Okay, so this may shock a few people, but exercise & I recently fell out of love!

Most of you are probably reading that top line thinking ‘How can a Personal Trainer fall out of love with exercise?’ and this was the exact same question I asked myself upon the realisation that, for the first time since the age of 8, I wasn’t enjoying exercise anymore! Although I actually started playing football quite late by today’s standards, most of you will know that this is when my love of fitness and exercise first began.

I’m not too modest to say that I wasn’t a bad little footballer during my time, although when I look back now I genuinely believe that what got me to the level I achieved in the game was not so much my actual love for the sport of football, but more my desire for both personal and team competition, and most importantly……..winning! (I’m pretty competitive as Georgia will attest to!) This passion for competition took me through both amateur and professional football until I moved to London aged 23, where I stopped playing at a competitive level to focus fully on my business career.

I was very fortunate during the first three years of my time in London that I managed a team of over 30 Personal Trainers, so the competition surrounding exercise and fitness was at an all time high and was something I absolutely loved, as it replaced the competitive element I’d lost from ceasing my football career! Over the last 12 months however, I have both planned and executed on my goal of leaving the corporate fitness world to start up my own company, helping others achieve their own health & fitness goals – something I am immensely proud and happy to have done by the way. This has not been without a great deal of hard work though, and for the first time since I started exercising, I have struggled with gaining the motivation to train. I believe this is due to me having less structured working / training hours, as well as being relatively isolated as a sole trader once again – I’d forgotten how difficult it was when you don’t have other people breathing down your neck to train with them all the time! I also now take as much joy out of coaching others as I have ever done with my own training, so that has been a focus of mine, meaning I spend less time thinking about what I should be doing when I’m not telling others what to do!

This predicament lead me to a stage where I was satisfied with neither my health or exercise regimen, meaning something needed to be done. It also got me thinking that if I can suffer with something like this, being someone who actually works in the fitness industry, then how hard is it for the every day person to self-motivate and drag their bum to the gym? (Newfound empathy for my clients by the way as they also have to add putting up with me in to that equation!)

With this in mind, I wanted to give you my top tips for falling back in love with exercise, that hopefully anybody can commit to:

Set a realistic goal and DOCUMENT IT – Figure out what it is you truly want from your health & fitness, make it realistic and then DOCUMENT IT! Writing your goals down makes you far more likely to commit to them, as opposed to just telling yourself what you want to do.


Get organised – This is critical to my personal success. I know that if I do not prepare my food in advance then I will head to a coffee shop between clients and snack on something I definitely shouldn’t be eating. Spend a couple of hours over the weekend prepping your food for the following 3 days, then repeat the process on a Wednesday evening for the remainder of the week in order to keep you on track. I also like to line up my gym clothing for the week ahead, as visually this means that whenever I look at my clothes, I know I should be training and feel accountable for myself (I’m a little neurotic about gym clothes too!)

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Do something active that you enjoy – I’m very fortunate to live in an area such as Richmond where we have some stunning scenery and opportunities to really get active. I love nothing more than heading out early on a Sunday morning with Georgia and going for a long hike through one of Richmond’s many parks, where you can gain some fresh air and a positive perspective, as well as having a good sweat!

Focus on bettering you, nobody else – We spend way too much time comparing ourselves to others now, with the use of Social Media platforms exacerbating this issue and also contributing to us believing that everyone else is always 5 steps ahead of where we are. Put down your phone, tablet or magazine and just start figuring out what will make YOU happier, not what everybody else thinks you should be doing.

Download a good Podcast – These have become godsends for me! I love listening to a great podcast, but up until recently didn’t feel that I had the spare time to do so. I now get up every morning before my clients and do between 20-40 minutes of fasted cardio, where I will listen to a favourite podcast of mine and set my mind in action for the day ahead. This gives me time to switch off from everything else and just focus on myself, which in turn puts me in my most optimal learning state. My current favourite Podcast is called ‘The Art of Charm.’

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Get more rest – I’ve found that due to my increased workload, getting to bed at an appropriate time is sometimes difficult, and whilst I understand that this is a potential by-product of setting up new businesses, I have seen that it’s caused my energy levels and subsequent training to suffer. I now set myself 5 MIT’s (Most Important Tasks) each evening for the following day and know that as long as I have completed at least two of the five, then the rest can wait until the next day if I am feeling tired.

I hope you found these top tips for regaining your love of exercise useful and can start implementing them in to your daily life straight away.

As always, if you have any questions then please feel free to drop me a line…….you know where to find me!

Have a great week and I’ll check in again next Tuesday.



Written by: James Crew

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