Workout Consistency (and Why It Matters)

workout consistencyLearn why workout consistency matters - and steps you can take to improve yours.

Workout consistency, in my opinion, is even more critical to results than workout intensity. After working in this industry for many years, I have noticed a tendency to put off training appointments. I completely understand that life gets very hectic. However, it’s crucial that you always demonstrate a true HUNGER to improve your fitness if you want to expect results that make you smile.

I’ll provide an example of how you can tweak workout consistency problems to your favor. One way to demonstrate that you are hungry to improve your fitness is at a time when you find that you need to reschedule a workout. You can demonstrate being hungry to improve by asking to see me SOONER than you would have, rather than by asking to "make up" an appt later on. It would be music to my ears to hear someone say, “I just found out I have a trip for work next week, COULD WE MEET THIS WEEK INSTEAD?” The usual is for the client to ask to see me the next week rather than before it was originally scheduled. Or, “hey, I just found out my daughter’s play is on our usual night, can we meet the night before instead?” Alternately, rather than cancel the day altogether, you could ask the trainer if there is another appt available that same day at a different time. That new slot may very well be available - you just have to ask! Make absolutely certain that you make every possible attempt to make the workout happen. 

There are a few problems that arise when you are always pushing missed appts out into the future rather than making them up ahead of time. If you make a habit of this, it really will impact on your workout consistency. Obviously there are instances where you have no ability to make up an appt beforehand, such as coming down with a 24 hour bug right before your appt, but in general it should be possible to make them up ahead of time. This goes the same for your own scheduled workouts to yourself just as much as it does for sessions with a trainer, by the way (you DO schedule your workouts with yourself...right?).

One problem with always pushing the appt out is that, over a year's time, you will have many fewer workouts than you would have had if you stuck to the original schedule. Every single missed workout does make a difference. And they add up fast.

Another problem with pushing the workout out is that it becomes more and more tempting to cancel appointments with your trainer, because you end up "getting out" of a workout every time it happens. So, the temptation becomes to find more and more "excuses" as to why you need to ‘reschedule’ your appt. I’m not at all saying people are lying. I’m just saying…

We all realize there are those in-between situations where you could cancel or you could keep the appt even if it will be tough—which way will you choose to go?

All personal training clients hire a trainer partly to hold them accountable. The trainer is ultimately there helping YOU achieve YOUR goal, so it’s truly for your benefit and your best interest for trainers to put the pressure on you to either keep the appointment or at least make it up earlier rather than later.

Also, there are those times when people are limited by injury and wish to postpone appts until they are at full speed. While this certainly makes sense on some level, I don't agree, and here's why: I am the queen of having to modify workouts due to injury, and firmly believe that working out while limited due to injury is a GREAT opportunity to learn how to adapt and adjust a workout accordingly given almost any circumstance. Learning to modify workouts is one of the most valuable lessons you will ever learn from your trainer—don’t waste it by canceling!

Looking for more tips on improving workout consistency?

If you'd like more great tips on how to improve your workout consistency, check out my new book "Change Your Weighs." It is written with someone just like you exactly in mind!