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Nikki's Top 6 Tips for Autumn/Winter Training

Have you noticed it? I know you have. You have felt it creeping in, you are trying to ignore it but it is getting harder.
I am referring to the autumnal chill in the air. The turning on of lights that little bit earlier. The falling of leaves and the scent of smoke coming from chimneys. For some, this time of year is great. For others, it is a season that falls on heavy shoulders. 

I thought I would be a helpful little solider and share with you my TOP 6 TIPS when training in Autumn. Enjoy!

1. Don’t Wimp Out!
Just do it – Don’t over think it as that often leads to you not going. The feeling after a workout is worth it. Trust me.

muscle pic2. Train In The Morning
If You Can -Winter brings with it shorter days and longer spells of darkness, this plays havoc with people’s moods. I find a morning workout is a nice refreshing way to start the day and it also means it is not hanging over you all day. We get tired, naturally enough, as they day goes on and our motivational levels dip. We wake up thinking ‘Yep, I am 100% going to the gym today’ and nine times out of ten we talk ourselves out of it as the day goes on. I have done this in the past and found that by the end of the week I have not stepped foot in my gym once. Get it out of the way in the morning and then forget about it.

3. Plan Your Workout 
It is a good idea to make a mental plan on your way to training. Or if you are organised you could make an actual real life written workout plan. This really helps once you get there. I train with a trainer and feel lucky in that respect as I don’t have to train alone too often. For the times I have worked out by myself I felt a little lost as I didn’t know what machine to pick next. If you make a plan you know exactly where you are going which will keep you motivated. Without a plan you are likely to feel a bit out of place, this effects your performance.

4. Plan Your Reps  
The same applies to the number of exercises you do. For example, I usually do four sets of 12 or 15 and then break for a minute or so. Or if I am doing timed exercises I will go for one minute then stop and start again. One minute doesn’t sound very long but believe me it can feel like a lifetime depending on what you are doing. (Planking usually, God I hate planking!)

5. Avoid Over Ambitious Goal Setting
If you set huge goals what do you think will happen? Do you really believe you will reach them? For example, if you say to yourself that you will shed four stone in two months, what do you think are the chances of that becoming a reality? I would guess it's quite unlikely! When I am planning fitness goals I only set them for the short term. I also break it down as much as I can. I will avoid goals such as 'Lose weight' as this is too general. Instead I will aim to strengthen my core or tone upper arms. Being specific is key here. I have a white board in my office where I keep notes on my progress which assists me in keeping track of each smaller goal. These minor changes to goal setting will make a huge difference.

6. Take A Class
If you are going to the gym but not seeing results the likely reason is that you are not doing enough while there. This is very common and it has happened to me lots of times. I would recommend you join a class as this is the best way to ensure you get a consistant workout. I attend a class called Barbelles. It is a strength workout and involves a lot of weight lifting. I love it and feel toned and lean because of it. If I were to go to the gym and lift weights myself I don't think I would have the same muscle definition as I know I wouldn't work as hard. 
I suggest you research exercise classes in your local area and go along to one to see if it is a good fit for you. You never know, you might love it! 
Happy training!x

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