We all wish we could afford to have that 'special someone' to shout and scream at us, someone to tell us not to give up and to keep going, but there are some realistic ways to be your OWN personal trainer and save some money in the process. We all know that 'special someone' can be pricey but here are some ways to be your own personal trainer and to help make sure you keep the motivational fire burning.
1. Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail
One of the ways to be your own personal trainer is to have a plan and stick to it. You wouldn't cancel on your personal trainer at the last minute. I did that once (when I had one) and suffice to say, our 'relationship' didn't last long. Having a plan about how many times you're going to work out and whether you're going to set aside time in the morning or evening can help. I feel awful if I skip a workout but I'm not going to lie, it's a rarity and I will make up for it. Don't punish yourself though and don't give up. Just start again.
2. Push It
Let's face it, your personal trainer is going to push you. They might 'tell' you, not ask you, to do that extra set, use a heavier weight or go that extra mile. So push yourself. As hard as it might seem, keep pushing yourself and remember why you're working out. A heart rate monitor can really help as this will tell you how hard you're working. You should be thinking about putting your body into that all important 'fat burning mode.' A little bit of maths is involved in this so bear with me. Take 206 and take away 88% of your age. This will give you your maximum heart rate, which is the fastest rate your heart will beat per minute. Work out what 60% of this is and bingo, this gives you the beats per minute you should be working out at.
We all need goals in life, whether it's professional or personal, and your workouts are no exception. Your personal trainer's job is to create a plan which can help you reach your target. Think about what your goals are. It may be a case of ensuring you work out four to five times a week, upping the number of squats you do or signing yourself up to an event like a race. Having goals will give you something to work towards.
4. Keep It Fresh
Make sure you mix up your workouts and vary your routine, otherwise you're likely to get bored. Your personal trainer would be unlikely to make you do the same things every time. They know the importance of variety to stay motivated and ensure you're exercising a range of muscle groups. I make sure I mix it up by doing some running, cycling, free weights and my favourite, hula hooping! My 'inner' personal trainer is very proud of me!
Make sure your reward yourself. Give yourself a reward when you have reached that goal as it will make sticking to a plan a lot easier. Try to make the rewards non-food focused and instead reward yourself with something like that book you really wanted to buy or that trip to the cinema. This will keep you motivated and make you feel great too!
6. The Right Kit
Kit yourself out with the appropriate workout clothes. You don't have to spend a fortune and there are many sites where you can buy cut price workout kit, for example kitbag.com. Having the right kit can really motivate you to work out. Make sure you invest in a good supportive sports bra and some decent sneakers, as you need to ensure you support your body and feel comfortable.
7. Mobile Motivation
There are some great apps and Twitter feeds to follow to help when you need that extra motivation. Some examples on the Twittersphere include Sports Motivation and Women's Fitness. My favourite app at the moment is the 7 minute workout, which can be done anytime, anywhere. These can be great motivational tools on the go and will remind you what you need to do and how to reach those goals.
8. Healthy Diet
Oftentimes personal trainers will also motivate you to lead a healthier lifestyle by implementing healthy foods in your diet. They will keep reminding you the right things to eat and the foods to avoid. Therefore you have to take on that role for yourself and set rules on your diet. For example cut out unhealthy carbs, and add in fruits and vegetables. Once you get the hang of it, controlling your diet will not be a struggle and you will actually get used to eating right!
9. Keep up the Positivity
Essentially personal trainers are like personal cheerleaders, they will pump you up whenever needed and aid you in keeping positive outlook on your workout routine. So instead of paying someone to do the cheering on for you, try to keep positive thoughts while working out and create a motivational playlist with energizing songs. This way you will be able to easily sink into your 'workout mode' and keep your head in the game throughout.
10. Work out Your Whole Body
Personal trainers always make sure that every part of your body gets a little bit of focus. They space out different exercises to make sure you don't neglect other parts of your body, so avoid working out only your 'problem areas'. After all targeted weightless is almost never possible, you have to shape your whole body to see the effects you are looking for.
11. Personalize Your Workouts
One of the perks of having a personal trainer is that he or she customizes the workout to fit your needs and concerns. Therefore if you feel like you need to alter your exercises in order to make them work for you, don't be afraid to go ahead and do it. In addition keep in mind any recent injuries that you might have suffered and in order to prevent further damage, change up your routine to go easy on your injuries.
12. Track Your Progress
After a period of a couple of weeks or a month, it is a good idea to give yourself an evaluation and track your progress. This way you will know where you have made the most improvement and what you still need to work on. It is a good idea to keep record of your progress to constantly keep your goals in mind.
13. Get a Workout Buddy
Sometimes personal trainers are great just for the fact that you have someone at the gym to accompany you. They can make great workout buddies as they know what they are doing and their focus is to get you into shape, but of course you don't need to waste your money on that. You can always grab one of your friends to keep you company and motivate you on shaping up!
It's sometimes difficult to have the motivation but these tips can help. What tips do you have for motivating yourself to work out harder or have a healthier lifestyle, if you don't have the money to spend on a personal trainer?
This article was written in collaboration with editor Vladlena Lee.