I have been lifting weights for more than 9 years now, but consistently only from 2022.
Before that, I used to train ecstatically for some three to four months and then completely abandon the gym. Something or the other would happen and I’d go off-track. What appeared to be a few days of gap would be months of not going to the gym.
This dormant phase was usually accompanied by episodes of regret. Every time I would look at myself in the mirror the feeling of regret shot up. This feeling would be even more whenever I saw people in better shape–and especially ones that started training way after me.
“If only I had been consistent..,” I constantly beat myself up.
Although I was well aware of the numerous health and mental benefits of working out, I failed time and again to stick to the routine.
But it’s been a different story altogether from 2022. Been consistently going to the gym for 20+ months, and the streak continues to date.
Not only just with training but also with my eating habits. I have stuck to a proper diet, cut processed sugar and oily foods, been doing cardio regularly and adding more to the list gradually.
I’m in the best shape of my life and I have never felt this better before.
So how did I do it? How did I trick my lazy ass to get addicted to the gym and cultivate healthy eating habits?
Let’s jump right in.
This is a Top Curve Monthly Newsletter from January, 2024. Every month, I send out ideas that I believe can give you new perspective towards life.
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A Strong Purpose
This is an undebatable element. If your purpose for working out isn’t strong enough, you won’t stick to it long enough. It’s that simple.
Different purposes motivate different people to workout. For some, attractive appearance will be a predominant motivating factor. For others, it’s better sleep, better strength, better cognitive performance, improved mental health, etc… The list goes on.
If you aren’t sure which purpose could keep you better motivated, try toggling among them. For instance, try zeroing on “appearance” as your purpose for some weeks.
See if you have sustained motivation to hit the gym. If yes, great; if not, and you seem to procrastinate more, switch to “better cognitive performance.” And later on to “improved confidence” and so on.
And before anything, do thorough research on how achieving a better health/shape/sleep routine can level up your life. Explore as many angles and facts as possible. The more clearly you understand how significant better health/shape/sleep is, the better you will be motivated to workout.
Play with your creativity to logically link your training’s purpose to any ambition you may have in life. By doing this, you are giving your workout a sense of meaning besides other health and mental benefits.
For instance, let’s say your dream is to buy a Ninja H2 someday, and your purpose for working out is to get in better shape. Now you can creatively link both, something like this: BETTER SHAPE=better confidence=better social skills=better network=better ideas and resources=more money=NINJA FUCKING H2.
I know this link sounds shit. But something along the lines of that.
Also, always ensure the facts you support the purpose with are legit. Your mind would have none of the stories you concoct or make up. It’s your mind anyway. “Ain’t falling for that shit, mf,” it would say.
There has to be some logic to whatever you convince your mind of.
Indeed, sometimes made-up logic does work. But I highly doubt how sustainable they would be in the long run. That didn’t work for me, at least, I must say.
One of the biggest mistakes we make when trying to form a new habit is going all in at once.
Instead of considering habit formation a marathon, we sprint, ultimately draining the hell out of ourselves. What this action does is tell our body how excruciating it is to work out. Therefore, whenever we think of working out, our body tries everything in its power to avoid it.
When you’re trying to form any new habit, you are disrupting your body’s comfort zone. Jolting your comfort zone with intense physical strain will only cause your body to develop even more resistance; your mind will keep reminding how exhausting it is to train.
And that’s why gradual conditioning always works best.
You can’t shoot a plane directly into the stratosphere (unless it’s a UFO Saucer). The takeoff is a gradual process against gravity. First, the plane has to move slowly on the runway, then a few meters above the ground, and then after gaining enough momentum, up into the sky.
The same goes when forming a new habit.
You are acting against gravity which is the resistance from your comfort zone. To break through that, you need to gradually condition your body and mind and not jumpscare.
The first step in this gradual conditioning process is showing up regularly. Show up at the gym daily for a month.
Doesn’t matter if you train only for 20-30 minutes or even 5 minutes. And it’s not that you have to necessarily workout. You can just sit there, listen to songs, watch others working out (though it might make you look creepy), and then come home, depending on your mood that day.
But SHOW UP.
By doing this, you are simply habituating your mind and body to the Gym. Once it becomes your muscle memory, now it’s time to stick to a low to moderate-intensity workout session.
Again, take it easy. Let’s say a 25-35 minute workout session. Tell yourself you won’t stay a minute beyond the set time limit at the gym. Follow this daily.
This way, you’re assuring your body that you won’t let it suffer past those 25-35 minutes and that it can completely rest after that. It’s more like signing a gentlemen’s deal with your body.
Follow this for a few months until you are confident that regularly working out at this intensity comes naturally to you. Then slowly increase the intensity and workout session timing.
Bonus tip: Like every gym reel you come across on Instagram. This will tell the algorithm to show you more gym reels. Consuming more of this gym content daily would mean you’ll be even more pumped to train.
Don’t be obsessed with the results
Healthy muscle growth or fat loss takes time. In fact, considerably more time than what your favorite fitness influencer proclaims as the “ideal time ” in sponsorship reels.
Constantly worrying about your progress does you no favor. Instead of worrying about the results, focus more on the process. For fitness is a journey and not a destination.
No progress sucks of course. I don’t deny that. But muscle growth is a given if you follow a proper diet, train well, and take ample rest. These are the only three things you should worry about.
Doing these three would guarantee your progress no matter what.And more importantly, don’t compare your body with that of people on Social Media.
Take inspirations, but never set any body standards. You never know what people are on. You know, you know.