Friday 19 January 2018

Keep yourself motivated to stay the course

6 week fitness test for new year: week 2

Left to right: split-squat jumps with ball, spiderman, sit-up
Left to right: split-squat jumps with ball, spiderman, sit-up

Siobhan Byrne

This week I'm going to talk about motivation. The main reason people fail to get to the fitness level they want is a lack of it.

It's easy to be motivated for a few weeks at the beginning of January and then slowly slack off.

Overtraining is one of the main reasons people lose motivation and suffer burnout.

There is no point in resistance-training the same body parts five times a week. Stick to two or three resistance training sessions a week, adding in some cardio after your training sessions.

Here are a few ways you can easily keep yourself motivated:

  • Train with someone. With another person relying on you, you will be less likely to opt out.
  • Music. Create a playlist for working out. Music has been proven to keep you motivated.
  • Food. Don't get caught up in fad diets. Focus on making small changes.
  • Time. Decide how much time you can spend on your fitness.

The only workout you will regret is the one you didn't do. In all of my years training I have never thought, I regret having done that workout. After each workout your body releases endorphins, so you feel great. Remember, consistency is the key to success.

Don't worry if you missed week one of the six-week programme, there is always time to catch up.

Each week I'm giving you a set of exercises you can do at home with a small amount of equipment. They should be done in a circuit-style of 20 reps. Complete a total of four sets with a one-minute rest after each. You need to time your first workout to track your progress. Last week was the press-up, squat, mountain climber and burpee.



If you don’t have a medicine ball use a Swiss ball instead 1/ Stand upright, with your feet split front to back, holding the ball in both hands at waist height. Start by lowering your body towards the floor, bending at the hips and knees, with your weight on the front leg.

2/ Push off the front foot (try to push through the heels) and jump up off the floor. Land in a split-squat and repeat. Tip/ For a more advanced option, if you are doing this in the gym, try holding two dumbells in each hand and perform the exercise again. 


1/ Start in the top position of a push-up, with your arms straight, then bend your elbows and lower your body towards the floor while at the same time bending one knee and bringing it to your elbow with your foot off the floor.

2/ Push back up to the top position and repeat with your opposite leg. Tip/ For a more advanced ‘crawling’ version of the exercise start with your right knee at your elbow, immediately extending your right hand out to crawl, and then bring your left knee towards the left elbow, then repeat. 


1/ Start by lying on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Put your hands either side of your head.

2/ Sit up, lifting your shoulders up off the floor into a sit-up position, then lower yourself back to the start position and repeat.  


For more information on fitness see

Irish Independent

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