Motivation to Work Out
What Keeps Me Motivated
- Fresh, Updated Workouts
- Group setting
- Being held accountable
- Knowing I will have a great work out
An Aerobics Drop Out
I have only been kicked out of one thing in my whole life. In college, a group of us decided to try our hand at an aerobics class. We thought this would be easy since we were athletes at the university. Arms and legs moving simultaneously in different directions and then hopping up on a box made us feel so uncoordinated. We fell down laughing. We were asked to leave.
My Fitness Journey
As a former Division I athlete, figuring out how to work out after my college career was over was a challenge. Being part of organized sports is a lifestyle. At some point, that part of your life is over. For some, this occurs in high school. For others, like me, it was after college. Some never played organized sports, but are looking to start a fitness regime. Fitness is an obvious component to staying healthy. I have always had it as part of my life. Now I had to figure out how to fit it back in on my own.
My post college journey to where I am today was all over the place. I first started by coaching and continuing to play my sport, volleyball. Then I was into running. Next I was working out solo at the gym. I moved back to running. Later I played in a co-ed soccer league, followed by an all-women’s outdoor league, then indoor league. After I had kids, I joined the gym.
Forever an Athlete
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How to Work Out At the Gym?
For many people, gyms can be intimidating. Thoughts run through your mind:
Do I work out by myself? I can do anything by myself. I am not shy, but I am an introvert. If I am stressed, nothing is better than a long run with my ipod. Therefore, I know I can go to the gym anytime by myself.
Can I motivate myself? I can completely motivate myself. However, with 5 little kids, sometimes I am just tired. This might be something I need to address.
What about personal training? I would LOVE to have a personal trainer. The equipment and the trainer can be intimidating. But, this would address the motivation issue for sure. But, let’s be honest. They can be more expensive than the price of your gym membership.
Do I go to a group class? Flash back. Aerobics class. I have always been on a team, but I never have done a group class with any sort of success. I was a little uncertain about this forum of exercise. This is part of my gym membership. There would be no extra cost. It would address my motivation concern. Not to mention, those classes are always pretty full. They must be onto something.
Group Fitness Classes: Round Two
After trying out a few things I came to the following conclusion: I will have more success motivating myself to GET to the gym and then let someone else motivate me afterwards. I am not intimidated by entering into a class where maybe I don’t know anyone (yet). Most athletes are motivated to achieve. But, most athletes have also been coached. You show up to practice, work hard the whole time and do as your coach instructs. This atmosphere is what I am used to and where I thrive. So, 15 years after starting this journey, I decided to go ahead and check out my second group fitness class.
The first one I went to was spinning and it kicked my behind. I LOVED it! I loved that all I had to do was show up at the right time, remember to sign in to get my bike and then just do what I was told the whole class.
I had to check out the rest of the group class schedules and find other classes that interested me. I will admit. I did skip over aerobics.
I found a boot camp class I fell in LOVE with. It reminded me of the conditioning we did prior to athletic seasons starting. I felt young. I felt strong. I really enjoyed this class. However, it was an evening class and I found myself having family conflicts and missing it often.
Once I was able to settle into a morning workout routine, I found that I have 3 favorite classes I try to attend each week. One is whole body lifting. One is cardio coupled with whole body, multiple joint exercises (ie. doing overhead press in conjunction with squats). The 3rd is an hour kick boxing class that kicks my behind each week and makes me want to come back for more.
2 of those classes are led by the same instructor, Debbie Reichert. I noticed that her classes are high intensity, high energy, well rounded, and getting more popular each week. I went from being a group class skeptic to being bummed if I miss them. I wanted to fall in love with a class that kept me coming back. It needed to stay fresh enough so that I didn't plateau and helped me achieve my goals. What was she doing that was keeping me coming back? I asked Debbie a few questions.
Making Fitness A Profession
How did you decide to make fitness a profession? Debbie called herself a gym rat. She explained that she was approached by an instructor to consider getting certified. She decided to get certified in a few classes and try teaching on for size. She has only been a group instructor for one year.
Are all group fitness instructors certified? All reputable gyms will have certified instructors. Many instructors have multiple certifications.
How do you keep yourself motivated so that you can continue to motivate me each week? She laughed. She said that this can be a challenge and stressful. There is pressure in knowing that a large group of people are looking to her for their great, daily workout. She always does her best to give her clients the best work out she can.
Preparing Fitness Classes
How does you prepare for class so that it flows seamless and we get everything accomplished during the time allotted? Prior to a class, she revisits the agenda to make sure it is different from the week before. She wants to keep it fresh, but challenging. She admits that the longer you teach a class, the more you become familiar with the flow and how long we have been doing each exercise. Music is an excellent way to monitor time and keep the class fun. She uses her own music for all her classes.
Healthy Eating Is A Part of Fitness
- Quinoa with Egg, Cilantro and Asian Sesame Dressing
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- Almond Joy Larabars
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What is your goal for each class? Her goal for each class is to work everyone out as hard as she can. They have made the effort to come to her class. She needs to ensure that they are challenged. While attempting to work everyone out as hard as she can, she still offer modifications. This allows everyone the ability to take their workout to the next level or perhaps to a level at which they are comfortable.
Fitness Motivation Thru Facebook
How do you motivate outside of class? Debbie smiled. She recently began her own Facebook page, Fit and Healthy by Debbie Reichert. She has found that she has amassed more of a following that she expected. I am currently participating in a monthly challenge where we commit to 15 burpees/day. I know I would not be doing these otherwise!
She is providing daily workouts suggesting a series of exercises, amount of reps, modifications and even how to advance the routine. What a great option for those of us too busy or unable to get to the gym. All exercises can be performed anywhere!
Additionally, she has started adding suggestions for healthy eating. Nutrition and fitness are key components of being healthy.
Go check out her Facebook page. Even consider liking it. What a simple way to get a daily ounce of motivation. You know you are going to check your Facebook page anyhow. Why not make it more productive! All motivation is good motivation!
A Group Fitness Convert
After talking to Debbie, I am reminded why I keep attending group classes.
1. I am getting in shape and staying healthy for myself and my family.
2. I am being motivated by my instructor and my peers.
3. I am making more friends and encouraging friends to join.
I am fortunate that I have the time to dedicate to exercise. I am pleased that I have found classes that I enjoy and instructors that keep me motivated. I have learned that while you don’t have to join group fitness classes, regular attendance does make you a member. I kind of like being back on a ‘team’.
© 2012 Karen Lackey