When you start your fitness journey, you might find yourself losing momentum after a couple of months. This is what’s commonly known as the “fitness cliff”: the point, about nine weeks in, when new members come to the gym 50 percent less frequently than they did at the beginning.
To help fight against the urge to slow down or quit, we’ve declared the week of March 4 to be Dedication Week. From March 4–10, Gold’s Gym will offer free workouts and classes along with 30-Day Fitness Plans to help people stay on track. But you can take actions right now to make it easier to rededicate yourself to your fitness resolutions. Here are a few tips from our Gold’s Gym experts.
1. Create a fitness plan
Everyone’s fitness journey is different, and with a personalized plan of attack, you’re more likely to get the results you want. Work with an expert to develop a routine that’s best for your current fitness level, body type, age and health history.
“Simply planning to make your resolution part of your schedule makes a significant difference,” says Gold’s Gym Fitness Expert Dempsey Marks. “Our lives can get very busy, so writing a weekly workout plan on Sunday that includes days, times and workouts will help keep you focused, organized and accountable.”
2. Recommit to eating well
Just because you kill it on the treadmill or in the weight room doesn’t mean you can eat whatever you want with no consequences. Food is fuel — learn what to put into your body that will help it perform its best.
Remember, eating three to four hours before your workout will deliver energy to your muscles and help you avoid low blood sugar levels. And eating after a workout will replenish the fluids and carbohydrates your body just burned off.
3. Find an accountability partner
Having at least one workout buddy is good motivation to keep showing up, push you to work hard and encourage you to keep striving toward your goals. Plus, it’s great to have someone to celebrate with when you reach those fitness milestones.
Dedication Week is the perfect time for you and a pal to get started — bring a friend in to Gold’s Gym during this week for free workouts and classes.
4. Be adaptable
We get it: Life happens. If you can’t make it to the gym because your car broke down or you’re traveling, it can be tempting to take a break from your fitness routine.
With a digital personal training app like GOLD’S AMP™, you’ll always have an option for coach-guided workouts at home or on the road. You can choose from cardio and strength workouts — including outdoor walking, jogging and running workouts, stretching and bodyweight exercises — to take anywhere and pair it with the perfect exercise soundtrack.
5. Be Patient
A fit lifestyle doesn’t happen overnight; don’t get frustrated if things are slow to start or if you hit a plateau. Let yourself rest, think positively and be patient. Getting stronger takes effort, and you’re putting in the work that will lead to results later.
“There’s nothing more rewarding than overcoming that little voice that tells you you’re too tired or you can just do it tomorrow, and my favorite: You’re just too busy,” says celebrity personal trainer Melissa Alcantara. “We all need a little motivation here and there, but what’s greater and more effective for staying on track is weaving fitness into habits that fit into your life.”
6. Avoid the comfort zone
If it’s getting too easy, it’s time to reassess your routine. Don’t be afraid to try a different piece of equipment, lift that heavier weight or join a new group exercise class.
“It’s easy to get stuck in your comfort zone because it’s comfortable!” Marks says. “But with fitness, it’s especially important to avoid the comfort zone in order to challenge your body in new and unique ways. Plan a new workout every other week by switching up the equipment and machines, or go for that personal record. It’ll help to avoid boredom and lead to greater physical gains.”
7. Set an example
Your efforts don’t go unnoticed. Whether or not you realize it, you’re inspiring someone else with his or her own fitness. Use that to give yourself a boost when you need it.
Take Gold’s Gym Challenge winner Ellie Carter, whose two young sons took note of her efforts to get back in shape.
“Every time we’d go to Gold’s, the boys would say, ‘We’re going to the gym, and Mommy is going to get strong,’” she says. “[Kids] do what we model, so I definitely want to keep encouraging fitness.”