Scheduled workouts will change your life

How scheduling your workouts can change your life

            So often I see people training at odd times during the week, they sometimes train before work, other times after work, or late in the evening, on weekends, weekdays, during their lunch breaks or any other time they can squeeze in a quick workout. When I see this happen I know this will not last long and they are setting themselves up for disaster. I very rarely see people do this for long periods of times. They either settle in to regular workouts over time or eventually stop.  

            Having scheduled workout times during the week has many benefits, it firstly forms habits and this is very important to long term training and creating a healthy lifestyle which I’m assuming your striving to achieve.

            The best way I can convey to you the importance of scheduled training is to give you one of my experiences many years ago when I started my martial arts training. When I first joined, I vividly remember one of the first things my instructor say to me was to allocate three scheduled times during the week to train and do everything in my power to stick to it. I again vividly remember telling him that I worked odd hours and it would be difficult for me to do this but I could still manage to get to three classes week depending on my workload. In fact I told him that I would more than likely train more than three times a week, possibly even up to five times a week. He didn’t push the issue but I knew he had his doubts by the way he gave me that knowing look..

There were a possible eleven classes I had the option of going to each week and from memory I was getting to two maybe three classes a week for the first three months. Now on the surface this may have seemed ok but there was no consistency to my training and progress was haphazard.

There were times when I was going on a Wednesday one week and Thursday the following week, which meant I didn’t train for more than seven days. I was constantly making excuses such as “I’m tired today”, “That injury from last week is still hampering my movement”, “I’m cooking dinner tonight”, “ I couldn’t be bothered but definitely going to tomorrow”, etc etc etc. Does this sound familiar? This went on for weeks and weeks until finally I had to make a serious decision, I knew that if I continued in this vain there would come a time in the near future when I would stop going all together.

My instructors words came pouring forth so I took his advise and set aside three days that I would train come rain hail or shine. Because I had made this decision it did not necessarily mean it was easy, in fact it was very difficult at the beginning because the old me was following old patterns and continued to try and sabotage me at every turn.

I would say it took a several months before my subconscious mind relented, the excuses were still there but had not power, I would easily dismiss them because what I was now doing was habit and not just something I did when I felt like it.

The benefits of scheduled training were many, I began to create friendships, I was no longer the guy who came when he felt like it or the gate crasher who intruded on their class but a regular fellow trainer that earned their respect, I was now one of them. We built camaraderie over the years and some great friendships were formed, not only with the other students but the instructor(s) as well. I would be lying if I said that I felt excited about going to every one of those classes because excuses would still creep in occasionally but held no real power, I could easily sweep them aside and once I entered the gym all was good.

In essence, what I was doing was forming life changing habits, when you form habits like these your mind and body know what is expected and they stop rebelling against you. Our minds are the biggest adversaries when it comes to making lifestyle changes but they can be our biggest allies as well. It takes time to form habits but once they formed they can be life changing.

All the best in your journey, if you have any comments, queries or experiences you would like to share, feel free to do so.

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