How do I start training & form a habit to maintain my gym routine? | MuscleSquad

icon Jun 08, 2022 - Lewis Kite

How do I start training & form a habit to maintain my gym routine?

Getting motivated to start training can be hard enough but maintaining that motivation and developing a gym routine once the novelty wears off can be harder still.

How to start training

Motivation can get us started but motivation runs out quick - goals can get us motivated but set goals too far out, don't see progress towards them quick enough or, even, achieve them and we're left with too little impetus to keep going. The key to staying on your fitness journey is to make small sustainable changes and to keep incrementally building on them, and to make training as integral a part of your day as cleaning your teeth or grabbing a morning coffee.

Where to start training

The key to getting started is achievability - especially when you're getting started barriers will present often and it's easy to get derailed so make sure your first steps are as frictionless as possible. This might mean training at home, setting a specific time each day and being rigorous about sticking to that time slot, blocking out time in your calendar, or training with a friend.

But how do we maintain that motivation to keep training?

How to keep training to achieve your goals and beyond

Form Great Habits

Fortunately, humans are habitual creatures. Ask any successful person, and they will tell you their secret is to build great habits! Habits can come in positive or negative forms: Negative habits can be things such as smoking or checking social media when we're bored, whereas positive habits could be 10 minutes of yoga or stretching before bed. We can use our habitual nature to build training into our daily routine.

Turn Fitness Motivation into Positive Habits

To achieve the fitness goals you desire, you need to form positive habits – use your fitness motivation to build repeatable, sustainable habits. It takes around 6-8 weeks for a habit to form, meaning that within a couple of months, you can build a new fitness routine and vitally improve your fitness and lifestyle by implementing habits correctly!

Here's what you need to know to build habits in the right way:

Set Sustainable Targets

A fundamental principle for building successful habits is sustainability. Therefore, you want to make sure that your targets are realistic and sustainable. For instance, if you've never worked out before and your goal is to build muscle strength, don't jump straight in at the deep end and attempt to commit yourself to a 2-hour muscle pounding gym session every day!

Setting unsustainable targets will cause you to burn out easily. Instead, lower the bar for yourself by setting realistic targets like a 15-minute muscle workout a few times a week. Maybe you can make it even easier by setting yourself up to train at home rather than having to find time to trek to the gym. This way, you will be more liable to keep consistent with your habit and can incrementally build on your habits once they’re established.

Habit Stacking: Setting Up for Success

There’s a great trick known as habit stacking which works wonders when trying to form new habits. It works by picking a habit you already have and adding another habit on top of it - use your established habit to trigger your desired habit. For example, we all have the habit of brushing our teeth. So, if your goal is to stretch more, you might work some leg stretches in while you brush your teeth, stretching your left leg for one minute and your right leg for the remainder. You can say to yourself, 'everyday, when I brush my teeth, I will stretch each leg for a minute'.

Habit Stacking Riley Musclesquad PT

By combining habits together, you're more likely to remember to do them and implement them into your daily routine, making it easier to reach that 8-week point where the habit is established! Once you have become confident in your habit, you can then start practising it independently and build more habits off it!

Using Habits for Fitness Motivation

Habits are fundamental to any good workout routine. We've established that the best way to form a habit is through keeping consistent and setting sustainable targets. When it comes to constructing a workout routine, tricks such as habit stacking are a great way to get yourself into the fitness flow!

Once you have established a fitness routine through habit stacking, such as stretches, you can then begin to slowly build on those habits with other small steps towards your fitness goals.

You're likely to stay motivated if you use this technique since you build around established practices and set sustainable goals. This means that you won't forget to work out or begin to burn out because you've tried to do too much too quickly!

Check out this video from our PT, Riley, explaining this habit stacking method in more detail

Our modular and adjustable equipment is excellent for habit stacking since you can add new equipment to your set-up as you build your fitness habits. Check out our full range of home gym equipment in our shop.

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