If you were to spend much time around the studio you would soon come to find the priority that I put on building habits and routine.
Training routine for our clients, training programs for our trainers, meetings held on the same day and time each week, coaching completed on the same time and day each week the list goes on.
To me routine is the back bone of being successful. A routine that consists of the right habits at the right frequency executed week in, week out is what leads to success.
I can speak from experience and definitively say no routine leads to days full of bad habits and getting no where.
The purpose of routine for me is firstly about driving consistency and accountability with my actions – if I know when something is meant to occur, where, who it’s with and what it’s going to involve I am going to be more likely to make sure it happens which will in turn lead to the desired result that I am after.
If I physically go through the process of putting it in my schedule where it is visible this leads to me making it happen. If it’s not in my schedule I may as well say it wont happen.
What is going to lead to an even greater chance of it occurring and greater results is if I understand why it is happening. What the reason or purpose is behind it and not doing it for the sake of it.
“The reason I am getting up early is so that I can train.. The reason I want to train is because I feel more energetic afterwards and it puts in a positive mindset for the day”
“It’s as if I am continually substantiating with myself why I am doing it.”
The reason I put such a emphasis on routine is from my previous experience. If there was any doubt created over when something was meant to occur I would allow that seed of doubt to grow in my mind and it would eventually turn into an excuse not to do it.
In relation to my previous training habits, I would vaguely have a plan in mind as to when I would go to the gym each week, it normally revolved around the time 6:30am. But in my mind I didnt have what days this was happening, what I was training on those days and I didnt have a program that I was following including exercises, rep range and sets – so all of these unknowns created doubt into my mind which then led to me accepting “I can do it another day” and then the end of the week comes around and I haven’t done any making up.
This was very much a routine of mine, not having a plan and putting it off and the result was getting nowhere. It also led to me making a lot of empty apologies “I’m sorry” or “I forgot” or “I didnt get time”.
I was continually letting myself down and anyone else that was involved by not being prepared or having a routine to follow.
The same thing can be said about any habit that is trying to be formed at work, at home, in relationships.
Waking up of a morning, is an example – if there isnt an alarm set or a specific reason for getting up at that time snooze is easily hit, sleeping in becomes a habit and every day the routine is started putting something off which continues through the rest of the day and leads to a mindset of putting shit off.
Bad habits and bad routine is contagious across everything else.
Meal Prep is another example which I found challenging:
- what am I going to be eating during the week?
- making a list that includes these things
- what day am I going to the market?
- what day am I cooking on?
- what days am I cooking for?
They’re not difficult questions to answer, but if I had any doubt over any of these things I simply wouldnt do meal prep which would lead to me buying lunch and dinner which wasted a lot of money and took more time – but it was the easy option so I kept doing it.
If I challenged my former self now on Meal Prep I would say “it takes 5 mintues to make a list, 30 minutes to go to the market, 30 minutes twice per week to cook for 3 days each time that’s 1hr35mins per week” and my former self would come back with either “I’m busy.. I don’t have enough time.. It’s not that easy”.
The problem is not that it’s too hard or I don’t have enough time, it’s that I am not prepared and do not have a routine.
Back to training, whether you train at GRIPT or not, my advice to you is if you are serious about achieiving results is to create a training plan for a minimum of 4 weeks at a time in your schedule:
- what sessions you are going to complete
- when are they going to occur
- where you are going to complete them
- who with
- physically put them in your schedule whether thats Google Calendar or whatever else you use
Once you have done this, every time your alarm goes off or you have to leave work on time remember why you are wanting to go to training.
When it comes down to the training styles that you use in your routine there are going to be more effective styles for different goals – this is about using your time wisely.
Building muscle, strength, firming and toning > Weight Training
Building fitness, endurance, weight loss > HIIT
Cardiovascular fitness, hand eye co-ordination > Boxing
Build core strength to avoid back pain > Core
What I observe is people going from one gym to another, doing 3-4 different training styles per week sporadically without there being any real focus, consistency and routine to their training which is compromsing their ability to achieve any results. When I eventually speak to them and understand their frustrations at not seeing the results they want to see, this is the number 1 reason.
Getting your body to change takes time, patience and routine – it’s not going to change after a 45 minute session that happens every 2 weeks. It will change when the same routine is being followed week in, week out for consistent period of time (that is of course if the training style matches the goal and is being executed at a high standard).
Reminding yourself daily or even hourly why you are following that specific routine will keep it clear in your mind and keep you focused. It will also assist in not allowing less important things to get in the way.
Habits and routine can appear painful to start with, the only reason it seems painful is because you’re not used to it. On the second day it becomes easier, third day easier again and 2 weeks later you’re asking yourself “Why the f**k did I not start this years ago?”.
One of the things we prioritise in the studio is meeting with our new clients discussing what training they have done before, what they found has worked and hasn’t worked, what they want to focus on and why that is important to them. This then gives us the insight we need to provide a recommendation of what training is required out of our 6 training styles and at what frequency. Whether they are new to training or have been training for 10 years, the same process is followed with our new clients to ensure that this happens.
Routine is the foundation to build success on.