I could say that working out alone, with just yourself for company, is boring and also possibly unproductive – but then I’d be wrong!
There are those who attest and assert the logic that group workouts trump individual efforts. That sticking to schedules and pushing limits happens only when you are with a workout buddy having similar goals. They are not entirely wrong, but not quite right either.
The fundamental problem with training alone is that you need to be self-motivated and for most of us doing things on our own can be – well, hard. It is always easy when someone else makes our schedule or oversees our training daily. For example, it’s one thing to set an alarm for the morning jog and quite another to actually wake up. Also, saying no to a movie and hopping off to the gym on a Friday evening requires serious devotion. And then when you work out, there is always that voice in the back of your head that pleas you to stop at the first signs of pain.
But it need not be so difficult. Training alone is actually easy, enjoyable and productive when compared to working out in a multi-person environment. You just have to keep certain points in mind and decide on what you like the best.
Scheduling is the key
Let’s start with making a plan and sticking to it. One specific plan. Everybody makes a schedule, but then, some change it so very often that they see no results in spite of training for a year or more. Following a plan for at least a couple of months will not only yield visible results but also help you benchmark yourself (discussed later).
Separate your gym or work out hours from the busy part of the day. Meaning that it is best to train early in the morning, as you are fresh and focused. Also sparing some time for your thoughts early in the morning helps you plan the day better and keeps you active throughout the day. (Why should I go for morning walks?)
Have goals: Small and achievable
We know that you want those six pack abs quickly and lose 10 kgs by the next season, but please start with small steps. Small but sure. You can gradually amp up the intensity in your schedule, but only after you make a habit of showing up daily. Then stick to that schedule – no matter what.
Make a list of your goals on a piece of paper and keep seeing it often. This keeps your mind focused in not getting diverted from the day’s plan. If possible, make a checkbox for each day on the calendar/diary for you to cross out every day. This will really encourage you and push you along your path. (Setting goals and training plans).
Find a mentor
This might sound in favour of group workouts, but remember – you don’t need someone monitoring you daily, a periodic assessment suffices. A general feedback once a week is good enough as it creates a sense of accountability and gain valuable advice. You can find a community of friends who are also working out alone on Fitso and interact or compete with them.
Set up a positive frame of mind
When you exercise, set the right mood and make sure that you enjoy the bit of it. A pleasant session always satisfies you and prompts you to come back the next day. So, wear comfortable clothes and shoes and start with nice stretches and warm ups so that your body is ready before plunging into the schedule.
Get a Fitness tracker and a nice playlist!
Keep a record of your physical activity. Fitso app can log almost every single data of your workout – distance ran, duration and also calories burnt! This would help you to plan your diet and track your progress regularly. Also, have your favourite songs ready – your ammunition against tiredness!
Video record yourself
If possible, record yourself while working out. A lot of posture mistakes during yoga and other exercises like lifting weights in the gym can be corrected with one look at the footage. Also maybe a cool way to show off to your friends!
As you progress, you’ll know that your plan is working if you start losing weight or running and working out for a longer duration (able to lift heavier weights in case you are hitting the gym). Take a look at the statistics that you have put together during your workouts and aim higher. You now are competing with yourself! If your lifting weights in the gym, tabulate the weights regularly, along with the sets & reps so that you know exactly how much you progress.
Lastly, treat yourself whenever you achieve your goals. This work-for-reward system is said to be an excellent way the mind motivates itself to drive away hesitation and lethargy.