PART 2 - How to Succeed in Building Consistency: Advice from members with over 1,000 logged workouts
Street Parking founder Miranda Alcaraz connected with SP members who have logged 1,000 workouts to ask them what advice they would offer to newer Street Parking members on building and maintaining consistency in their fitness and health goals. In Part One, we shared the principles and mantras that members shared. Now in Part Two, we will continue with their practical tips on ways to establish consistency.
ADVICE: Create systems.
“Set a schedule or time for yourself that you can meet (like an appointment). If that means putting your workout clothes next to your bed or alarm clock so that they are the first thing you see in the morning, or by the front door so they are the first thing you see when you get home.”
The fewer barriers to entry that you can set up in the decision-making process, the more likely you are to do it. Plan at a time when you are motivated, when you are in a better mindset, when you're not tired.One member said, “I set out my clothes each night, select the program or program options that I'm going to do, and even set up the equipment.”
Creating fewer barriers to entry can help especially when motivation is lacking. If the equipment's already set up, if you’re already in your workout clothes, if your pre-workout shake is already made, if you’ve prepped this much, you’re much more likely to follow through with working out than if you leave all of those tasks to be done when you’re less motivated.
ADVICE: Don't wait to start dialing in your nutrition.
“Start working on your nutrition right away.” “Don't wait to look at your nutrition.”
What no one said — and what you will never hear us say — is to buy a nutrition template on Day One and stick to it one hundred percent, to completely overhaul your whole life right away. That's not what we encourage.
Just as we need to create habits, systems, and consistency around the workouts and our movement, we need to do that with our nutrition. Nutrition habits are just as important if not more important to the results that many of you are after.
Street Parking provides nutrition resources, and we encourage small changes. So use the tools we have to start with small changes, SOMETHING, just like you can with your fitness.
ADVICE: One workout per day.
“Do the Daily Workout. Do it three to five times a week. Rest two to four times. Repeat. Yes, it's that easy. No, you don't need to do anything else.” That is a message coming from a member who has over 2,000 logged workouts.
Many members who have over 1,000 workouts made it clear that the SHIFT program is not easier. It's more simple, but it is definitely not easier. Some of these people are pretty dang fit and still, they'll reach and grab a SHIFT if they're on vacation or if they just need to do a workout that's simplified.
Our message at Street Parking is: You don't need to do MORE, you just need to be CONSISTENT. Choose one thing. Some people said to use the variety. Everybody said the Daily Workouts are all you actually need. Some recommended “Do the Daily and don't even look at anything else” and others suggested “Dive into the Extra Programs right away and find some of the stuff that you think you might like.” “Don't feel like you just have to do the Daily Workout.”
We have members who never do the Extra Programs at all ever, and they find consistency. We have members that never do a Daily Workout: they do all of their training from the Extra Programs, and they find consistency. There's no right or wrong way, but if you expect yourself to do MORE than one workout a day — whether that's multiple sessions or doing the Daily plus X — at some point you're going to run into a period of your life where you're not going to have enough time or energy to maintain that.
And if you think that's what's necessary, your consistency is going to suffer. So go into this knowing that one workout per day is enough and you never have to do more than that.
ADVICE: Turn off the clock.
We talked about expecting bad days in Part 1. Turning off the clock was a recurring practical tip from members for a variety of reasons. When you’re having an off-day — a bad day, a tired day, a sore day, a mentally checked-out day — and you have a certain expectation about your performance, it can be easy to choose not to work out.
Someone might think, “I'm not going to be able to use x number of pounds today, so I'm not going to be able to do that work out the way it's written, so I don't feel like going that hard.”
Instead: Turn off the clock. Don’t count your rounds. If it's an AMRAP, just move the entire time and don't worry about where your score is. You are allowed to log the work out and not enter a score. If you're doing that all the time, you may need to look at getting over the hurdle of your own expectations. But from time to time, we encourage you: just don't have a score.
“Just show up and put one foot in front of the other. Don't sweat the small stuff: the weights you use, the time on the clock, what other people are saying or doing. Focus on your own journey. Don't be afraid to turn off the clock and just go.”
Focusing on your own journey leads to the next bit of advice around goals and rewards.
ADVICE: Have goals and rewards that are not aesthetic or based on your weight or weight loss.
“Find a unique way to set goals of recording measurable results and reward yourself for them.”
For all Street Parking members, we have the 75, 365, and 1,000 Days Worked Out “Earned Gear” milestones. These were created for you to have a goal that is not tied to your aesthetic or weight loss or fat loss or your workout scores. All of our rewards are built around consistency. Your scores do not dictate whether or not your workout counts that day. Our goal for you is straight up to build consistency.
We have goals for you after that as well. Say you found consistency: Now what's something else you want to focus on? You want to go run a marathon? Have a weight loss goal? We will always encourage you to have consistency be your number one goal, and then have additional goals and rewards that are not aesthetic or weight-based.
Give yourself some rewards, too. We have the rewards for you, but maybe you have some rewards that you'd like to give yourself as well. Find things that motivate you that's outside of how you look or your weight.
And then…let’s celebrate when you reach those milestones! Which brings us to the next piece of advice that was recurring: the importance of community.
ADVICE: Lean on the community.
“Surround yourself with people who can keep you accountable.”
“Use the community to your advantage. Whether that be life-related fitness questions, there's someone to help everyone and anyone out.”
“If you're worried about working out alone, find a buddy virtually.”
It's important to be a part of a culture where your desired behavior is normal, and even celebrated. Not all of us have a great support system in our real life when it comes to health and fitness. It's actually really hard to find, which is why we have spent so much time, effort, manpower, and energy on building a strong online community. We're trying to provide that culture and group of people that you can be a part of where your desired behavior is normal. It's normal to bring your own food to work, it's normal to work out in your living room, it's normal to let your kids run around while you're doing fitness, it's normal to walk around your neighborhood with a sled.
ADVICE: You are responsible.
“Don't use your time as an excuse.” If it's important — and you have to decide for yourself if it is or if it isn't — you will find 20 to 30 minutes in your day to get your workout in. No one can do that or decide that for you.
“You are entirely up to you. I actually have that posted in my gym. I have to hold myself accountable. I have to show up for myself. No one else can do that for me. I can get the tools from Street Parking, but I need to implement them for myself. Controlling your own fitness will always be an option, even when life throws uncontrollable things at you.” Accountability is critical to consistency and to growth. You will not find consistency if you are constantly blaming circumstances outside of your control. You will never grow into the person that you're capable of becoming.
Start today to switch this thinking, “Well, this happened, so I can't do this now” to “Well, okay. My original plan is not going to work. What can I do to control and make the most out of this current situation now? What am I in control of? What's the next best thing?” Take it one day, one decision at a time. Write that down somewhere: “I am responsible. I get to make the next best decision one decision at a time.”
We are grateful to these SP members who have found success and completed over 1,000 workouts for sharing their insights with us, and we know that all of our members are capable of achieving that level of consistency. While some of the goals can feel really far away, time is going to pass, so why not start working towards those the 75, 365, and 1,000 milestones that we set for you? Set some of your own milestones, your own goals. Have fun, and please let the community know how it's going.