Workout consistency is one of the most important components for a successful training program. I talk about this all the time. For good reason! We can't safely progress our training without workout consistency.
We’ve all experienced it, though, right? We get on a roll, hitting workout after workout, we see the progress, we’re feeling so good about it and then, bam! Something inevitably trips us up. It may be a family crisis, a change in work schedule, an illness, a holiday trip, you name it. Life happens.
So what do we do in those times when we aren't consistent?
Our strategy to get back into a workout routine should be determined by what caused us to get off track. If it was something like a temporary crisis, a holiday, or a trip, the best thing to do is to get back into the workout routine as soon as possible. We can give ourselves permission to take a short break, enjoy life, then get right back into it (Strategy #1).
If it was illness or being overwhelmed by work, however, we shouldn’t push through and strive for personal records. It's a bit of a gray area, but consistently pushing ourselves too far can result in injury, burnout, or further illness. Letting ourselves get to that point will ultimately set us back even further! The better strategy would be to decrease volume/intensity to a manageable level until we can get back to the plan in full force (Strategy #2).
The Frequency: If conflicts with our training seem to keep popping up though, then it's time to take a step back and see what changes we can make that will allow us to stay more consistent. Here are five more strategies for success:
If you’re feeling unmotivated:
Try keeping a journal. Write out your workout goals and chart your progress. As you see your growth, you’ll be encouraged to keep going and reach new levels (Strategy #4).
If you find it hard to work out after a long day at work: Try cutting out late night Netflix binges so you can get to bed earlier and improve your mood and energy (Strategy #5).
If frequent colds keep you from working out consistently: Try planning more meals centered around vegetables to boost your immune system (Strategy #5) and spend some time in the sun to naturally increase vitamin D (Strategy #6).
If you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed: Schedule a vacation and take a break from the day-to-day, then go back to your training reenergized (Strategy #7).
So, if you're struggling with workout consistency, identify what's causing it. We are often tempted to end the thought process there, but try to take it a step further and think, "How can I overcome this obstacle?" Your personal trainer can also help you devise a strategy if you need even more ideas.
Then, it's just a matter of deciding if the sacrifice is worth it. Hint—it almost always is.