Getting to the gym is the hardest part…

If you're a client or a friend  of mine you've probably heard me talk about "FRICTION" before. 

What is friction, I hear you ask? Well, I like to describe it as all of the things between you and your fitness.

For example: lets say you get off work at 5pm and get home by 6pm. By the time you finish relaxing, cooking, eating, and tending to life - it's 9pm. Finally you travel to the gym, change, workout, shower, and travel back. By the time that's all done, its 10pm.

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All of that STUFF outside your actual workout I call friction.

In my opinion friction is one of the biggest reasons why maintaining a fitness habit is so difficult for so many people. According to the CFLRI almost 70% of Canadians report a lack of time to be their major barrier to fitness.

Most people aren't limited by a lack of knowledge on exercise. It's about their TIME. For most people it just feels like there isn't enough TIME to work out. Sure the other stuff is important, but it's not the MAJOR barrier.

SO: What can YOU do to address the FRICTION ISSUE?

Start by accepting that a little bit of friction will always be present. Don't work to eliminate it - but rather to minimize it.

1.) Pick your gym location wisely

This point often gets overlooked. When selecting a gym, don't just go for the closest one. Instead pick the most convenient one. Consider the following:

  • Do I want a gym near my house, or my work?

  • Do I want a gym with late-night hours?

  • When will I usually be working out? What part of the city will I be in at that time?

If your gym is easily accessed, it won't seem like as much of an uphill battle. For myself what's important is that my gym is 24 hours, and walking distance from my home. That way I know that despite my hectic schedule - I'll always have the ability to get a workout in.

2.) Focus on WHEN not WHAT

There's a dozen workout programs out there (leave your email below and get mine for free). Most of them technically work. The hard part is actually finding the time to do one of them though. That’s why our plans are focused on being doable on busy schedules.

After following the other tips in this post: most people can start by asking which of the following situations sounds better.

  1. I'm willing to wake up early one to three times per week in order to get my workout out of the way and off my mind so I can enjoy the rest of my day.

  2. I'm willing to deal with extending the length of my day and fit in a workout one to three times per week so I can keep my morning routine the way it is.

As you may have guessed from the above wordi ng; most people are quite defensive of their morning routines. There's nothing wrong with it - but like anything else in life, that comes with a trade-off. Choose wisely!

3.) Always keep a gym bag packed

Do you ever feel like just leaving the house takes a mental to-do list and entirely too much time?

Make it easy for yourself and keep a gym bag ready and packed. I keep mine on my desk, but if you really need the extra push, leave yours by the door. I usually suggest people keep their gym bag light and minimal, but it actually doesn't matter. As long as it's pre-packed. When you get back from your workout just refresh everything that needs to be replaced. Laundry on weekends, and repeat. It's a great system that you will thank yourself endlessly for sticking to; because not only is it really easy to follow - but it also actually works.

These three things alone should be practical and easy enough to roll out quickly and start seeing some immediate friction-reducing benefits.