change your Self-Talk
If you head to the gym thinking, “I’m exhausted—there’s no way I want to work out tonight,” you’re not going to have a stellar session (if you even make it there!). Instead, change your inner monologue and say something, “Wow, I’m going to feel great after warming up, and even better after I’m finished! Let’s get after it!” Yeah, it sounds goofy, but “faking” it really works. Studies show that people who make themselves smile report improved moods, so use the same technique with your self-talk.
Try one of these strategies next time you feel the workout blahs coming on, and you’ll reinvigorate your routine and your attitude.