It’s Spring and the crowds have thinned at the gym, New Year’s resolutions have dimmed or perhaps burned out altogether, but why?
There has to be a good reason for perfectly sane individuals to go to a gym, part with their hard-earned cash, only to get sweaty and feel some physical discomfort. Finding that reason is what will keep you doing those squats while your spouse is sitting on the couch eating a bag of Doritos.
As a trainer, I find my clients fall into two categories, those I can set up on a program and they have the motivation to work out on their own and those who do best with the support of a Personal Trainer. During sessions, I look for a client’s source of motivation. Are they motivated positively, toward a source of reward or pleasure, or negatively, away from a source of pain or fear?
For those positively motivated, we set up a reward system based on compliance to healthy habits. For example, each week you spend at least three days working out and following your healthy nutrition guidelines, you may choose a reward like buying a paperback or treating yourself to a pedicure.
For those that are negatively motivated, during times when they are struggling, I gently remind them why they are making healthy changes and what might happen if they didn’t. This sometimes involves a bit of “tough love” but if done in a caring manner, it works.
Other great ways to motivate yourself include registering for fitness competitions like a walk, run, triathlon, adventure race, or even a physique competition. If you are working towards fat loss, journaling food intake and training are effective tools to keep you motivated.
Michelle Bourgeois is a Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Sports Nutritionist and owner of take2personaltraining.com.