It happens to the best of us. One minute you’re in the gym crushing workouts, smashing PRs, and riding that gain train all the way to flex city. And then a life event derails you. It may be in the form of a breakup, injury, or new job. You wake up one morning and realize you’ve become one with the sofa. Netflix is your new BFF, and the closest thing you get to exercise is answering the door for the delivery guy. You’ve fallen off the gym wagon and now face the daunting task of starting all over.
Depending on the length of time you’ve had off, there may be a noticeable loss of strength and fitness. Due to the amount of wine and pizza consumed, yoga pants may fit a little snug but fear not. Help is at hand. Here are some simple tips to help you climb back and ride the gym wagon off into the sunset.
Here Are 7 Ways To Find Motivation After Falling Off The Fitness Wagon:
1. Acknowledge And Move On
Give yourself a break. No, I don’t mean by watching more Netflix. Everyone falls off the gym wagon at some point. So don’t beat yourself up about it. Shit happens! Don’t focus too much on slipping up. Simply acknowledge it, accept it, and move on.
2. Set Goals
Know your purpose and set new goals. Want to compete and get your pro card? Run a marathon? Let the sky be the limit. Want to marry Wout Poels, the amazing Dutch cyclist? Keep it simple. Stalk him on Twitter, frequently tweet him to get his attention, and wait patiently for him to notice. Think big and then break your goal down into small, simple steps.
3. Find A Buddy
Get yourself a workout partner. After time off due to an injury or surgery, it is essential to build up slowly and carefully. A trainer or workout partner can help you keep you injury free and help motivate you through tough workouts. Plus, it’s always nice to have someone to compliment your progress.
4. Build Momentum
Start slowly and ease yourself back in. Sure, you were once squatting 150 pounds and deadlifting nearly 200. However, you spent five weeks binging on wine, chocolate, and sobbing over reruns of How I Met Your Mother (you will find your Marshall one day). Sure, you could load up the bar, but your ego might not be the only thing that gets bruised. Wisdom would suggest you start with bodyweight exercises, use lighter weights, and keep intensity low for the first few sessions. Again, your starting point will be based on many factors. Building up gradually means you’ll get back to your ass-kicking best rather than having to take more time out to recover from injuries.
5. Track Progress
Consistency is key here. Take pictures and make notes of all your lifts. Starting over is never easy. However, being able to look back and see how far you’ve come can help. It can spur you on when you see how close you are getting to the next big milestone. Those numbers will inspire you like CT Fletcher himself is standing next to you commanding those muscles to grow!
6. Get Your Groove Back
Find something you love and do that. There are times we get stuck in a rut, and that boredom can make us stagnate. When it comes to fitness, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Weight training has many benefits, and there are many reasons why we should all incorporate some into our training. However, it is possible to train 30 minutes twice a week and still have time to run, cycle, climb, hike, or do yoga. Anything that makes your body, heart, and soul sing.
7. Spoil Yourself
Get some new workout gear. If all else fails to reignite that spark for the gym, go shopping. There’s nothing like a brand new outfit or new sneakers for a bit of external motivation. It’s like pre-workout without the itching.
Falling off the wagon happens. You’re human! So dust yourself off and climb back on that saddle like the fitness goddess you really are!