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I’m about a month and a half into my productivity experiment to gain 10 pounds of muscle mass while reducing my body fat from 17% to 10%. Over the last six weeks I’ve had a chance to experiment with integrating a new, intense workout regimen into my daily routine (I’ve hit the gym every day, even on rest days), and so far I’ve thrown a ton of ideas and habits at the proverbial wall; some of them have stuck, and some haven’t.
I have discovered a few hacks that have helped me drag my butt to the gym more than anything: only focusing on showing up, and making the gym more convenient for myself several different ways. If you’re having trouble dragging your butt to the gym, these should help you, too.
Hack One: “Just Show Up”
The first hack to sticking to your workout schedule is to simply just show up. The biggest thing I’ve discovered so far is that actually dragging your ass to the gym is much harder than getting through an actual workout.
Put 100% of your effort into simply showing up at the gym. Once you’re there, you’ll want to work out – trust me.
Hacks 2-4: Make the gym way more convenient for yourself
The second thing that has helped me is putting a ton of effort into making the gym more convenient for myself.
I think you can do this one of three ways: pick a more convenient time, pick a more convenient gym, or make the gym more entertaining.
Pick a more convenient time.
You shouldn’t have to upend your entire schedule to go to the gym, or wake up at 5am every morning to squeeze in the gym before work. Pick a time that you can stick to, day after day, week after week. Picking a time that’s adjacent to another element in your schedule (e.g. before/after work) will help you carry your momentum and motivation from one element of your life to another, especially because over time you will begin to associate one with the other.
Pick a more convenient place.
Going to the gym is much easier when your gym is close to another place you have to be. Every gym I have been a member of has been close to my home, work, school, or place I had to run errands in order to decrease the friction to going (the gym I go to now is about a two-minute walk away). I have found that finding a gym that’s close to somewhere else I visit frequently (like work) has motivated me a ton.
Make going to the gym more entertaining.
Download podcasts or audiobooks to listen to while you’re there. Hire a personal trainer to make the gym more motivating. Mix up your routine and try different machines. Use your gym’s massage chair after your workout. Go for a nature walk instead of going to the gym. Watch one of your gym’s TVs while your there. Making the gym more exciting and stimulating will significantly reduce the friction you have to going.
Any resistance you have to going is in your head, and simply showing up and making going to the gym more convenient for yourself are great ways to motivate yourself to go. These four hacks have helped me a ton.