- Get out of bed everyday and exercise
- However I want
- for 30 minutes
Because I read that it takes the average person 66 days to form a habit, I will follow these rules for a continuous 66 days without interruption. This is my “week two” post (full disclosure, the 66 days have long since passed).
Here is a comparison after day one and day fourteen –
You can see that there was already a little improvement in my physique after just fourteen days of regular exercise. It would be hard to tell without taking pictures, so that’s the first recommendation I would make for tracking your progress. Take a picture once a week.
My routine by the end of week two had started to become pretty darn…routine. I really had three workouts, I called them weights, circuit, and cardio. Every day I would just pick one of these routines and go to it for 30 minutes. I think that varying the routine has been extremely helpful to keep me somewhat enthusiastic about the gym. If I was only doing one of these routines, I feel like I would burn out with boredom quite quickly.
I also don’t make any arbitrary rules about workout frequency. I just pick which ever I feel like doing, even if I do the same thing five days in a row, and do it. Some days the weights just look too heavy, other days I can’t fathom getting on the treadmill. The circuit is a nice blend of both, so I pick this one often. The weight machines are organized in a nice circuit at my community centre. The circuit includes machines that focus on chest, back, shoulders, and legs. I just do one set of 8-10 reps at each machine and move on, repeating the entire circuit for about 30 minutes.
Once, for a week, I only did cardio on the exercise bike because I was trying to finish a book. Maybe my “weights game” suffered a little, but I didn’t care. I would get back to weights when I felt like it, and over time all would even out. I assumed.
It also helped, I think, that I kept track of every workout. I just kept a note on my phone and added a star every time I worked out. You could always look at a calendar to see how many days you’ve worked out, but as you’ve probably read about in freakanomics, or your behaviour analysis textbooks, even small incentives can change a person’s behaviour. I started to look forward to filling up a line, even “getting to the comma” at the end of the week.
It seems small, but I think it helps.
(NNP and NSW = No New Pants and No Sad Wife. You know, from being fat and dying young)
So take pictures and keep track of your workouts. Both have been motivating, and useful if you’re going to write a super engaging and helpful blog about your progress.
Next time on Getting Ripped: Diet and the Worst Workout of my Life