When people learn someone is a trainer or group fitness instructor, the reaction is usually something along the lines of ‘Whoa! Must be great to workout for a living!’
Ah, yes, if only that’s really what we did all day.
The truth is that personal trainers and coaches don’t workout all day, and we have to keep ourselves motivated to train just as much as our clients. As you can imagine, balancing work and personal workout time (along with everything else in life) is really hard for trainers. Getting my own workouts in is actually one of the hardest parts of being in the fitness biz, especially since I work a corporate job on top of it all.
So how do trainers like me balance it all and stay motivated to workout? I was recently interviewed by Women’s Health Magazine about this very topic. You can adopt these tips too, even if you aren’t a full-time fitness ninja. Here’s how:
Consider all the progress you’ve made!
If skipping a workout or eating like crap means I cancel out all the hard training I’ve been doing, it’s not worth it to me. All the strength I’ve gained, the endurance I’ve built and body I’ve created is a result of consistent exercise and good nutrition. I know that one missed workout might lead to more, I’ll regress and all that work would have been for nothing. Consider if it’s worth giving up everything you’ve worked for next time you want to hit that snooze button or sit at home to watch reruns of Real Housewives instead of hitting the gym.
Log your workouts
Keeping a workout log is the key to exercise success, and it’s an extra motivational tool for trainers. Workout logs help trainers track their progress, keeps them aligned with their goals and acts as an extra motivational tool. By flipping through the pages, trainers can see how far they’ve progressed, where and when they need to scale back, and how to move forward from there. It’s very motivating to see how far you’ve come on paper (or a fitness app!). Log your workouts and review it often.
Pencil in exercise
This tip is nothing new but it’s so damn effective I couldn’t leave it out. The busier we are the more important it is to schedule in exercise. But don’t just commit to sweating Monday through Friday. That’s unrealistic. After all, kids get sick, friends want to meet for a drink, or a client meeting gets you off track. That’s life. Instead, every Sunday look ahead at your week. Look at which days you simply cannot get in your workout and which days you can. Then, pencil in the time and day just like any other meeting on your calendar. Commit to it. It doesn’t matter when you schedule it in, just do it. This is your time and it’s non-negotiable.
Workout in a group setting
I understand many of you may actually enjoy solo workout sessions but hear me out for a second. Having at least one workout session a week with a partner or a group of people is a game changer for personal trainers’ motivation levels. The same can be said for you. Studies have shown that people push themselves harder by working out with others. Plus, you get an extra social boost by sweating it out with others and it holds you accountable for getting in a sweat session.
Turn ‘happy hours’ into ‘fit hours’
Ever notice that when friends want to catch up and hang it’s usually around food and drink? Why not engage in some active fun together instead? (see point above). As a budget-conscious gal with limited time on my hands, I do my best to make my social interactions as active as possible. Not only does this keep me motivated to stay active, but I get to create memories with people in a healthy and active way. Trainers often workout with friends and do active things together because we love this lifestyle! Plus, all those happy hours and dinners with friends can take a toll on our bodies and wallets. Invite your friends out for paddleboarding, Crossfit, Pilates, a run, kayaking, hiking, ice skating…you name it!
There are a number of other ways we trainers stay motivated besides what I’ve just mentioned. We set goals, sign up for races, competitions, hire our own trainers, log our food and workouts….the list goes on and on. Just because trainers work in a gym setting doesn’t mean we’re immune to feeling unmotivated. Now you know our ‘secrets’ to staying on our ‘A’ game.