Hate working out?
I used to be like that. Until I changed my mindset.
Working out has so many benefits. For me it’s about that feeling of accomplishment at the end of the workout, the increased energy, the physical benefits and so many more positives that come from increased physical activity. Other people that experience this have a positive fitness mindset.
But some people find it hard to do! Have you ever gotten that feeling of dread of going to the gym? For some people it’s a feeling of sluggishness and not being able to get moving. For others it’s the very idea of putting yourself through the pain of lifting weights or the boredom of running on the treadmill. And for everyone else, it could just be an emotion of “not feeling like it”.
Truth is I used to hate working out too!
I’ve been there. So many times I’ve signed up for a gym membership and just dropped off after a couple months. It’s a horrible feeling because not only have I felt like I would never reach my goals, but I would also feel guilty for not having the will power or discipline to stay committed.
That all changed when I became a fitness trainer. All of a sudden, I was armed with a variety of ways to exercise, the skill of building a workout plan, and training in hundreds of exercises that I could change often to prevent boredom.
I developed a positive fitness mindset!
I started seeing results for the first time in my life. No longer was I running on a treadmill to nowhere. My strength was increasing and I could see the results in the mirror. The benefits became obvious and I was addicted to the process. I never stopped working out and still continue to put in a minimum of two workouts per week.
Another big difference is that I became my own trainer and knew exactly how to push myself and how much. I didn’t have someone yelling at me, berating me or pushing me to do exercises I despised that made me hate working out in the first place.
Here are some of the most valuable lessons I learned over the years that helped me learn to LOVE working out and develop a positive fitness mindset:
The mind imprints negative experiences that make you hate working out
If your exercise session is painful, this experience will be imprinted into your subconscious mind making it more difficult to find the motivation to make it a habit. By nature we seek pleasure and avoid pain. Some stress (called eustress) can be good by increasing mental or physical strength, but constant chronic stress (like an overly hard workout 3 times/week) will result in a negative perception of exercise in general and make it almost impossible to build it into a lifetime habit.
Hard exercise is not suitable for most people. It causes injury and makes them hate working out.
Western society is largely over-worked and stressed out, which results in high levels of stress hormones. High levels of stress hormones cause people to overeat highly palatable foods with large concentrations of sugars and fats which leads to weight gain in the abdomen.
This is largely why an exercise program might work for a friend but not for you. It is also why people find abdominal fat so hard to shift. It’s not a movement problem, it’s a hormone problem.
You need to stick with it for at least 3 months to make it a habit and develop that positive fitness mindset
The full benefits of balanced exercise and nutrition program are seen in about 3 months. After that your physiology has changed a great deal, so much so that if you stop you will feel the difference. That’s when you will realize that you have to get back to your program.
In order for this to be fully successful however…
In order to overcome the feeling that you hate working out you must love the type of exercise you do
With so many ways to work out we don’t need to be stuck in a gym. Most people hate working out because they dislike the gym environment.
In fact, once someone knows what proper form is they can work out in the privacy of their own home and it doesn’t have to be longer than 45 minutes.
For a complete program, all one needs is a proper combination of cardiovascular, strength and flexibility training. This could be a yoga session, Zumba class and two 45-minute weight training sessions for a total of 3.5 hours in a 168-hour week…that’s super easy to commit to!
Most people that hate working out have a “bootcamp” mentality
Signing on to a “boot camp” might be effective in the short run, but with people in those classes dropping out in droves, how effective can it be in the long run? How enjoyable is it? Is it balanced? Do you see yourself doing this same workout two years from now? Does anyone even last that long in those programs?
Experience tells me it’s always best to seek professional help in finding something you love to do, and doing it consistently at least twice a week from now until forever. Fall in love with that idea of long-term transformation and forget the quick fixes, crash diets and boot camps that make you hate working out.
Don’t make exercise something you “have to do” but something you “get to do”… develop a positive fitness mindset!