Struggling to stay consistent with our workout routine sucks. Sometimes we’re on it. Our workouts fit perfectly into our schedule, our motivation is high, and we’ve got tons of energy. All is good. Until, suddenly, out of nowhere, we’re sitting on the couch watching the Bachelor, realizing it’s been two weeks since we last hit the gym.
I get it. I hear from women all the time who are working so hard to get consistent with their fitness. They know that eating healthy and exercising is “good for us” but they can have a hard time implementing. They buy countless online training programs, download free workout templates, and sign up for Classpass (see why you’re not getting the results you want here), believing that this time will be different, but they’re still missing workouts. (If this sounds like you, my free fitness challenge could help! Sign up here.)
In our minds, it shouldn’t be so difficult. We shouldn’t continue to struggle even when we *know* working out is super important–and even a priority.
Well, I’ve found that we struggle to make our workouts consistent, because we’re making the same we’re-doing-the-best-we-can-and-trying-to-do-all-the-right-things kind of mistakes over and over.
Today, I’m sharing the top three workout mistakes that are keeping us from consistency in our workouts AND how to overcome each workout mistake using a #ConsistencyKey. A #ConsistencyKey is a high-impact behavior that makes a huge impact on our ability to be consistent. If you’re new to exercise or struggling to get consistent once and for all, it’s time to check yourself.
Three common workout mistakes that keep us inconsistent
Workout mistake #1: we’re doing workouts we don’t love
Our old personal trainer said HIIT was best for fat loss. We read on Tone It Up that we have to lift itty-bitty weights. BodyRockTV says intensity is key to getting results. [Insert source here] said we need to do [insert workout here], so we drag ourselves to the gym to do the next popular workout…even if we hate it.
Lovely, this just isn’t worth it. If consistency is our goal, we gotta move in ways that bring us joy so we actually want to keep moving.
#ConsistentKey Solution: Change it up!
Just a couple weeks ago, I was checking in with a client of mine who was scared to let me know she wasn’t super excited about doing a particular workout in her program. She told me “I know it’s good for me, so I do it anyway.”
Instead of preaching the benefits of a particular style of workout, we pivoted, discussed her exact goals for the next two weeks, and created a new plan she was actually excited about. And you know what? She crushed every single workout in that new phase.
It’s time we stop punishing ourselves with movement and find ways of working out that bring us joy. When we actually enjoy the process of what we’re doing, motivation stops becoming an issue (see the research/my take on it here) and consistency comes naturally.
Workout mistake #2: we’re don’t have a plan
When consistency becomes an issue, self-discipline or willpower will never be our solution. Too often, we try relying on self-discipline, which sets us up to fail.
Instead, I’m a huge proponent of doing all things nutrition and fitness without any willpower and with a lot of planning. It sounds so simple but it’s true. We don’t just skip work meetings because we’re tired. We don’t no-show dinner with friends because we’re stressed about school (well most of the time). But we do this with our workouts all the time.
#ConsistentKey Solution: 3 S Formula for Consistency
By implementing this formula [read the full breakdown here], missing workouts will be a thing of the past.
As with anything else in life, failing to plan is essentially planning to fail. So, when it comes to our workouts, we’ve got to schedule them. I recommend taking 10 minutes every Sunday to review the upcoming week and insert workouts into particular dates and times.
While having a plan is definitely helpful, we need to take it one step further and really prepare for each workout sesh. I take it a step further and start ahead mentally by asking myself the following questions before every workout:
What exercises are included in my workout?
Do I need any modifications? Progressions?
What’s my goal for the workout?
How much time will I need to complete the workout?
It’s incredibly valuable to have someone hold us accountable for the workouts we want to complete. A simple social media check-in can be sufficient but I like to take it a step further. This is why I incorporate accountability elements in every single program I do. Accountability is SO important to our long term consistency success.
Workout mistake #3: we’re forcing ourselves to abide by the “60 minute workout rule”
For years, I believed that I had to exercise for an hour in order for it to *count.* If I couldn’t get in a 60 minute sweat sesh, I’d skip my workout.
I remember waking up late for class in college and realizing I didn’t have enough time for my crazy long workout session. Instead of throwing on my shoes and doing a quick bodyweight circuit in my dorm, I huffed off to class, feeling like a failure.
And that’s so common, isn’t it? We get down on ourselves and feel guilty when we can’t fit in that hour long workout, regardless of the circumstances.
#ConsistencyKey Solution: reset expectations asap
We gotta get our minds right and reset our expectations.
Before implementing shorter workouts, I’d feel overwhelmed by the amount of time it’d take to complete a workout. On days where I didn’t have at least an hour to devote to working out, I’d just skip it and make myself eat less to “make up for” my missed workout. Now, I’ve cut my workout time in half without compromising results.
Instead of focusing on duration, I encourage my #SpringIntoConsistency ladies and clients to focus on intensity. Whether I’m outside running sprints, doing bodyweight metabolic conditioning, or modifying a strength session to be more metabolic, I LOVE making my workouts intense and super fast.
They rev our metabolism, making that 60 minute, slow and steady workout pretty pointless. You can bet that’s why all #SpringIntoConsistency workouts are less than 30 minutes!
When train intensely, it majorly increases excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. This means extra calorie burn even AFTER we finish our workouts. While we are resting and recovering, our bodies are making up for all the energy it used during that sweat session.
Before I started training efficiently, I’d spend hours every day working out. And if my nutrition was less than perfect? I’d punish myself with excessive exercise. Now, working out almost every day is just part of my lifestyle. I don’t think about it, and I do it, even when I’m not feeling motivated.
How do you stay consistent with your workouts?