You may run every day, but are you running with purpose? You may hit the weights every day, but are you pushing yourself to your maximum potential? Sometimes we need more. We need a goal, we need a push, we need something to drive us past our normal comfort zone.
If your workouts are OK, but not amazing, maybe it’s time to ramp things up. Here are a few ways to make your workouts more effective.
1. Group Train. Whether you join a boot camp, take a Group X class or train with a group of friends, exercising around others gives you more accountability. You’ll kick a little higher, you’ll push through the burn a little longer, and you won’t take as many rest breaks. It may be pride, or it may be the people around you inspiring you, but whatever it is, it will drive you to do much more than you’d ever do alone. (Photo from BCx Bikini Boot Camp kick off Saturday, June 2, 2012, at Max Fitness Club)
2. Map it. If you use apps like RunKeeper or Nike+ GPS, you have to ability to not only track your runs, average pace, fastest pace and training progress – but you can post it on your social media for all to see. Let me tell you what, when I know I’m posting my training, I find I have a whole new intensity. No apps? No problem! Even posting your journey in your timeline will do the trick. Share your workouts, share your struggles. Let your friends know what program you are doing and what diet you are on. All of these things will give you added accountability.
3. Compete. Sign up for a 5K, 1/2 marathon, mud run, bikini or figure competition, triathlon, office weight loss challenge, stair climb, sporting event or healthy non-profit fundraiser like a walkathon. Signing up ahead of time gives you something to train for. You don’t have to win, but you have to finish – and training and finishing is what makes you a winner. Committing to an event will give you the purpose you need to improve. (Photo: Max members at the Warrior Dash mud run)
4. Create a purpose. If you’re not the competing type, then you need to create a purpose to train. Set a date for pictures or book a vacation that requires a bikini. Having something to be fit for always helps give us the motivation to pass on the seconds – and not pass on our workouts. Special events like a high school reunion, weddings, vacations or attending a fitness event, even if you aren’t participating, can help motivate you to look your best. Knowing you are going to be around other hot bods, or fitting into that special dress, can drive you to perform well and eat right. (Photo of BCx Trainer, Cristina McDaniel‘s, photo shoot)
5. Pay someone. Yes, you heard right. If none of the above things are options for you, it’s time you pay someone to help you get the job done. Hire a trainer, go to a tri camp, join a running club, take swimming lessons, join an MMA gym, or pay a nutritionist to hold you accountable. Having an expert teach you, train you, push you and encourage you may be exactly what you need. (Steve Pfiester encourages his clients to give him their best)
If you’ve been going through the motions, or find you are at a plateau, maybe it’s time you created a little more accountability so you can take things to another level.