How to set yourself up for success with your workout program

Written by Elly McGuinness

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When you’ve got yourself set up with a personalised workout program you’ve taken an important step towards kicking your health and fitness goals. If your program was set up by a qualified personal trainer you will have likely also been through some other important steps that will help ensure your success.

Having a program is one thing. Getting it done on a regular basis so you can achieve awesome results is another. In today’s article, we’ll cover the most important factors to consider when it comes to getting your workout program done, and staying consistent with your habits over time.

Think of these elements as a checklist for success and as important points to consider whether you’ve hired a personal trainer or not. You can use them as a reference for either your home or gym workout program.

1.     Proper planning

A plan could even be considered more important than your program itself. There’s no point in having a great program if you haven’t considered how it’s going to fit into your life. Here are some tips to get things off to a great start when it comes to planning your fitness sessions:

  • Use a calendar or a diary to mark the days and times you are going to complete your workout program
  • Make sure you’ve considered the potential barriers that could prevent you from completing your workout program. Common barriers include ‘running out’ of time, family or work commitments, or lack of motivation
  • Establish an intervention plan for when those barriers do pop up. For example, you might have an extra space “saved” in your week, where you could make up a session if it gets missed

2.     Prepare for success

Preparation is an important phase that takes you beyond planning, and ready for action. Some of the factors to consider when it comes to preparing to complete your workout program include:

  • Make sure you have any gear required for your fitness sessions. Practical workout clothing (and shoes, depending on the workout) is a must. As part of your preparation phase, you might need to purchase something. Or your preparation step could simply be to make sure you pack your workout clothing in your bag the night before, to make sure you remember it.
  • If you’re working out at home, make sure you’ve got a specific place to keep any home workout equipment so that you’re not looking for it when you need it. Also, ensure you’ve got an appropriate area in mind for your workout so you can make sure the space is clear when you’re ready to exercise
  • Take any required actions in other areas of your health that will help you to prepare for a great workout. Daily actions include great pre and post-workout nutrition and getting a good night’s sleep.

3.     Understand what motivates you, both intrinsically and extrinsically

We all have different motivations for getting fit and it’s important to understand what your personal ones are. Your intrinsic motivation is all about the deep reasons behind your desire to be fitter and healthier. It is often called your “why”. Strong intrinsic motivation goes a long way towards ensuring you’ll be self-motivated to complete your exercise sessions.

Extrinsic motivation is a little more superficial, but it can still be super helpful. Understanding the external factors that help you feel motivated (for example, listening to music during your workout, or exercising in the morning before you’ve had time to procrastinate) can also increase the likelihood that you’ll get your workout done.

[Find out more about motivation in this article and also this one].

How to set yourself up for success with your workout program 2

4.     Get the support you need

It’ll be easier to get your workout program done if you’ve got the support you need. The type and level of support required will vary from person to person. Here are some of the types of support you might need to consider:

  • A workout and/or accountability buddy. Hire a personal trainer for the ultimate accountability
  • Working out with a group of people if you find it helps with enjoyment and motivation. For example, you could consider exercise classes or small group personal training
  • If you have a partner or family, consider what support you will need from them, in order to ensure your success. Maybe you need to ask your partner to cook on the evenings that you’re working out, or you need to hire a babysitter so you can get to the gym

5.     Take time to reflect

Set aside time to reflect on how your workout program is going, so that you can adapt and change as needed. This might be something that you do to a small degree each day or week and to a larger degree each month and quarter. Some ideas are as follows:

  • Write down or think about the things that have gone well that day, week, month, or quarter and the things that haven’t gone well
  • Decide what (if anything) you’re going to do differently next time (tomorrow, next week, etc.) to help ensure your success
  • If a particular exercise or workout program isn’t working for you and it’s affecting your adherence to your plan, make changes to it sooner rather than later. In either case, plan to tweak your program a little each month, and change things up even more on a quarterly basis.

We hope these tips are super helpful for you. Please reach out to us to find out how we can help you take the next step towards a successful workout program.