One overarching factor dictates how our lives turn out to a significant degree. Though we may not think about it often or discount its importance, it is there and slowly shapes our lives. Having the right tactics, being genetically-gifted, and having a mentor are important factors for fitness success. But, without consistent effort toward specific goals, nothing would work. Even the best training and nutrition plan would be wasted if not applied consistently. In contrast, a sub-par routine can work wonders for those who stick with it and execute it consistently.
This post will take an in-depth look at the importance of consistency with home training and how to ensure you stick with the plan.
The Inherent Problem With Training At Home
Many people today see home training as nothing more than a waste of time. The idea is, we need all sorts of fancy equipment to have a good workout, and that simply can’t happen in a home setting.
But is this statement true?
Not really. In truth, the body understands stress and tension. It doesn’t care where these things come from. So long as you can push yourself hard enough and train the right muscles, you will see improvements.
The more significant problem folks face with their home training is the lack of consistency. Because of that flawed belief that home training isn’t as practical, people set themselves up for failure from the start.
The mindset we carry toward new endeavors is vital. If we believe that something won’t work for us, it won’t. But if we think that improvements are possible, then we just might have a chance to make it work.
Consistency Is The Foundation Of Long-Term Results
Listen to audiobooks for fifteen minutes per day - that adds up to over 90 hours of education per year. Exercise for ten minutes per day - that adds up to around 60 hours of activity per year. Eat one healthy meal each day - that adds up to 365 nutritious meals in a year.
Do you notice a trend?
Consistent efforts, no matter how small, can add up significantly over time. For example, if you spend over 90 hours educating yourself in the next 365 days, you would be a lot more knowledgeable and have a much greater perspective. If you exercise over 60 hours in the next year, you would be much fitter, healthier, and more fulfilled. If you eat just one nutritious meal daily for a year, you would likely feel and perform much better.
Our efforts don’t seem that important on a day-to-day basis. Having one workout won’t make us fit, and skipping one won’t throw us out of shape. But stack up enough of these actions, and you create patterns, which carry much more weight in the long run.
But why, despite the apparent importance of consistency, do we struggle? Well, one reasonable explanation is that we fall for the promise of quick and easy results. Instead of consistently push the needle, we look for the grandiose tactics that will get us to the finish line in a month.
The ironic thing is, people who dedicate themselves to the slow and steady approach might start less impressively, but their efforts compound and result in enormous success over time. In contrast, those who chase gimmicks never get far.
How to Become More Consistent
1. Do things you can sustain.
Many people fail to be consistent with positive behaviors because they set themselves up for failure from the start. For example, when most beginners decide to start exercising, they find an incredibly demanding and high-frequency program and start following it.
Of course, thanks to the initial motivation that comes with new behaviors, folks can stick with the plan for a few weeks. But eventually, as they become more tired and the training program begins to weigh on them, they give up and go back to their old behaviors.
To ensure consistency, you must do things you can sustain. For example, if that’s fifteen minutes of exercise per day, do that. It’s infinitely better to do something than to give up altogether.
2. Create a ritual.
One of the most challenging parts of new behaviors is initiation. In other words, getting started is the most significant obstacle for most people. Once you get started, it tends to get easier to keep going. This fully applies to working out.
To make the most challenging part more comfortable, you can create a ritual - a set of small things you do in a specific order each time. For example, your pre-workout ritual might be something like:
Step 1 - Clear some space in your living room.
Step 2 - Lay down your exercise mat and prepare your equipment.
Step 3 - Put your exercise clothes on.
Step 4 - Begin warming-up with a specific activity.
The goal of the ritual is to be something easy that puts you in the mindset of exercise. The more times you do it, the more you begin associating it with exercise, and the easier it is to keep going and never miss workouts.
3. Make it fun.
Prevailing wisdom suggests that fitness should be a necessary evil we endure to feel good, stay healthy, and get fit. This is the wrong way to go about it.
In truth, fitness should be fun. You should look forward to each upcoming workout because this ensures you stay consistent in the long run. In contrast, if you dread each upcoming workout, how long do you think you can stick with it before you give up?
Home training is no different. Though it may seem like you don’t have much of a choice, there are many ways to go about it and make it more fun for yourself.
4. Make use of some external motivation.
According to some psychology research, we tend to put more value into the things we pay for. This makes sense because nobody wants to feel like they’ve wasted money on something.
For instance, if you read a free blog post, you’re not that likely to take the information to heart. But if you buy an online course, you’re a lot more likely to take the information seriously and apply it.
In the context of becoming consistent with home training, an interesting tactic that works well is to invest some money in equipment. This carries a double benefit of allowing you to have more diverse and effective workouts, and to be externally motivated to exercise often because of the monetary investment.