You’ve just completed a successful 3-month fitness program, with a great coach, a great routine, and stellar results! Unfortunately, now you’re back on your own.
You’re unsure how to deal with the sudden loss of coaching and guidance, but aren’t eager to spend more money on a new, expensive plan.
What you do know, however, is that you’d like to continue on your fitness journey, or at least maintain the progress you’ve made so far.
How do we assist ourselves to go forward and keep those hard-earned gains?
Here’s a four-step guide to keep yourself on the right track, and make even more progress – without the hefty price tag!
1. Have a goal
In order to make observable progress, you’ll want to make sure you clearly establish the direction you’d like to head in.
For example, if your recent program was for gaining muscle, you may now want to set your focus on losing any extra fat you’ve gained, via a cutting phase.
Set a long-term goal for this phase (for about 3 months from now), and then break it down into bite-sized targets, to check off along the way.
This is a great way to provide yourself with an extra sense of accomplishment with each “mini-goal”, as well as boosting your overall chances of success.
2. Have a plan
Now that you’ve established a solid sense of direction and set yourself some goals, it’s time to lock-in the method you’ll use to get there.
There are massive amounts of free programs and guidance available on websites like bodybuilding.com, where you can pick a perfect routine to achieve your next milestone.
Generally, you’ll want to break this down into two areas:
- A workout plan
- A diet plan
These are two very complementary areas, which need to be addressed for almost any program – without a guided intake of food, you’ll be limiting your physical progress.
Take care to pick plans that match your direction, lifestyle, and personal preferences. This will make it as sustainable and effective as possible.
3. Check-in weekly, with a professional
Arranging weekly meetings with a personal trainer and/or nutritionist isn’t always cheap – the benefits, however, are endless.
Regular check-ins can give you the assurance that you are on the right track with your training and diet, as well as provide you with plenty of extra tips and advice.
The main advantage of weekly check-ins, however, is accountability.
Having someone to report to on a frequent basis can have a profound impact on your discipline, by providing a valuable source of external pressure to make progress.
Weekly check-ins also carry the benefit of being much less expensive than daily coaching.
Combined with cutting costs by finding your own workout and diet plans, you will be saving yourself a lot of hard-earned cash.
4. Find a workout partner
By far the best thing for motivation and discipline may be the use of a workout partner. BUT, not just any workout partner will do the job.
For optimal results, you’ll want to take advantage of a psychological phenomenon called “social comparison”.
Put simply, social comparison refers to our subconscious instinct of comparing ourselves to others in a similar situation – especially if we’re both striving for the same goal.
The result? A significant increase in motivation and competitiveness.
To put this to use, ideally you want pick someone as similar to yourself as possible, but slightly ahead of you in achieving your common goal.
For example, if your new program is designed for gaining strength, you’ll want to choose someone close to you in size or stature, but slightly stronger.
This will subconsciously push you to keep up with your workout partner, improving both your competitive spirit and progress.
In addition to the extra motivation, you’ll also enjoy the added benefits of more accountability, more enjoyable workouts, and another person to draw upon for help and advice.
Going at it alone can seem tricky, but we can quite easily stack the odds in our favour.
So far, we’ve:
- Set a clear aim
- Broken it down into small, achievable goals
- Found a free workout and diet plan
- Organised weekly check-ins with a personal trainer, for accountability
- Found a workout buddy to maximise competition.
Now, it’s just up to you to go out and crush it.
Stick to your routine, push your workout partner to their limits, and watch the results roll in!