Disclaimer: This is not a technical post! However, the advice and suggestions given are from lots of technical people that I think many of us can relate to which is why I thought it would be worth it to share
Everyone wants to live a healthy lifestyle and feel good about themselves and their body. But figuring out how to achieve that is hard. Recently, Saron Yitbarek asked her Twitter family for advice on how she could help get herself into a workout routine despite hating working out.
SaronFor people who hate working out but do it consistently anyway, how do you do it? I get really into it for a bit, then it becomes such a chore. Do you eventually learn to love it? Do you hate it and do it anyway? What's your secret?22:43 PM - 02 Aug 2019
The response was overwhelming and it caught my attention. There were many fantastic ideas thrown out so I took the time to compile a summary list of the top responses. Here they are!
Eliminate any decision making
Valerie@saronyitbarek I do it first thing and try to involve as little decision-making as possible (decide what I'm doing, lay out clothes the night before) so I have less time to talk myself out of it.
And I save any podcasts I'm looking forward to listening to.23:32 PM - 02 Aug 2019
Consider super short workouts
Patrick Lee Scott@pat_scott@saronyitbarek X3bar - 10 minute workouts that work great and you can travel with it - my girlfriend is showing me her new biceps as I type this23:56 PM - 02 Aug 2019
Dashiell Bark-Huss@saronyitbarek I started with a minute a day for the first month. I added more over time, easing my way into it until it felt normal. I’m on day 59218:39 PM - 03 Aug 2019
Mix it up
Sarah Bartley@saronyitbarek I used to hate working out but I love it now because I constantly mix up my workouts. I do different types that target different things each day. I get bored very easily so varying my workouts makes each day feel like it is something new.20:15 PM - 03 Aug 2019
“I hated feeling out of shape more than I hate running”
Listen to audiobooks
Joel 🌧@saronyitbarek I listen to audio books, which I enjoy. So I look forward to that and just do the workout. I’ve got an uncomplicated home gym which also helps.00:43 AM - 03 Aug 2019
Workout early in the morning
Max Shelley@saronyitbarek Another trick: we go early in the morning, and then you can’t decide if you hate getting up early or hate working out. Your brain gets so confused you just keep doing both!10:01 AM - 03 Aug 2019
Molly Struve 🦄@molly_struve@saronyitbarek Couple keys for me:
- Doing it in the morning bc hardly anything will conflict so it makes getting into the routine easy. I get out of bed. Put clothes on, fall out the door. Usually I dont fully wake up until half way through the run then its like sweet, Im half way there.23:54 PM - 02 Aug 2019
Or, use it as a hard stop for your workday
Amy Codes 🌻@theamycode@saronyitbarek I started off with Orange Theory. They charge you an extra $16 for every class you miss. I am financially motivated. 😬
But now I like it as a hard stop to my work day!13:33 PM - 03 Aug 2019
Get a trainer
🔥 Josh Branchaud 🕺🏼@jbrancha@saronyitbarek Work regularly with a personal trainer and have them hold you accountable to your goals between sessions.23:28 PM - 02 Aug 2019
siltha@siltha@saronyitbarek I hated it bc when done by myself it was bad. With a PT I'm always doing new exercises, or slightly changing the base ones and I feel improvements after just one session. Good training requires a lot of knowledge in order to be effective & I don't have the drive or time to learn12:12 PM - 03 Aug 2019
Orange Theory got a few 👍
Noel Worden@noel_worden@TheAmyCode @saronyitbarek +1 for Orange Theory. It is financially motivating and I’ve never had two classes that have been the same.13:36 PM - 03 Aug 2019
forgetfulMap@kuhnhausen@TheAmyCode @saronyitbarek +1 for Orange theory (been doing it for 3 years now - never stayed on a consistent workout plan before), for the same reasons: classes are never the same and I get charged if I don't show up.13:40 PM - 03 Aug 2019
Reward yourself after a workout
Ryan Hoover@saronyitbarek give yourself a (not unhealthy) reward after each workout22:45 PM - 02 Aug 2019
Use social media to hold yourself accountable
Collin Webster@collintwebster@saronyitbarek Also set a goal and have others know about it; your self imposed social pressure helps motivate you. I chose to do a 2.4 mile ocean swim this September just after my 40th bday. I haven’t exercised since I got to college so it was a slow start but now I love how I feel.03:40 AM - 03 Aug 2019
Anything is better than nothing
Collin Webster@collintwebster@saronyitbarek Because I think you like podcasts (btw I LOVE yours and that’s not just because I’m a Red Hatter too) this one really helped me. The key for me was to realize anything is better than nothing and to focus on how it made me feel.
npr.org/podcasts/51032…03:38 AM - 03 Aug 2019
Try an out of the box workout
nivi@niviachanta@saronyitbarek I used to hate working out (gym) & then I started taking circus classes
It was really hard and really fun so I go weekly and don't hate that specific activity
Also I bike to work so it feels like commuting not working out23:42 PM - 02 Aug 2019
John Doty@johndoty@saronyitbarek It was circus aerial (silks and rope and static trapeze and stuff) which led into trampoline and trampoline wall and flying trapeze. (It is all so much fun, I recommend it highly!)00:38 AM - 03 Aug 2019
Paidamoyo-Janet aka “Myles”@erostribe@saronyitbarek I take classes like pole dance and aerial silk so it feels like I’m having fun but I’m really getting a workout22:45 PM - 02 Aug 2019
Understand the biology of working out
Nick DeJesus - T7 Chicken developer@saronyitbarek What made me start to really love it was researching what actually happens when you work out. I'd feel the burn and pain and stuff and see results and be like, "omg this is what I was reading about". Idk I'm weird like that... I still couldn't keep up T_T was fun while it lasted02:54 AM - 03 Aug 2019
Track your progress
ruzanna@ruzannaroz@saronyitbarek What helped the most was my Apple Watch data. Seeing an indisputable progress on my heart rate and my calorie burn was enough for me to stick to a routine — 20 mins indoor cycling, every other day. (I looked forward to that every other day off.)01:21 AM - 03 Aug 2019
Find something you don't dread
Blake Johnston@saronyitbarek Late on this, but the key is to find what you don't dread doing. I think it's different for everyone. Try lots of things until you find what's fun. I also enjoy doing it first thing in the morning. It helps get it out of the way. Good luck!15:56 PM - 03 Aug 2019
Have a friend or workout buddy hold you accountable
Tindra@tindrasgrove@saronyitbarek @mellowbeing Accountability helps a ton. Whether you have a workout buddy, report your workouts to someone, or just really like checking off boxes in your planner. Something that makes you feel like you’re gonna have to explain it if you don’t work out.19:36 PM - 03 Aug 2019
Cassidy Williams@saronyitbarek I’m going on two weeks of consistently working out as of this morning! I hate it. BUT the thing that has kept me motivated is that my friend is doing it with me and my husband is training us, so between the three of us we have accountability!22:51 PM - 02 Aug 2019
Make it part of your identity
Sasha Laundy@sashalaundy@saronyitbarek there's also an identity shift. If you can start thinking of yourself as "I'm a person who exercises every day" or "I don't skip workouts even when I'm tired" or "I make time for workouts even when I'm busy" that helps a lot too20:20 PM - 03 Aug 2019
Eduardo Santos@edumicro@saronyitbarek @hnshah Eventually, you'll make it such a habit that even on bad days you're going to do it anyway, even if you're not in the mood. Because it becomes your identity, and if you externalise and think about your past and future self... they're going to appreciate your commitment.23:25 PM - 03 Aug 2019
One tweet also had a list of book recommendations that might be worth reading if you are interested in learning more about what it takes to form a habit like working out.
Andrea Petrone@ie_andrea@saronyitbarek Suggest reading a couple of books that can be very useful: The Power of Habit and/or Atomic Habits. Knowing the cue-routine-reward loop (actioned by the craving) is critical for changing habits!18:09 PM - 03 Aug 2019
In the end, you have to do what works for you. And what works for you might be completely different from everyone else and that is OK! Hopefully, if you are looking to start your own workout routine, these tweets gave you some ideas to help get you started. Now get out there and start crushing it!
Top comments (9)
Treat it like
Because uncle Petey always said...
thanks for taking the time to read and filter those comments!
After living in a different city during the week for work reasons, I started training 2 times a week in the morning.
I had gained a little weight and went to the gym in the morning because I was uncomfortable training with "so many others" in the evening. I was afraid of being judged.
After about two weeks it was no problem for me to get up at 4 o'clock and be in the studio at 5 o'clock.
I packed my training bag the night before, set the clothes I wanted to wear for work (right after the gym) and prepared my breakfast (for at work after training).
After a while my training stagnated and I sought help from a personal trainer. In the beginning we met in the studio at the same time as before and trained together. That gave me a huge motivation boost.
What was positive for me about this was that I had fixed appointments with the trainer twice a week in the morning and so had less excuses and an "inner obligation" in front of me, because it is more unpleasant to cancel someone else 10 minutes before the agreed meeting point than to cancel yourself!
After he had set up his own gym, I continued training with him there in the morning, instead of the gym.
After 2 years the business trips increased and finding appointments with the trainer became more difficult. I moved back to my hometown full time and started training in the fitness studio again there by myself.
This time with a good friend and in the evening after work.
That was also a good experience, but I often felt exhausted in the evening after work and sometimes had the feeling the training would give me the rest.
I came to the conclusion, that training in the evening is not for me.
Like many answers on Twitter, I have a demand for variety in training.
Meanwhile I train 2-3 times a week in the morning again, because afterwards I feel fit for the day, am more balanced and automatically force myself to go to bed on time the night before.
I change my exercises regularly, also the principle in every training.
I change between the following principles:
WOW! Thanks for sharing your story and your strategies!!!
Thanks for sharing. I never talk about this except with family and a few friends but this is my own experience.
When I was in high school I used to play soccer ocasionally but didn't follow a healthy diet, so I gained weight really fast. I'm 165 cm tall and by the end of high school I weighed 84 kilos.
There's a history of diabetes in my family so I'm more susceptible to it. That's why I started working out on a regular basis when started the university. During the first semester of university I went to the nutritionist who recommended me a healthy diet, used to practiced taekwondo and went to the gym three times a week. In six months I got to my ideal weight, lost 24 kilos, and continue working out on a regular basis and eating healthy during the rest of the university.
During the following years I left working out and forgot about eating healthy and as a consequence I gained 10 kilos. So I realized that I needed to be serious about my health again.
Two years I ago I started eating healthy again, I left drinking coffee, soda and any kind of canned / bottled drinks. I drink water most of the time and also fruit juices or any drink (prepared with fruit) without sugar. I started working out a few minutes per day, three times a week.
This year I started working out on a daily basis, at home, 30 minutes during the first months and an hour daily since the last month. I don't have a specific time for it, sometimes in the morning or before sleeping.
I have a pair of dumbbells (6 kilos each), a barbell (22 kilos, sometimes I train with 10, 16 or 22 kilos). I combine it with squats, abs and other basic exercises, and some yoga. Planning to buy a boxing bag and starting to go for a run on weekends.
I avoid using public transportation whenever is possible and prefer to walk when I have to go anywhere in the city. On the busiest days I walk 8 to 10 kilometers.
Something that I agree with is getting a reward after working out. Once a week or once a month I go to a coffee shop and buy a frappe and a cheesecake. I eat pizza, tacos or any other similar food occasionally, specially when traveling, and I like to try different kinds of typical food.
It hasn't been easy but now it's part of my routine and I always have in mind that no one would take care of my health than me. These days I weigh 57 kilos. I have more energy during the day and I'm in good health (according to my last medical exam).
Thank you for sharing your journey, Mario! Sounds like it has not been easy but I am glad you are in a good place now 😊
This is an awesome round-up, thanks for writing this up and sharing!
The only times in my life I had a consistent (and enjoyable) routine was when I did it first thing in the morning. Typically avoids scheduling conflicts and provides a nice boost to start the day.
I have a big spreadsheet I create for 8 weeks at a time.
It has each exercise I do on a given day and the number of reps/sets/weight/time to do each exercise. This weeks after week 1 are all calculated on what I should be doing on a set progression to get better. I fill out what I actually did in the spreadsheet next to what I was prescribed to do.
Then I can generate all kinds of charts, and graphs, analyze the data etc. I have a python script i wrote that gets this data as well as data from my wifi enabled scale and fitbit so I can play around with the data.
Analyzing the data motivates me to workout more and be more effecient