January 12, 2013

Picking My Plan B

This morning, I kicked off day 11 of my “work out every day” January challenge with not just one but two workouts: Flywheel and Refine Method. I’ve written a lot about Flywheel in the past, being a FlyAddict and all, but Refine Method is something that is very new to me – and I’m loving it.

I was first introduced to Refine Method when Melissa invited me to a blogger outing – but I went into it really sore and didn’t do such a great job. So when I heard about the Refine Resolution Challenge and found out that several of my friends were signing up, I decided what the heck – I’d go all in too.

Honestly, I thought this challenge was going to be just discount pricing for those that decided to participate. But it is turning out to be so much more than that! Refine put together a list of 8 rules for transforming your body in 2013, and they are helping to ensure that we live those rules by focusing on a different lesson each week.

Last week, everyone in the challenge was paired up with a buddy; we get to chat about our experiences, motivate each other, and participate in weekly buddy challenges. My buddy Kat and I have already been emailing back and forth quite a bit, and as a longtime Refine goer, she is definitely inspiring me to push harder and go more often! I think having a fitness buddy is one of the best ways to motivate yourself – it’s so easy to get up for my 6am Flywheel workouts in Dallas when I know I get to see my friends JP and Blake there and have a little bit of social time too. Plus, physically working out with a buddy can increase the effectiveness of your workout! According to the American Council on Exercise, choosing a partner whom you perceive to be a better performer can increase your workout time and intensity by as much as 200%. Hopefully Kat and I will get to do a class together soon, as I definitely think she’s way better than me at this!

Photo credit: Danka

For this week’s challenge, we’ve been asked to think about the obstacles that get in the way of our workouts and come up with “Plan B” for each one – then share it with our buddy. What a great way to plan ahead and hold ourselves accountable! I recently read Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit, an interesting social psychology book about the cue/routine/reward cycle. Duhigg proposes that if you actually want to change behavior, you’re going to be hard pressed to eliminate the cue that leads to the bad habit. Instead, you need to take the same cue and replace it with a new routine that is more in line with your goals. Finally, reward that response to lock it in the brain and help make it into a new habit. Duhigg repeatedly reminds readers that it may take some trial and error to find a new routine that satisfies the original cue (e.g., if you always crave a bag of chips from the vending machine at 3pm, you need to decide if your eating those chips satisfies hunger, a social excursion/break from work, or simply a desire for junk food), but that once you find it, you’re guaranteed success. Hooray for that!

Refine’s Plan B strategy fit right in line with what I read, and so I was excited to give this a try!. I thought long and hard about this one, and here’s what I came up with for my first round of trials:

1. Work commitments that prevent me from getting home until late. Or, just being tired at the end of the day.
Plan B: Always work out in the morning, even if only for 10 minutes. It’s better than nothing! No matter how busy I am, I can always manage to get up ten minutes early for a quick workout – and then even if I don’t get a longer workout in later, I’ve still made some progress toward my goals. From now on, I will be doing this daily, even if I have another workout planned later that day.
Cue: Alarm goes off
New routine: Get out of bed, go to bathroom/brush teeth, get dressed in gym clothes, then either go to the gym or do a workout at home.
Reward: Cup of coffee and 5 minutes of reading a book. Bliss!

2. Leaving my weekend workouts up to my whim… and then not working out at all.
Plan B: Plan fitness activities for the weekend and stick to them, like I do on weekdays. If it’s not a class/workout with friends, pick a specific time and commit to doing that activity as if it were a class. No more “at some point today I ought to do a DVD or maybe go for a run or maybe do a Crossfit WOD.” If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!
Cue: Thursday night flight home from Dallas, double ding signals it is now safe to use approved portable electronic devices
New routine: Open computer, connect to internet, open Google Calendar to check each weekend day on my Google calendar and make sure I have a workout scheduled and written down
Reward: I love having plans with friends to look forward to, so that is reward enough 🙂 Besides, when my friends get involved, there is bound to be frozen yogurt, margaritas, or wine somewhere in the mix as another reward!

3. Too sore from a previous workout and/or not in the mood for the workout I have planned.
Plan B: Being too sore from a previous workout is definitely a possibility with the awesomely tough Refine classes! My new plan will be to change the workout, but keep the time slot. If I was supposed to attend a 6am Flywheel class but my legs are so sore that I can barely move, it’s fine to skip – but only if I do something else at 6am. Yoga to stretch out sore muscles, perhaps some upper body weight lifting to give my legs a break, etc. The challenge for me on this one will be reminding myself that just because I’m changing the workout, I don’t get to shift my schedule around (which often results me in shifting a workout off the schedule entirely); I just get to choose a different form of exercise.
Cue: Wake up and realize body is too sore to do the workout I had planned.
New routine: Immediately plan an alternate activity for the same slot.
Reward: Not having to do a workout I don’t want to do 🙂 If I have not replanned the workout by the time I get to work, I must do the workout I originally planned… yikes!

4. Lack of energy / just plain don’t want to do it.
Plan B: First, consider whether the workout I had planned is really the best one for me to do that day (see #3). If I am really feeling exhausted, that may be my body telling me something. But if it’s just me being listless, it’s time to invoke Refine Rule #3: Reward Yourself. Perhaps working out when I am tired means I get a sweet treat after to boost my blood sugar (ice cream, yay!), or maybe the reward is that I can skip whatever other plans I had and go to bed the second I am done working out (my body is weird and for some reason doesn’t have a problem doing that). If I’m really sore, maybe my reward is splurging on a deep tissue massage that weekend? The possibilities are endless, so finding the right motivation for me at that moment will be critical to powering through this one.
Cue: I consider skipping my workout because I don’t feel like doing it.
New routine: Decide whether I am actually sore/exhausted, or if I am just being lazy. If I am sore, replace workout with 10 minutes of stretching/foam rolling. If I am being lazy, identify a reward that will be most appealing to me at the time – and then just get after it.
Reward: Not planning this one ahead of time, but I think even granting a different reward each time will reinforce this, since I’ll be able to choose what is the most desirable reward for me at the time.

What are your most common excuses/roadblocks, and is there a way you can plan ahead to prevent them from becoming a problem? Give me more ideas!


2 thoughts on “Picking My Plan B”

  1. How have we never met?? I am loving this Refine Resolution Challenge, it is really giving me the push I needed to work out harder. Hope to take a class with you soon!

  2. Dori, we definitely will have to meet up soon! I actually was in the 9:30am Sunday class and so noticed your fiance going in (because guys are rare and I later saw Refine’s tweet on Twitter… hope that doesn’t make me a creeper!). I’ll be back for a class on Sunday the 27th, I think!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join the List

Subscribe for instant email notification of new posts.

Join the List

Subscribe for instant email notification of new posts.

© 2023 by 50by25. All rights reserved. Actions taken from the hyperlinks on this blog may yield commissions for 50by25. View my FTC disclaimer.

Scroll to Top