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The Secrets To Starting (And Sticking To) Your Exercise Plan Revealed

17th August 2021

17th August 2021

By Shivraj Bassi

You tell yourself you're going to start working out regularly. You hire a personal trainer. You buy the best running shoes money can buy. But no matter how much you spend, or how much you really want to fit into that outfit come summer, you just can't seem to keep up your motivation for exercise. 

Does this sound familiar? If it does, don’t worry, because we have a cure.

Let's face it, gym motivation is pretty hard to come by. What sets apart those who live to work out and those who have to force themselves off the sofa is fitness level.

Going to the gym feels rubbish when you're out of shape. But fear not, because it doesn’t take long to get to a point where exercise is no longer all pain and no gain. It's time to reach those fitness goals once and for all. 

Fuel up 

Before you start exercising, it's important to ensure that you are fuelling your body with the correct vitamins, minerals and proteins to ensure that you can make progress when it comes to your fitness goals.

The Fit Protein is a great addition to your balanced diet, exercise routine and healthy lifestyle. After all, there's no point spending time planning out the perfect exercise routine if you're not taking care of yourself, right? 

How to start exercising 

As the saying goes, starting is always the hardest part. Just like that pesky email you've been putting off replying to, that task that's due that just fills you with dread, or starting an exercise routine, getting going is the real challenge. 

Making a gym schedule or an exercise calendar is a great way to combat this. Not only will you feel uber organised afterwards, you'll be feeling motivated to start your exercise routine ASAP. We guarantee it. 

Just don't make it unrealistic... 

Not all exercise happens in the gym

Firstly, it's important to note that working out should be fun.

For those who enjoy hip hop, go to a dance class. For those who find their meaning clinging onto a sheer rock face staring death in the face, find your local rock climbing centre. There's no reason to torture yourselves in the gym if it doesn't feel like a natural fit. Instead, do something active that you enjoy and you won’t want to stop.

On the other hand, we realise that climbing a rock face just isn't for everyone. That's fine, we get it. Whether you opt for going on a walk, taking up yoga or trying out your nearest wild swimming spots, exercise in exercise, and all of these activities will help you smash your fitness goals and can definitely feature in your swanky new exercise routine. 

Consistency is key

When you first start your fitness program, aim to get to a fitness level where you no longer hate exercise. As a rule of thumb, getting to a place where you can exercise comfortably takes around three weeks.

During this period your only goal is to keep going, meaning that you shouldn’t be doing anything too hard or too horrible. You should aim to coax yourselves into doing exercise that you can stick with. Just take baby steps and then build on them.

Exercise with a friend

Working out with a friend not only makes exercise much more fun but it's also an effective way to be accountable. There's no harm in a little friendly competition - especially when that competition can really help to keep you motivated!

Music helps

Sometimes working out with friends or in a group just isn’t possible. That's when music can really help. Why not check out the workout playlists in the Listen section of our blog. They'll help make your workout go by much more quickly and will help you to push yourself harder.

Reward yourself

As long as you keep exercising consistently and get into a routine, you'll be improving. You should ensure you reward yourself for all of your hard work. Whether your reward is treating yourself to one of those pricey but delicious açai bowls from your local juice bar or kitting yourself out in some fancy new workout clothes, rewarding yourself with something aligned with your new routine can help keep you on track and keep you motivated.

Of course, we would recommend treating yourself to some of Innermost's products, which as well as feeling luxurious and tasting delicious will help to make your workouts even better. Our The Energy Booster is a great choice for when you want a helping hand to raise your energy levels, improve stamina and push yourself harder. Or try The Fit Protein, designed to rehydrate and restore energy, and support muscle growth and repair.  

Think long-term

Whilst working out we can tend to think day-to-day, or gym session to gym session. Whilst you should always make a gym schedule to ensure you are in-the-know when it comes to your daily sets, exercises and routines, it's important to map these out on a long-term basis to ensure you are hitting your fitness goals consistently. 

1. Consider your fitness goals

2. Start small, and continue to build

3. Mix it up: don't stick to the same exercises 

4. Ensure you schedule time for recovery

5. Take responsibility 


All in all, the key to drumming up some gym motivation, creating the perfect exercise routine and making sure you stick to exercise is making your exercise routine structured, and fun. 

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From the Bedroom to the Gym: Is Your Sex Life Affecting Your Workout Performance?
The relationship between sex and workout performance is one that’s long been debated by scientists and fitness fanatics alike. It’s complicated and multifaceted, so answering the question of whether your sex life is affecting your training is difficult. That said, today we’re going to take a look at a variety of evidence, both academic and anecdotal, as well as several different scenarios and at least try to reduce some of the mystery around the subject. First, it helps to understand what’s actually happening to the body, both physically and psychologically, during both activities.   The Effects of Sex on the Body Sexual activity causes several changes to occur in the body:   Physical Changes That Occur During Sex During sexual activity and the lead up to it, the human body undergoes a process known as the sexual response cycle. This is the case for both males and females, though the cycle can be highly individual and may not be the same each time for each person. Describing the full sexual response cycle is beyond the scope of this article, however it consists of 4 phases: Desire Arousal Orgasm Resolution Factors such as elevated heart rate, increased blood flow and pressure and heightened muscle tension all come into play. If you’d like to read about the sexual response cycle in more detail, check out this great article from Cleveland Clinic.   Psychological Changes That Occur During Sex Several psychological changes occur both during and after sex. Most notable are the release of endorphins and oxytocin, which are associated with improved mood and a better sense of wellbeing. These are also responsible for reduced stress levels, which brings a multitude of additional benefits that are of particular interest to those of us participating in regular training and exercise. Cortisol, the hormone responsible for stress, is catabolic in high levels, meaning it can cause the breakdown of lean tissue. So, whilst it is unclear whether sex itself affects workout performance, the reduction in stress levels it may bring is definitely beneficial for preserving our results!   The Effects of Exercise and Training on the Body Exercise and training also cause the body to undergo a number of changes. These occur both during and after the physical activity. There are in fact a number of similarities in changes that happen during exercise and sex:   Physical Changes That Occur During Exercise The physical changes that happen in the body vary based on the type of exercise being undertaken, however, there are some that are common to exercise in general: Increased heart rate Increased blood flow, especially to the muscles Faster, deeper breathing due to additional oxygen needs Heightened activity within the circulatory, respiratory, musculoskeletal and endocrine systems A full summary of the changes that occur within these systems can be found here. More aerobically demanding exercise will, of course, place greater emphasis on the circulatory and respiratory systems as well as causing fat to be metabolised as an energy source. Resistance training, which often relies more heavily on the lactate and creatine phosphate energy systems, instead promotes greater muscular and endocrine (hormone) activity. Note the common physical changes between sex and exercise here, as they do crossover!   Psychological Changes That Occur During Exercise The psychological changes that occur during exercise are similar to those experienced during sexual activity and are mostly related to the release of endorphins and other ‘feelgood’ hormones. These help to regulate mood, and it is common knowledge that frequent exercise and leading an active, healthy lifestyle promotes a feeling of wellbeing.   Does Sex Affect Our Workouts? This is where things become complicated. Though extensive studies have been done on the subject, the results of these have varied massively. We must also take into account the experience of individuals, and this anecdotal evidence again has huge variance. Let’s look at both:   Sex and Training: What the Science Says Scientific studies on the relationship between sex and training are contradictory at best. There’s no denying the positive benefits of both activities, particularly from a psychological perspective, but as for the effect of sex on actual performance in the gym the results are inconclusive. A study, published in April 2021, by Kirecci, Albayrak and co. examined the effects of sexual activity of 50 men in the 24 hours prior to training on lower body strength. The study measured effects by having the men perform 3 separate squat sessions, each at the same time of day. Each of these sessions occurred after participating in or abstaining from sexual activity the night before. The men performed 5 sets of 5 repetitions of their maximum squat weight during these sessions and the difference in weight lifted was observed. The study concluded that ‘sexual intercourse within 24 hours before exercise [has a] detrimental effect on lower extremity muscle force, which suggests that restricting sexual activity before a short-term activity may be necessary.’ Aside from this study, most others found either no notable relationship between sex and athletic performance. A meta-analysis of 9 crossover studies, conducted by Zavorsky and Brooks and published on 16 September 2022, confirms this. The analysis concluded that ‘The results demonstrate that sexual activity within 30 min to 24 h before exercise does not appear to affect aerobic fitness, musculoskeletal endurance, or strength/power.’ This is perhaps more notable, because these studies incorporated different types of exercise and were not restricted purely to a strength/power based activity like squats.   Anecdotal Evidence: What About the Experiences of Real Gym Goers? The anecdotal evidence is, as expected, highly individualised. However, there tends to be a bias against the results of most studies, particularly in those participating in sports involving strength and aggression. For example, many fighters claim that they perform better when they abstain from sex in the days leading up to a contest. Similarly, bodybuilding forums are full of debate on this topic and many claim they note a significant decrease in motivation to train at maximum intensity after sexual activity. It has been hypothesised that this may be due to a downregulation in testosterone production after sex; during orgasm the mineral zinc is released in the body and this is also a precursor for natural testosterone production in the body and may, therefore, provide some reasoning as to the experience of many trainees.   Key Takeaways The relationship between sex and workout performance will always be a complicated one. The effects of one on the other in terms of physical fitness and, in particular, mental wellbeing, are clear, but when it comes to actual performance this appears to be highly individual. We’d advise doing what feels best for you but not worrying too much about it. Instead, prioritise your nutrition and make sure you’re fuelling your workouts properly. While you’re here, why not take a look at the Innermost range? We’re proud to be completely transparent about the ingredients in our products and we always ensure they’re of the highest quality. Check us out, and be sure to get in touch if you have any questions! Read more