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Six Steps to Workout Success.

Please to enjoy a semi-adult post up in herre.

Please to not let me stop at six.

Please to chime in with 7+ in the comments.

Whether you have all the time in the world at your disposal (ahhh sweet, sweet pre-child freedom) or only a few minutes in which to cardioyogaliftbikewhatevs your way to health, there are some easy ways to be sure you squeeze the most out of your workout experience.

The below are in no specific order as, in my opinion, we all need to rank them for ourselves according to our unique fitness and healthy living goals.

1. Don’t chat.

Buckle down and make your exercise time one of complete focus. If you’re uncomfortable donning an unwelcoming “mess with the bull and you’ll get the horns” face try kicking your workout up a notch or five!  If people see you working at a level where you *could* carry on a conversation but it would be a challenge they’re less apt to try & chat you up.

(Note: This tip isn’t for everyone & is precisely what I was referencing above. Your gym time may actually be an opportunity to socialize with adults after a morning spent scraping wet goldfish crackers from your shirt (not that Id know a thing about that). If socializing is, indeed, part of your exercise experience just be certain you still complete your intended workout.)

2.     Plan ahead.

This is an obvious one yet, as with the ‘park far from the gym entrance and burn extra calories by walking’ idea, one which many of us still fail to do.  Always take a moment to jot down/plan out your workout prior to starting.  In addition, should you exercise at a gym facility, it’s wise to arrived armed with a Plan B.  That way, if the equipment you wish to use /the class you planned to take be occupied/full, you’ve no built-in excuse to throw in the proverbial towel and head back home.

3.     Change. Change. Change.

Keeping your workouts fresh and avoiding an exercise rut is crucial.  And, if you’re under any sort of time constraints, you want to be even more careful not to let your body plateau. Change your routine every 6-8 weeks so your body (& mind) doesn’t have the opportunity to grow complacent and stale.

Routine changes don’t need to be dramatic.  If you typically do long bouts of cardio try introducing some interval training into the mix.  If you tend to gravitate toward weight machines give resistance bands or free weights a try!  Taken the same 9am Body Pump class for months? Perhaps it’s time to step outside and power walk.

Sure, you can mix things up too much by trying a new workout on a daily basis, but we all know when our body is plain ole used to & burnt out on what we’re currently doing.  Keeping your body guessing is a sure way to consistently increase your fitness level.

4.      Proper form.

No matter what your workout of choice always check to be certain you’re doing it correctly. This tip may sound like a no-brainer yet ponder the last time you were at the gym or walking/running outside. Did you notice anyone and think “Holy moley! She is going to injure herself.” or (and be honest) “Whoa. That’s not how you do that exercise!” & cringe inwardly?

Whether it’s hiring a personal trainer for a session or two, asking an instructor for extra help, or renting a video so you can practice at home: good form is a *huge* way to get more from any time you spend exercising.

5. Set yourself up for success.

As with all things in life, it’s important to create a workout routine which facilitates your success!  Sleep in your exercise clothes so you wake up ready to go, set multiple alarms, find a workout partner, ask a friend to email you at the end of the workday to be sure you’re heading to exercise: take the time to discover what best propels you toward success and harness that energy.

6.     Visualization.

I am a firm believer in visualizing success in all aspects of my life. I know if I cannot imagine something occurring there’s a pretty good chance it’s not destined to happen.  I visualize everything I’m working to create in my life (please to see my vivid vision of plopping on Oprah’s couch before she wraps up her show & cross reference under my fabulous book launch soiree) and exercise is no different.

Make the time to mentally see yourself perform successfully and you’ll begin to gain confidence in your ability to be successful in reality.

Take a moment (before you commence your workout) to visualize exactly what your exercise time will look like.  Incorporate all senses so you can virtually feel, hear, and touch the experience you’re about to have.  Sports psychologists have found visualization key to self-confidence and motivation.

Now you.

Please to hit us all up in the comments with YOUR biggest tip for workout success.

Anything from sleeping in your running clothes to plastering your ‘fridge with motivational quotes.

(Extra credit if it’s something you’ve already learned in these first 48 days of 2010.)

Edited to say: Ive added my own AH HA! moment from this morning in comment 21.

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80 Responses to “Six Steps to Workout Success.”

  1. zombiemom says:

    I cop to sleeping my running tights- often.

    I am a mom (2 & 3 years old) and a business owner- so I totally schedule my workouts! My runs also count as the dog *walking* time.

    As a distance runner- I tend to sabotage myself by not fueling up in the AM- so in 2010 - I have hung the Runner’s World recipe recommendations on the fridge- and twice a week - I make my pre-workout meals. Its great - its way easier to assemble the meals, it also keeps me on track with my nutrition all week.

    I have also turned stretching into an evening game with the kids- we all pull out our yoga mats and stretch. And we practice being “super strong” by doing core work…

  2. Michelle@Eatingjourney says:

    1. Get sleep
    2. Remember how good it feels
    3. Push yourself at times, pull back on others
    4. Don’t feel guilty if you don’t complete everything, be proud that you’ve done anything
    5. Visualize the muscle working that you’re toning
    6. MAKE NO EXCUSE…pencil it in-PEN it in-like a 200/hr appointment.

  3. Helen says:

    LOL at the grownup post.
    Sometimes I need it all laid out for me like that, Mizzy.

    My tip? Don’t let your husbands junk food love know you off track.

  4. Yum Yucky says:

    Love what you’re doing! Don’t try to fit yourself into an exercise box just because everyone does it that way. Find what works. Find what you love.

    I love running all of a sudden. Can’t wait for my next run.

  5. Tammy says:

    THANK YOU for the Don’t Chat addendum (sp).

    For me going to the gym works my heart and my mouth (according to my husband anyway :) ).

    I am a SAHM of 4 and I need to get some adult conversation and the gym is where I do that and exercise.

  6. Bonnie says:

    I find that intriguing about the visualization being the key.

    Do you have a vision board or is it all in your head?

  7. MrsFatass says:

    The biggest thing I’ve learned in the last year of healthy living blogging is that for ME, I need a workout partner. I am much more committed if I am not alone, not just to my overall workout plan, but to my specific workouts - pushing myself a little harder, not stopping when my brain is tired (vs my body) and so on. So. That’s my number seven - have a partner.

  8. Jessica says:

    I have ti plan ahead, or else I am just a jumbled mess. I also have to change it up, or I get soooo bored!!

  9. Donna Bush says:

    Thanks for the good advice, Carla. For me, #7 is to record my results. Having a place to look back and reference what I did makes me feel obligated to continue. “Hmm, wonder if I can beat my time tomorrow,” or “I think I’ll try to lift more next time.” Sometimes we don’t see the results on the scale or in the mirror, but we can look back and know we’ve done something and either our body is just taking a while to figure it out, or it’s time to change it up.

    (Oh, and sorry but if you go to the gym to chat, don’t work out next to me. There’s a coffee place across the parking lot. Go there.)

  10. Katie @ Health for the Whole Self says:

    Here’s my tip: When you need a little motivation, treat yourself to something NEW - new music on your MP3 player, a new workout top, etc. You’ll be excited to hit the gym just to try out your new gear or listen to your new tunes!

  11. suganthi says:

    Great post!

    I have to be honest and say I follow all of these (except the last one) and still fail sometimes. I have walked around all day in exercise clothes without having exercised.

    I am not good at visualizing.

    My biggest tip: GET IT DONE IN THE MORNING!
    This works for me.

    Like Bob Greene says, I keep reminding myself that exercise is non-negotiable.

    I also have tons of DVDs to keep myself from getting bored.

  12. Julia says:

    Honestly, this was a VERY helpful post for me. As someone who has had a gym membership (or 3) I found it very hard to stay motivated. . . I never planned and therefore gave up on it.

    When I did work out at the gym, the most helpful thing, for me, was to watch other people. Now, i don’t know how “healthy” it is, but I would be on the treadmill and I would peek at the person to my left and the person to my right. Most likely they were not fat (like me) and they were either jogging or running (where I was walking at a turtle’s pace.) I would find motivation in the competition. Compared to those around me, I looked/felt lazy and would bump up my workout because of it!

    ;/

    Julia
    http://jewliagoulia.blogspot.com

  13. arkieyogini says:

    Biggest tip? That’s easy: Coffee and a good music playlist.

    If you’ve got headphones on, people are more likely to leave you alone. Plus, having a playlist of your favorite tunes helps to keep you motivated through a hard workout. Also, you never know what kind of terrible music will be playing at the gym.

  14. Helen says:

    7. Put it in your appointment calender so that it’s non-negotiable.
    8.Do it in the morning so that nothing else in your day can interfere
    9. Lay your clothes out the night before and put them on first thing, even if you won’t exercise for another hour.
    10. If you’re at the gym, put the DAMN CELL PHONE DOWN. (pet peeve, can you tell?)

  15. Stacey says:

    Fantastic post.

    I’d add read blogs.

    When I have no motivation I read other peoples words and use their motivation as my own.

  16. Miz says:

    damn I love my early a.m. peeps!

    I’m off to grab both things mentioned in comment #13, workout, & I’ll be back…..

  17. Diana('s Journey) says:

    Concrete plans and making sure that includes a time that I will do it. I do them about 1/2 hour after waking. If I don’t set it up like this…if i leave it to when I feel like it…I’ll never do it!

    I like Stacey’s suggestion too..reading blogs is great motivation to be healthy :)

  18. Joanna Sutter says:

    Mind/muscle connection.
    Journal. Journal. Journal.
    Stop thinking about it, reading about it, talking about it and just do it!
    Set a goal. Make it happen.

  19. Laura says:

    I need this this morning.

    No tips :)

  20. Miz says:

    OK I NEED TO ADD ONE MORE (yes Im shouting that. Wont bore ya with deets but it just happened in my own life. Eh, I will bore you with deets :) later this week…).

    REMEMBER: you are the expert of your own body.

    Listen to other so called experts and GURUS etc but always listen to your GUT over all else.

  21. Nita says:

    If you are going to a gym, make sure the gym is set up to help you succeed.

    The gym I went to in Tx was delightful. Each piece of cardio equipment had its own tv. You could choose your own channel, plug in your headphones or, as I did, put it on closed captioning to read while working out and still listening to my mp3 for the beat. I got hooked on Crossing Jordan there - watched it during every workout, and when I finally *heard* the characters, they didn’t sound like the ones in my head from when I read it at the gym.

    The gym here in AZ - not so good. Huge cardio room (but only 4 good treadmills - the others are not fit to walk on), but only 3 tvs in the whole room. No closed captioning, and the tvs are set on The Food Network (yeah, I want to watch them make brownies or scarf down giant burgers while I workout), the Travel Channel (yawn), and CNN. None of those keep my interest (especially since I want my music, and the only way to know what’s happening on the tv is to tune in to it), and I’m bored stiff while doing cardio.

    I haven’t been to the gym in too many month - I find it boring and unmotivating. In TX, I was in the gym 6 days a week because it was fun and my mind was kept occupied.

    Make sure your gym fits your needs!

  22. Kyle says:

    For me, my gym bag is always packed ahead of time. I make sure I have a book in case I get stuck using a more casual cardio machine like the recumbent cycles. I make sure my mp3 player has the correct C25K podcasts. I guess I just try and be the boyscout I never was.

  23. Andrea@WellnessNotes says:

    I’m a firm believer in sleeping in my exercise clothes. I also re-pack my gym bag as soon as I get home from the gym so that it’s always ready to grab. My gym has a steam room so when I have a hard time going, I promise myself 10 minutes in the steam room as a reward for a good workout.

  24. the Bag Lady says:

    Great tips, Miz! Thanks.
    My own #7 is to work out in the morning….. BEFORE sitting down at the computer.
    And one of these days? I actually will…… !!
    :)

  25. WaistingTime says:

    I’m going to disagree with number 1. I like to workout with my mom and a trainer and chatting makes it more fun and the time flies by. I like to make friends with other people in my gym classes; there is something nice in sharing the pain. And I loved the years when I had a workout buddy - I would not skip a workout because I knew she would be there.

    and I TOTALLY agree :) hence the italics below. xo xo Ima Chatter

    My tip - find something you like, or at least dislike less. If you don’t like running, cycle. If you don’t like lifting weights along, try a class. If you don’t like step aerobics, try zumba.

  26. Mara @ What's For Dinner? says:

    My tip (that I need to follow) is JUST FREAKING DO IT! The couch will be there when I get back.

  27. Jody - Fit at 52 says:

    You got my tip.. your #21!!! My post today says it like this: Now saying that, the exercise & food program should be one you can live with long term, a lifestyle change, so find that & go with it. It will change over the years but always change it to something you can live with & do long term. I have been doing this all along for 25+ years. I have changed things many times but it is always something that is right for me & not the big gym dude telling me what to do OR a person that says their way or the highway. It does not work that way. We are all different & unique. Find you!

    I guess we are on the same wavelength! :-) By the way, I do all of the above!!! And no talking for me when I workout. I put the headphones on & make myself look like I am “not ready to talk”! I know, Makes me sound mean but most people there know they can talk to me after my workout! :-)

  28. Melissa Lillie says:

    For outdoor running- getting warm clothes and gloves and then an excuse to eat those gummy re-fueling things…this always makes me feel hard core! ha

    I think all or nothing thinking has stopped me before- I must get in all 60min or I wont go- that thinking I threw away and realized-
    I dont have to feel like going to go- I act anyway- feeling like it or not! And always glad I did.

    Having everything laid out ahead of time is really helpful - including some yerbe matte ready to brew to drink with me before I go!

    I love my heart rate monitor as well-a new gift to myself.

    I am going to start some visualization- thanks for reminding me.

  29. karen says:

    Number 5!
    Number 5!
    Number 5!!!

  30. Lori (Finding Radiance) says:

    My tip - always put yourself first. Because if you don’t, no one else will!

    On #1, sometimes I feel bad because I see people who come to the gym and seem like they have such a great time chatting with each other and laughing and talking. I feel like a snob because I just get down to business. Not that I am unfriendly, but I don’t talk a lot.

  31. Patsy says:

    Hello! I just discovered your blog via a comment you left on another I follow. I wanted to say a bit “thank you” for the videos. :) I’ve started training at home using dumbbells and a copy of The New Rules of Lifting For Women, but to see the actual form is REALLY helpful! Thanks again! :D

    Patsy x

  32. Grace says:

    One thing that helps me is paying attention to my breathing. I’m getting back into running (jogging really) and when I’m feeling tired I just pay attention to my breathing. I’ll do a cadence in time with my stride. In-In-Out. In-In-In-Out. Whatever takes my mind away — that zen place we all find when we exercise.

  33. Sagan says:

    I like your Note under #1; I agree that chatting can take away from the exercise, but I also find that in some cases- such as when I have LOTS of reading to do for class- I will get on the treadmill, crank up the incline, and walk for half an hour while I”m doing my university readings. If I didn’t do my readings while on the treadmill, I would just be sitting around.

    HOWEVER, that being said, I don’t *really* consider that “exercise”. That’s “study time”, which happens to give me an opportunity to get in some walking at the same time. So I think you’re absolutely right about that one!

    I also am a big fan of having your workout clothes ready the night before, and also WRITING IT DOWN. If it says in my agenda that I’m going to do the 30 day shred dvd, then I want to be able to check it off. Of course, sometimes I wake up and think that I REALLY don’t want to do that particular form of exercise- in which case, I do something ELSE instead. It’s all about accommodating and, as you say, listening to your gut!

  34. Jen, a priorfatgirl says:

    I can’t concentrate - I’m still stuck on this pee funnel thing from yesterday’s post.

  35. Jenn @ Watch My Butt Shrink! says:

    Work it into your day. Don’t wait until the end of the day to try to fit a workout in - because chances are, you won’t. If you make it part of your day, you have more of a chance of actually doing it!

  36. Ava says:

    Oops. There was a ‘print!’ in there when I typed my comment LOL

  37. Annette says:

    I completely agree with #1. It’s my biggest pet peeve when I go to the gym when there are people talking and going on and on and on next to me. Actually, I take that back - people talking on their cell phones while “working out.” There’s no point!

    My tips:
    1. I finally realized that I have to eat better - as in fruits/veggies, etc. Otherwise, my workouts are terrible!
    2. Don’t give up. I’m working up to running a mile - training for a 5K - and I’ve been doing running 2 min at a time. I was stuck there for too long and finally, on Sunday, I did 5 min!!!! Point is - it “just happens” sometimes.

  38. Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman says:

    Those are great. I esp. like “Push yourself.” Sometimes I get into a rut and forget that I need to continue to challenge my muscles. Some others:

    Start small, You don’t have to run a marathon if you’re not used to exercising. Just moving and sweating is a good start.

    Be smart. Don’t exercise with an injury. Trust me, you’ll just end up regretting it years down the road when you’re still limping around!

    Get creative. If you don’t have a lot of time (um, crying baby?) do what you can. Take the baby in a stroller out for a run.

    Be pround. If you run 4 miles, be proud of yourself. Don’t beat yourself up because you didn’t run 5. Try for more next time.

  39. Kelly says:

    I’ve learned this year:
    1. Even if you can only get 10 minutes in it’s better than nothing and you’ll feel better.

    2. Strength training is actually pretty fun!

    3. Push yourself so you can grow.

    4. Look for opportunities to sneak exercise in. I challenged my kids in a race up 5 flights of stairs instead of waiting for the elevator. (I lost)

    I also need variety. I can’t do the same thing day in and day out.

  40. JavaChick says:

    These aren’t new but they are the two things that have had the biggest impact for me:

    1. Be flexible; if you’ve planned on a specific workout but your plans go down the drain, go ahead and sub in something else. A different workout is better than no workout.

    2. Make your workout routine as convenient as possible. I used to go to a gym; my job was quite flexible as to when I could take my lunch hour and it took me 5 minutes at the most to get from office to gym. When I switched jobs and that was no longer possible, I went back to home workouts. I know myself and I know that I’m not about to get in my car and drive to the gym. But I will throw on my workout gear and walk down the stairs to the basement.

  41. Shelley B says:

    Find what works for you - in my case, it is fun group workouts with trainers who push us. Be willing to try something different (hello running). And get yourself set up in some good workout gear - shoes, bras, clothes - things that are comfortable and that you feel good about wearing. Makes me feel like I’m an athlete, which is a mindset I need to have.

  42. Mari says:

    1. Mix Cardio with Weight Training…
    2. Do exercise first thing in the morning…get it out of the way
    3. Fuel your body prior to working out so you have the energy to last and make it worthwhile
    4. Stay hydrated - Drink lots of water
    5. A tip that I recently started using is sucking on a mint while running…it helps me breathe better or may it helps me focus on my breathing while running…whatever it is, it helps A LOT!!!

    :)

  43. Geosomin says:

    1. sleep
    2. sleep
    3. good shoes
    4. stretch out after. Always and amen.
    5. have water with you al lthe time
    5. sleep
    etc etc etc…
    yes…I workout at stupid oclock in the morning, so without my sleep, I’m not that good of a workout person :)

  44. SeaBreeze says:

    Sleep. Hydration. Bubble gum pop on my iPod. Variety. Good friends for long runs. Constant Goals.

  45. Miz says:

    Im printing too :) Ava.
    as always ya’ll are wisewisewise

  46. Evan says:

    For me the best tip is doing my workout first thing in the morning.
    I loathe mornings but I know when I wait until evening I want to go out for drinks after work instead.

  47. Lanie D says:

    Here are mine:

    1. I have to be working towards something…and it can’t be weight loss, or something ambiguous like get stronger. Right now I am taking self defense to learn moves that will help me protect myself.

    2. Change it up constantly! I get bored so easy so this weekend I went to hot yoga for the first time. I actually really like it, not only does it help me stretch out an old hip injury, the quiet time has done wonders for my mental state.

    3. Keep looking for the next thing. Since I know that I constantly get bored, I am always on the lookout for something new. Once self defense or yoga gets old I have already scoped out dancing lessons to take their place.

    4. Groupon: Try googling it, but this is a service that provides group discounts for different services. I like when they have group fitness discounts, I saw some for fencing lessons but didn’t jump on it fast enough. Great way to bond with friends and keep things interesting.

  48. Steve says:

    That’s a great bunch of tips, I would include TEXTING in number one though :)

    The best tips are to constantly push yourself b/c you won’t really know what you are capable of until you try, and to JUST DO IT. :)

  49. Donna D @donna_de says:

    Here are some things I keep in mind:
    - Sleep when you need it.
    - When you miss a workout, draw a line under it. Hit the next one but don’t mourn or make up. Life happens so we need to be flexible (I work on this every day)
    - Set a goal. Sign up for a race, or a swim challenge, a fun run, a cycle tour of a local area, something. Something to show up for, to train for, and to keep you going.
    - Smile. Even when your muscles burn, the act of smiling will make you feel better. Especially true in a race!

  50. Cindie says:

    Here are mine:

    1. Schedule your workout. Just like any other appointment you have, you will be more likely to keep it if it’s part of your daily schedule instead of something you get around to when everything else is done.

    2. Do it in the morning. If I do it in the morning I haven’t had time to make excuses not to.

    3. Have a goal. Working toward a goal really motivates me. I started with the couch to 5k, when I could barely run for a minute. This year’s goal is to run a 1/2 marathon!

  51. Elizabeth says:

    Love this (as usual). My #7 is all about Looking the Part. If I feel comfortable and am appropriately attired, I am more likely to go the distance and complete my workout. If I am feeling self-conscious or my running shorts suddenly feel too short, I risk tapping out early. And looking like a dingbat.

    I’d like to second Donna’s comment above (#51): Smiling can work wonders! Nothing’s better than scrolling through race photos to find yourself smiling, even when you know you were sweating like a beast and dying a little bit inside (not true for everyone, but quite true for a number of past races I’ve run.) :)

    My apologies for the rambling! :)

  52. Cynthia (It All Changes) says:

    Change it up and tell someone. I have an email buddy I tell my workout schedule to and post it on my blog. I’m more likely to get it in if I know I have to check in. That’s why the trainer worked so well for me. And changing it up keeps it from getting boring.

  53. Cammy@TippyToeDiet says:

    All excellent tips! I would add only a) have fun (and I know that’s *implied* in everything you advise), and b) consider “bundling” the exercise activity into other things you *have* to do. When I was working, my workouts were immediately after work. I changed clothes at the office and went straight to the studio or gym or outside. My workday wasn’t over until the workout was over.

  54. Quix says:

    Working towards something - a race, a pace, a weight, a goal - just “working out” or even “playing out” gets boring to me if there is no point.

    Schedule it like a work meeting, or appointment. Commit to what you think you can do, and do it. If you miss it or something comes up, reschedule. Consider it a non-negotiable item on your to do list like brushing your teeth or showering or going to work.

    Do something you don’t hate. I really, really hate stationary biking. Mizfit does it every day. If I put myself on her general cardio workout of biking at 4:30 am or some ungodly hour - I wouldn’t last very long. Just like I don’t think she’d be terribly happy with my 5-8 mile runs around 6-7 pm after work that suit me just fine. What I’m trying to say is just because it works for anyone else doesn’t mean it will work for you. Keep trying until you find something that does.

  55. mel says:

    Try something new each day.

    Who knew I could do pushups while balanced on an exercise ball?

  56. Kat says:

    Just do it. Has been a helpful mantra for me. I just do something everyday. Some days are light, some days are intense. Doing something everyday is so much easier for me than negotiating 4,5,or 6 days a week.

  57. POD says:

    I’m sorta with Jen and the pee funnel thing and I like what Kelly wrote about 10 minutes. I am still getting up every morning and “cising.” I cise when I get home from work too. And today, I started eating at the table which was something we all discussed in the phone class. I remember saying that if I ate at the table, I’d be thin. I figured I would at least give myself a chance. But I do love my exercise, very much. I don’t chat except to myself.

  58. Mary Meps says:

    Probably scheduled days off of no ‘formal’ exercise. Oh, there’s plenty informal on those days - cleaning, errands, etc … Keeps me sane though.

    That and change things up. Keep it interesting. Have fun. It’s easier to stick to it, if you’re having some fun.

  59. Pwag says:

    You can workout hurt, but you can’t workout injured.

    Meaning work out hard, work out sore, but don’t pop a tendon or pull a muscle or something stupid that’ll put you on the couch recovering…eating poop-food.

    Also: Leave your Ego at the gym door: You aren’t lifting/ exercising “against” anyone else, just yourself. This is how you get hurt.

    :D Met you briefly at blogger (09) I was with my wife at the cocktail party where the booze was plentiful-er.

  60. Myra says:

    Have some fun. Don’t forget to love yourself. I’ve been very busy loving my daughter. That’s good. But I got a good look at myself. Yuck. My Wii is fun and I do it every day. I’m working on loving myself again.

  61. love2eatinpa says:

    thanks for the reminder about proper form! once you get used to doing something, lifting or working on a machine, you just sort of do it on autopilot. great idea to have a gym employee watch you for proper form!

  62. Lola says:

    Ok, my own personal rule is to do something you LOVE, something you can see yourself doing long-term. Sometimes I think that people get so gung-ho when they are first starting their “weight-loss” journeys and they are working out 10 times a day! And sometimes 11!

    I think that type of intensity is hard to maintain LONG TERM. My goal is to keep trying new things and keep it fresh. But when I don’t really feel like working out, I still force myself to do something that I just love to do — like dance or play with my kiddos.

    Oh, and one extra comment. My dad always would talk about the power of visualization….something he taught me when I was 12 and too dumb to realize how important it was. :o ) I’m so happy he talked to me about this, because I always do it — it helps me feel confident.

  63. Katie says:

    I make myself do what I call a “wake up workout” on days that I am not sure I’ll be able to fit in a full workout. 20 minutes RIGHT when i wake up, doing body weight exercises, jumping jacks, whatever. That way, if I find time, I can cut 20 min off (or not and get in a super awesome workout day) and if I can’t, I at least did something. How often do we just waste the first 20 min we are awake?

  64. Laura says:

    Oh wow, such helpful tips.
    My problem is number 1, I talk toooo damn much to people

  65. s says:

    a small snack before gymming usually helps me. and allowing a rest day at my discretion.

  66. s says:

    oh, and i have a ridiculous gym bag (a deconstructed/modified tote bag). it is so flamboyantly designed that i can’t help but take it with me as i leave the house in the morning. well, i don’t know about htat, but i don’t forget it, at least.

  67. Kara from MamaSweat says:

    Um, hello, my brand new Adidas long sleeve, and cozy tech running shirt got me out there yesterday. I also have the cutest new running pants from Brooks. After the half, my legs really did not feel like running, so I walked quite a bit, but I’m sure, if not for my new togs I would have gone at all. Wanted excuse to wear them. You know, look good, feel good…

  68. Jen-JensFitnessTips.com says:

    Great tips!

    Mine are:

    1. Know your goals before working out
    2. Stay focused
    3. Never give up
    4. Blast the music
    5. Drink water
    6. Fuel the body before working out
    7. Rest in between gym days
    8. Mix things up
    9. Work hard, play later
    10. Have fun!

    There you go!! hehe :)

  69. Pamela Hernandez says:

    I can’t workout with out my iPod. Inspiring music can help you push for one more rep or one more mile. And the headphones help keep you focused my tuning out the gym chatter around you.

  70. Penny says:

    Don’t want to be bugged?…wear headphones (and sunglasses to avoid eye contact lol)

    Don’t feel like working out? Lie to yourself. Tell yourself you are just going to go easy and “play” in the gym today. Once you are in there and warmed up, then you may have the workout of your life! The hardest step is the first step.

    Getting bored? Grab a new partner.

    Can’t seem to make it into the gym? Write it in your appointment book.

  71. SmokiesFitnessRetreat.com says:

    From penny…again…
    Oh yeah, and visit my fitness retreat to jump start your fitness goals!

  72. charlotte says:

    Well you know I can’t get down with #1 but I’m totally on board with all the rest of your tips! Esp. the one you added in comment 21:) My fave tip to a successful workout is to do something fun. If you enjoy it you’ll keep at it and it won’t feel like work!

  73. Nicole, RD says:

    Sleeping in workout clothes….this is brilliant!

    I’m all about the change. I’m a dreadmill slave right now (though I don’t call is a dreadmill because I typically enjoy it), but I need to get OUT!

  74. Lainie (Fit Fig) says:

    Love the “expert of your own body” thing. That’s an incredible thought. Thanks Miz!

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