Fall is upon us. Temperatures are cooling down, and the air is crisp. Before you know it, the leaves will be changing color and you'll be closing a trunk full of shorts and swimsuits. But don't take that as an excuse to fall off the wagon.
As you put away summer, skin-baring outfits and layer up, you might find yourself becoming less and less motivated to keep up your fitness and healthy eating regime. After all, winter clothing masks your frame and covers up fat gains anyway, right?
Um, you still have to get naked at some point, right? Maintaining your workout and diet regimen through the fall and winter months doesn't have to be a challenge. Having a few key techniques in place could make all the difference.
The key is to set up a clear motivational plan of action before you head into the months of darkness and cold. Follow the tips below for a strong workout foundation that'll help you pull through the colder months and keep your strength of will at an all-time high.
Switch To Muscle Building
First, consider switching your goal to muscle building rather than fat loss. It's natural to gain a bit of fat when building muscle, which makes winter the prime time to bulk. Sure, you'll be doing fewer outdoor activities, but think of all the time you'll have to master your gym routine.
Summer vacations and barbecues won't tempt you to skip the gym in favor of a few hours of sunlight, so working out 3-4 days each week to build muscle is more practical. Fewer distractions will help you meet the time commitment needed to build mass with class.
Focus On Performance-Related Goals
Looks aren't everything. Instead of placing all your worth in how large your biceps are or how narrow your waist is, consider making performance-related goals.
Set four or five new targets. Do you want to learn how to do a muscle-up? A one-handed handstand? A pull-up? Make your performance goals your driving force for hitting the gym, regardless of how lean you look.
Just remember, this doesn't mean you can use a hard workout as a free pass to eat whatever you want. Proper nutrition is still essential in order to keep your progress levels up.
If you don't fuel your body with the right foods, you won't be able to get in an optimal workout and crush your goals!
Play A Co-Ed Sport
Still craving a bit of fresh air? Maintain your motivation with a co-ed sport. Meet like-minded individuals while working your muscles in a totally different way.
Committing to a few games a season won't cramp your gym schedule and could even help make good use of the strengths you gained from your training.
Knowing your game-winning touchdown was made possible because of your weekly gym regimen of squats, leg curls, and cardio drills—now that's a boost of encouragement!
Find A New Gym Workout
For some people, integrating a new workout class, a new set of exercises, or even a brand new trainer into a routine helps bring things to life when summer ends. Seek out something you've never done before.
Take a group fitness class, check out a CrossFit box, or sign up with a trainer who is going to push you to your max. Not looking for such a sudden shift? That's OK. Small changes, like going from a full-body workout to a split system, could be enough to renew your love of fitness.
The change of pace will do you good from a psychological standpoint. It'll help keep things fresh and interesting and it'll also help you challenge your body from a whole new angle.
Enter A Transformation Contest
Another way to keep your motivation going strong throughout the fall season is to enter a transformation contest. If you keep a strict focus on body fat percentages year round, these contests can be a great way to keep you committed to success.
Even though you aren't going to be wearing a bathing suit at the local pool any time soon, these contests can help fuel you to compete against others to see who can achieve the greatest change in their physique.
In some cases, these can be even more motivating than the thought of beach season was during the summer. All the added support you will gain from your family, friends, and neighbors as you work toward your goal can help to provide superior motivation.
Take Progress Pictures
Consider taking a few progress pictures. Looking in the mirror daily can make it impossible to see noticeable change, and the fact that you'll wear layers of bulky sweaters won't help. But, looking at a few weeks worth of progress photos can help you see whether the effort you put in is paying off.
Try taking these photos at the same time every day so you get the most accurate and reliable results. It's a great way to boost your motivation since you can see the physical changes taking place and the hard work paying off.