I used to be AWESOME at working out on my own. In college I woke up before 6:00 every weekday and got on the first bus and spent time in the gym before going to work. I didn’t do classes (except a couple months when I COMPLETELY fell in love with Body Pump). I wasn’t training for anything. I just did it. After I graduated, I moved to Ann Arbor and ran at least 5 days a week and did 30-40 minutes of core work 3-4 days a week and other strength training about 3 days a week.

I really enjoy working out. But I’m no longer so good at self-motivating. I joined a running program a couple years ago and now I crave a group to run with a couple times a week. For whatever reason, I’ve quit going to to the weight room on my own. So most of my time at the gym is now spent in classes. While I like classes (and really wish my gym had Body Pump…the Total Body class that is most similar is good and I go to it as often as I can), sometimes I nostalgically think back to the days when I planned and did my own workouts.

So, I have some tricks to get myself to work out better:

Classes are the most obvious. When you’re in a room full of people and it gets hard, you’re probably not going to slack. (Though, maybe this is just me, I’ve noticed that people rarely pay attention to what other people in class are doing.) Plus, you’ll do things you may otherwise skip because you don’t like them. Mountain climbers anyone? Burpess? Yuck.

Teach. I started teaching indoor cycling recently for two reasons. First, it will force me to do it. I don’t actually enjoy spinning classes but I know it’s a good workout. If I’m leading, I have to be there. Second, getting paid to work out? Awesome.

DVDs. This one is sort of embarrassing. I have Jillian Michaels DVDs. Six Week Six Pack is amazing. (Killer Abs sucks. Don’t buy it.) While I’m pretty good at creating my own core workouts, this is a good way to learn new exercises and it’s more challenging than what I would do on my own.

Garmin Connect. I love data. Looking at routes, times, distance, heart rate, etc. on all those charts is awesome. Of course, you need a Garmin which is pretty expensive so I don’t recommend it if you’re not going to run or bike quite a bit.

Training Peaks. I started using this recently and I really like it. I just have the basic version, someday I hope to get the Premium version which allows you to plan workouts and a lot more features. They also have a lot of training plans and coaches you can buy/hire.

Apps. There are tons of good exercise apps for different activities/goals. There are two I like quite a bit: iMuscle (this is $8.99 which is more than what I paid but I still recommend it) and Nike Training Club (this is great because there are a lot of options and it’s hard to say you don’t have time for a 15 minute workout, though the workouts I’ve done aren’t super challenging, it’s a good way to mix it up). I linked to the apps in iTunes because I have an iPhone, but I did see both are available for Android as well.

In addition to those apps, I have a bunch of others on my phone but don’t use them often but it’s definitely worth checking out what’s available.