• Louise Appel

Getting nowhere in the gym? Time to make a plan.


When you walk into the gym do you know exactly what you did during your last workout? Do you know specifically what you are going to do this time? Do you have any kind of plan??

If the answer to all of the above is no then the chances are you haven’t a clue if you are making any progress. This can be frustrating, boring and demotivating. However, just by planning and recording your workouts you can add direction and breathe life into a stale training plan that is going nowhere.

Use a training log.

The most important thing you can do is to record your workouts. You can do this anyway you please. If you're old school like me then a book will suffice. Alternatively you can use your phone, there are plenty of apps around like Fitlist and JEFIT Workout where you can record your data. If this doesn’t appeal then you’ll need to take mental notes and store everything in your memory bank (good luck with that).

Set some goals.

Set yourself some training goals – as many as you like and anything you like; 10 push-ups, 1 minute plank, bench your body weight for 5 reps, perform a chin-up, do a handstand, run 5k, as long as it's specific and will give you a sense of achievement. Then work towards your goals and keep note of your progress in your training log.

Make a plan.

Then you need a plan to systematically move towards these goals. Don’t get me wrong, adding variety and changing things up can be both fun and challenging. However, keeping to a structured and measured program that is planned beforehand will ensure progress, as you’ll be working on improving specific areas and your training log will provide the evidence of these improvements.

Jenni recording her workout :)

Recognise progress.

It is important to me that my clients can see hard evidence that their performance is improving. For this reason I keep a record of their workouts. Then they can see that they are lifting twice as much as they could when we started, or the weight they struggled with last month is no longer a challenge. Keeping tabs on your numbers will also increase your understanding of where you are and feed your interest in what you are doing. This was reflected recently with a lady that some months back I introduced to strength training. During our session she approached a muscle bound young man asking him how much he could deadlift. She wanted to know how she measured up!

Change your focus from what the scales say.

Monitoring progress also takes the onus away from body image. For example, if your goal is to lose weight and you have had a couple of weeks where the numbers on the scales haven’t changed, yet you have managed to lift more weight than ever before, or you felt less puffed after your run ,or you performed your first full push-up then you are still achieving great things which will make you feel motivated to keep on training.

Louise Appel, Personal Trainer

LLouise Appel Personal Trainer, St John's Wood & Personal Trainer Maida Vale offers customised, individual Personal Training and Pilates at Lords Cricket Ground, St John's Wood. Personal Trainer Harpenden & Personal Trainer St Albans is located at EsTR Fitness.

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Louise Appel Personal Trainer St Johns Wood and Louise Appel Personal Trainer Harpenden offers a personal training service and well-being advice, including nutritional and motivational support.

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