Gamifying your workout with a points system is one way that you can keep your fitness goals on track in a fun way, and it can help you develop motivation and consistency around your training.
Let’s look at some tips to help you create this workout point system and apply it to your weekly goals:
- Define your goals so you know where to start. What do you want to achieve? Do you have a few things that you are looking for? Beating your current PRs? Competing in an upcoming event? Building muscle? Trying to get back into a routine?
- Great – now that you have those down, create a point system that rewards you for meeting the goals and challenging yourself. You could apply points to each set of exercises completed or for tonnage moved or for full workouts accomplished. So, you could get a point for each set of exercises. Most workouts will have each exercise set repeated in a circuit, so this could add up to 15-30 points! And don’t be afraid to make the numbers bigger. Make those workouts worth a million points if you want!
- Be honest with yourself! Don’t ‘fudge’ the points if you can. That takes the sport out of it. If you’re counting sets and know you need more points to achieve a goal – don’t overdo the workout by doing 400 sets of something. Just a kind FYI.
- Keep track of your points! Keep a record in a journal, on a whiteboard, in a notes app, or by tattooing each completed set onto your belly with small roman numerals. Some people (and this is very different from my sensibilities) will choose to chart this in a spreadsheet.
- Set rewards that are achievable. You may find it helpful if you’re scoring on workouts completed, that every 3-6 points, you get some nice reward like a massage or a soothing bubble bath, and then when you’ve achieved 20-30 points you reward yourself with a comfy new pair of house slippers or a fountain pen set.
- Make it social. If you have friends that you workout with or that you want to challenge for the alpha position in your social circle, invite them to compete! But keep it light, after all – this is supposed to make the workouts more enjoyable!
- Be mindful of obsession. While this kind of gamification is an arbitrary tool that is being used to help keep you focused, some of us struggle with addictive tendencies in these sorts of circumstances. You can also dial the intensity back and just choose to do something nice for yourself at regular intervals as you’re plugging along through your workouts. An example would be that you treat yourself to a scoop of ice cream at the place right beside the gym on a Friday if you happen to be there. Or you pop into the grocer near the gym and buy all the clearance section split pea soup as a treat. These are easy and still fill the same spot of pleasure without the rules.
Above all else, just make sure that you are present with your journey! These suggestions are meant to enhance your connection to your health experience and create anticipation around the reward. This is one way that we can create motivation in a structural frame that we may be used to from our experience on the ol’ Commador64 or classic Nintendo. And bringing those recognized strategies into the fitness quest is very recognizable from the jump!!
Have fun and let us know what motivates you and what your point system looks like!