It seems that some people are lucky enough to enjoy exercise and some are just unlucky and hate it. Funnily enough the ones that enjoy exercise enjoy the style of exercise they do, the people that hate exercise just dislike the style they do. During this blog I’m going to look at the enjoyment of exercise and how if you enjoy what you do, you’re more likely to reap the rewards.
As a personal trainer, I meet people all the time who dislike a certain type of training. This can often discourage and demotivate them to sticking to their training plan in the long term, and ultimately impact whether or not they achieve their goals. My answer is to find a style of exercise they enjoy. It sounds simple but so many of us get stuck into doing a certain type of exercise because we think we should but many forms of exercise give similar outcomes. For example, running and cycling both burn calories which can aid weight loss, but so can lifting weights. To gain lean muscle mass some form of resistance training and progressive overload will be required but yet again many forms of this already exist in the way of plyometrics and functional training as well as the more classic bodybuilding style training.
It’s not just our gym members or personal training clients who fall into this rut. I have suffered the same fate as this, in the past I followed a bodybuilding style training plan which I just did not enjoy. I made very little progress because I just was not pushing myself as hard as I could. When I decided to make the switch to strength training my progress went through the roof as I enjoyed it and put much more effort into it.
Studies show that if an athlete was given a programme which they enjoy they will make more progress than following a programme which is superior and more efficient. The reason behind this is that the athlete will put more effort into the more enjoyable programme which will in turn reap bigger rewards.
So let’s take ‘Bob’. Bob is given a personalised programme which will 100% give him the results he desires, but he hates the programme. He does the programme for 8 weeks but only put 50% effort in because he doesn’t enjoy it so he doesn’t hit his goals. Bob is then given a programme which will only meet about 70% of his goals but he loves this programme,. Each day when he goes to the gym he smashes through the programme and makes more progress doing this because he simply loves the programme and puts 100% effort into the plan when he is in the gym. It sounds simple doesn’t it? But so many of us do an exercise programme because we think we should do it, or it’s because it’s the latest craze out there which everyone is talking about.
Spend some time to find out what you enjoy and you will have a much higher chance of sticking to it. Suddenly you will find yourself exercising more often and with much more enthusiasm, which in turn will get you to your goals much faster.
In summary, here are the benefits of doing a plan you enjoy:
- Greater adherence to the plan
- Higher motivation levels – likely to exercise more often
- Put more effort and enthusiasm into the plan
- Achieve your goals