I get inspiration from a lot of people. One
of those people is Elliott Hulse, a strongman and YouTuber who’s simple, no frills style
of teaching, and very minimalistic editing of his videos gave me the confidence that
I actually needed to start making videos without thinking that I needed insane editing and
huge budgets and all of the crazy stuff that a lot of other channels use.
If you watched the trailer over his channel Strength Camp, you’ll hear him say something
that has become the cornerstone of my own exercise philosophy. It’s, “The most important
part of the game is your game piece.” It makes sense, doesn’t it? If your life is a
game and the hardware you play with is your body and your mind, and if they’re not in
good working order, you’re not going to be able to play the game very well.
I make this point for an important reason is this, as students who are busy and who
are young, we make a couple of really fiendish excuses in our lives when it comes to exercising.
One, we say that we’re young. Our bodies are going to take care of themselves. We don’t
need to take care of them as much. It’s not as much of a priority. Two, we feel that we’re
too busy to make time for exercise, that it can come later after we put in all this grant
work to become successful. If you’ve made those excuses before or you’re
making other excuses that caused you to work out less than you want to, then I’m here to
help you squash those excuses. In this video, I want to help you do two things. One, make
more time to work out. Two, gain the motivation to do so. Let’s start with time. The first
thing I’m going to say is the same thing I said in my video on High-Density Fun.
You need to schedule time to exercise. I’m not talking about just saying, “Oh, I’m going
to work out three times this week at some point.” Use the time management skills you’re
building, and actually look at your week. Schedule actual times that you’re going to
work out, and make sure you’re in the gym or wherever you work out at those times.
Just like scheduling fun, scheduling your exercise time will necessitate that you work
more efficiently when you’re actually studying or getting homework done. If you’re finding
that becoming a more efficient person and scheduling your workouts isn’t enough and
you’re really, really busy, then do what I do. Every morning I wake up, and as part of
my morning routine, I do something called the 7-minute workout. It’s actually just seven
minutes, and I use an app on my iPhone to guide me right through, which I’ll link to
into the blog post for this video. It’s part of my little 10-minute block with
my meditation that I do for three minutes. The nice thing about the 7-minute workout
is that it’s all body weight exercises. I actually do it right here in this office.
I don’t need anything except for my body weight and a wall to do wall sits, and a chair to
do chair stand up exercise things. I’m not really sure those are called chair step ups.
Let’s move on to the topic that most people probably have more trouble with, which is
motivation. I’ve got four ways that you can increase your motivation to exercise. Get
a buddy. Externalize your motivation. Tackle the ignition costs first, and make exercise
fun. Getting a workout buddy is seemingly simple. You just find your friend who also
wants to exercise, and go to the gym with them.
One thing I want to caution you on this is you need to find somebody who is not going
to bring your own motivation levels down. If you find that the person who wants to go
to the gym with you is actually making it harder for you to get to the gym than it would
be on your gym, then go to the gym with that person unless you want to make a conscious
effort to help them get fit. If you’re trying to bolster your own motivation,
you need to find somebody who is going to provide a positive influence. One thing you
can try is actually getting a buddy who isn’t really a good friend. I found my workout buddy
when I was on the Iowa state subreddit one year. We ended up going to the gym together
for six months. Since I didn’t know him really well, I couldn’t
just walk into his room and say, “Hey, I’m not feeling it today.” I had to show up if
I didn’t want to embarrass myself. Actually, having a workout buddy is one way you can
externalize the motivation to work out. Let’s talk about a couple of others. Basically,
externalizing your motivation is going to come through commitment devices.
Committing prior to the actual workout so you have to go do it. One way I did it as
a sophomore was signing up for an ROTC physical fitness class. As a civilian, I actually worked
out with the army cadets, and did the exact same workouts they did at 6:00 AM. Yes, it
was hell, but I was really fit that semester. In later semesters, I’ve signed up for a lifting
class, which we met three days a week. While it wasn’t at 6:00 AM, it was a really good
way to stay in shape. I got an extra credit to boot. If you don’t
have access to a workout partner or classes you can sign up for, you can also use apps
as commitment devices. I’m going to talk about some of the other apps I really like at the
end of this video, but the ones I want to talk about right now are Beeminder and Gym-Pact.
Beeminder, I’ve talked about before. It’s a general commitment device app, where you
can pledge money towards a certain goal. Gym-Pact is an exercise-specific goal where
you pledge money to go to the gym on certain amount of times a week. The third on our motivation
list is dealing with ignition costs. Tell me if you feel the same way that I do. I think
that the actual act of getting ready to work out, putting on my gym clothes, taking up
my regular clothes, and walking to the gym is actually more difficult than the actual
act of lifting the weights. This is a common problem for a lot of things
we want to do. The act of preparation of getting ourselves into the task and getting ready
for it is often harder to summon the motivation for than doing the actual task. To account
for this, there are a couple of things you can do. The first thing I would do is split
it into two different tasks. Respect the ignition costs as a task of its own, and then the actual
workout as a second task. If you keep something like an accomplishment
journal or you track your task in HabitRPG, and give yourself rewards, then give yourself
a reward for finishing the ignition and then give yourself a second reward for doing the
actual workout. You can also put that secondary task, the actual workout, out of your mind
altogether, and simply commit to finishing the ignition.
I know a lot of people who say to themselves, “I’m just going to walk into the gym with
gym clothes on, and count that as a win if I can do it.” Once they’re actually in the
gym, they are already there, so their mind goes, “What the heck! I’m going to work out.”
I won’t go into it too much here, but this is an example of B.J. Fogg’s Tiny Habits Model.
If you want to learn more about it, I’ll probably do a video in the future, but I’ll also link
to some resources in the blog post for this video.
The last thing I want to mention about motivation before I talk about apps is the act of finding
ways of exercising that are actually fun. A lot of people think exercising and working
out is strictly limited to jogging in the treadmill or going to the gym and lifting
weights. If that’s not something you enjoy, you’re probably not going to do it no matter
how much motivation you try to summon, or at least you’re not going to do it as often
as you want. Regardless of the schedule you set up for
actual traditional working out, find something you enjoy, and augment your exercise schedule
with that. If you’re in college, there are probably a bazillion intramural sports leagues
you can join. You can go hiking, or you can do what I do and play lots and lots of DDR.
Before we finish this video and I�ll tell you to get off your butt and hit the gym,
let’s talk about a couple of apps that can help you keep motivated to exercise. Now,
I talk a lot about HabitRPG in this channel because I really like it for general habit
building, but I’ve actually modify it and turned into a workout tracker as well for
my own uses. If you take a look at my habits column, I
have a couple of standard habits there that I track. For the most part, I list individual
exercises, and give myself credit when I get them done in the gym. If you want to take
this concept a step further, then check out Fitocracy. I used to use fitocracy all the
time, and it’s basically the best way to turn exercise into a video game that I’ve never
seen. By tracking the sets and wraps you do, you
can get experience. You level up, and you can also get achievements and go on quests.
It’s actually pretty similar to HabitRPG, but its focused on exercise. The last one
I’ll mention is an app called Fitness Buddy, which my friend Yungtown told me about. If
you’re looking for an app that will give you specific workout routines and also show you
how to do specific exercises, it’s an amazing resource.
All right, I hope this video will help you create more time and motivation to exercise
more in college, because seriously, having your body and mind in good working order is
the foundation to being able to use all the other techniques I talked about on this channel.
If you have other tips and things that have worked for you that I didn’t mention in this
video, then feel free to share them down in the comments. I will see you next week.
Hey there, thanks for watching my video on exercising more in college. I know this video
is a bit of a departure from the specific study strategies I usually talked about in
this channel, but if you liked it and you want to get more tips on being an awesome
college student, then hit that big red subscribe button right there.
I also wrote a free 100-plus-page book on getting better grades. If you would like to
get a copy, click the picture of the book, and I’ll send you one. You can also find links
to any resources I mentioned in the video by going to the companion blog post right
there. If you missed last week’s video, there�s a clip of it playing so definitely check it
out. Lastly, if you want to suggest topics for
new videos or just connect with me, then I’m @TomFrankly on Twitter or you can leave a