‘Habit stacking’ is a mantra we preach at Iron Tribe. Every time you do something good (like attend a workout or meal prep), you must do it again. And then another time. Until it’s engrained in your mind and routine. The power of consistency is real. When we repeatedly do things that improve our minds and bodies, we create a positive ‘loop.’ So much of what we do every day is automatic. Many of our habits we do without even thinking — like brushing our teeth or reaching for a cup of coffee. By identifying bad habits and eliminating them from our routine, we create room for better habits that can improve our health, mood, longevity and so much more. The best part? The more we practice our good habits, the easier they become! Remember the first time you went to the gym? Chances are it was really hard. You were unsure of how much time you needed to get ready before leaving the house, what to wear and what to bring. After a few workouts, though, you started to get the hang of it. You maximized your getting ready time down to the minute. You likely now have a tried and true rotation of workout outfits that are in the gym bag, ready to. The past 2 years have certainly given us plenty of excuses to hit pause on our goals and slump back into old habits. If you need some motivation to get to the gym and kickstart your healthy habits, then check out the below interview from one of our most dedicated gym couples, Jim and Betty Warren. This fearless pair has made it a habit to show up at the gym and, more importantly, show up for themselves. They’ve hit the gym 19 weeks in a row (yes, you read that correctly, 19 WEEKS IN A ROW!) and they show no sign of slowing down. Another important note — Jim and Betty are in their 70’s, proving it’s never too late to take your fitness seriously!
Betty: We really didn’t start out with this as a goal, but we were SOOO THRILLED to get back in the gym when things began to open up. And now we find ourselves GUARDING CLOSELY our workout time. We do workout together at the same time every morning – 8:30 at Highway 280. That time gives us exactly what we need to start our day in a consistent manner with our exercise. Jim: As Betty said, 8:30 am at 280 is our go to class. If for some reason we have a conflict, we will catch a class later in the day. I have also worked out in Nashville on the days I am up there, keeping the streak alive.
Betty: I do lay out my gym clothes at night. I already have in mind what I will eat ( have to eat a little something ) and water bottle next to my backpack. Preparation is key for me! Jim: Strategy is two-fold for me. 1) put it on the calendar and don’t let anything else bump it off. 2) I put out my pre-workout supplement and my water bottle by the back door the night before so I can just grab it and go in the morning.
Betty: The biggest improvement for me personally has been understanding the actual form of each movement. I am not an athlete by nature, so much of what we do has been awkward for me. BUT Coach Peggy has been patient and encouraging every day. And I have had 2 PR.’s during the 19 weeks. After all, I am 71 years old so I probably won’t be moving any “ trucks” any time soon! I just keep moving and paying attention to my body. Jim: Biggest “surprise” improvement in the last 9 month has been an increase in muscle mass by 5 pounds. I really wasn’t trying to do that, it just happened.
Betty: Jim had been working out at ITF about 18 months. (I think) before I started), I was 65 at the time, and very hesitant about ITF. I knew the workouts would be tough and I also knew that I would have to scale some things in order to participate. I also was hesitant about a coed class. ALL of these fears were totally wiped away once I got started. I just wish that I could get other folks our age involved!
Betty: What happens in life certainly affects motivation to stay consistent. However, if we don’t take care of our spiritual, emotional, and physical health we are at a disadvantage to “do life.’ Jim and I both want to be good stewards of the physical body God has given us. Staying consistent is a matter of discipline, and a choice to be disciplined. The rewards are HUGE! Jim: For those looking for motivation, I would say have some sort of fitness goal that you can work towards. Then share this goal with someone else and ask them to help hold you accountable. It would be good if this person is in your gym and even better if they normally attend the same class as you. Finally, just have fun!