Are you finding more and more excuses NOT to go to the gym? Learn why resistance training is such an important aspect to our lives and how you can continue to motivate yourself in the journey for lifelong health!
Firstly, what is “resistance training”?
Understanding what exactly you are doing in the gym is the first step to reaping the massive benefits offered by resistance training. “Resistance training” is simply a fancy term for performing exercises against an opposing force, such as weighted dumbbells/barbells or resistance bands.
Why should you do resistance training instead of just running?
Additional benefits on top of those already provided by cardio include:
· Increased muscle mass and muscle tone
· Increased muscular strength
· Increased bone density and bone strength
· Prevention of injuries caused by weak muscles and/or weak bones
While any type of exercise will help you in the long run, muscle mass and strength accumulated from resistance training are also rapidly noticeable, which can possibly provide a strong boost to self-confidence and body satisfaction.
Lifting and dropping weights may become repetitive, so how can you stay motivated?
1. Remind yourself that you’re a human being, not a machine! Do NOT view a temporary break from the gym as a catastrophic event. We all have lives outside of the gym, so if you miss a day, a week, or even a month, simply start again as soon as possible.
2. Set a goal for what you wish to achieve from resistance training that is uninfluenced by anyone else or any magazine articles. This goal should be made by purely you and it should be relatively flexible, rather than fixed.
3. Find a best time to schedule your work outs so that you have no excuses to avoid them. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. Many of us work, go to school, and try to balance a social life before even considering a work out regiment; however, a good resistance training session can be less than an hour with appropriate time management.
4. Work out with your boyfriend or your girlfriend! Or if you don’t have one, work out with someone of the opposite sex! The physical presence of this person will motivate you to perform better, and both of you can motivate each other to not miss work outs.
5. Work out in groups! Working out with a more experienced lifter allows you to learn and improve upon your exercises. If that intimidates you, work out instead with someone who has similar experience. Nothing will get your motivation and competitive edge going more than lifting with friends because everyone is eager to see how they match up against others.
6. Use TV or music to help you during tough exercises. If you like to work out to a particularly genre of music, Google search top songs from this genre for exercise! Having such external distractions actually produces significantly higher levels of exercise adherence.
7. Focus on the whole experience itself, rather than each grueling work out. Track your progress with progression photos or testing your strength with a 1 max rep for an exercise. By having progress documentation, you will realize a sense of accomplishment for how far you’ve come!