8 Ways to Increase Your Workout Motivation
First published on WorkoutChamp
So you've finally made up your mind that you're going to get fit, start running, eat healthy and lose those extra pounds. Awesome! High five for deciding to make a change. This is your motivation talking. It’s an amazing feeling. Like you're about to get somewhere great. You feel excited and energised by it.
2 weeks later, however, all that excitement of following a new fitness and nutrition plan starts to wear off. You find yourself slipping into the same old habits that got you to decide that you wanted to change something. We all go through it and it’s quite normal. We tend to think about it as that one-off eureka moment that’ll fix everything up for the rest of our lives.
But it doesn't quite work that way. Our mind is a funny place when it comes to sticking with change. It needs constant stimulation and excitement to keep it going. Here are 8 ways to increase your workout motivation that have worked for me (and I've dropped 20 KG bodyweight in a year).
Get a very personal and measurable goal
Think about something like “I want to be a self-confident person @ 14% bodyfat weighing 96 KGs“. Remind yourself about this goal everyday to the point that you almost see it every time you close your eyes. Write it down somewhere and stick it up on the wall so it’s the first you see when you wake up in the morning and the last thing before going to bed. Dream it, write it, read it, believe in it and chase it. And for heaven’s sake, keep it real.
Track workouts and measure progress
Get a notebook, spreadsheet, app or whatever it takes to track it. This way even when you feel like throwing the towel in after a “bad” workout i.e. days when you didn’t reach yet another personal best you can look back on how far you’ve come from day 1. One more thing, the scale lies. While it gives you an overall body weight, unless you own or have access to the latest in body composition measurement scale, don’t fuss too much about it. If you must measure it then measure lean body mass, body fat and various size measurements around the body.
However small, celebrate small gains in intensity, speed, strength, resistance etc. You can only do this properly if you track your progress.
Eat and sleep right
Cutting out carbs altogether and scrimping on food will be detrimental to your energy levels. The same goes for sleep. Too little and you’ll struggle to get that body firing on all cylinders. Low energy often leads to a lack of motivation and a predilection to relax.
On days when you absolutely cannot spare time because of unforeseeable events just pump out 3 circuits of the 7 minute workout. Earn a tick on the chart. Accomplish the workout regardless. Momentum alone can be a great motivator.
While changing things can definitely add a breath of fresh air into a stale workout whatever you do don’t be haphazard for the sake of changing things up on a weekly basis. It takes a while to train the neuromuscular coordination to pull off a certain exercise with proper form. This is especially true for resistance training. Follow through for a good 6–8 weeks before shuffling things around.
I personally feel sweat is a great intensity indicator. Although everyone’s body is different you'll know what a good deal of sweat is when you up the intensity. Good intensity implies accomplishment and accomplishment feeds the motivation.
Steer clear of naysayers
There’s nothing more deflating than people who will give you their top 10 excuses for not working out and will try to get you to do the same. They WILL blow up your motivation mountain. BOOM! goes the dynamite. Try sharing your experience with those who share the same, if not more, level of enthusiasm for working out.
To carry on with the fitness training program motivation alone isn’t enough. Even though it can get you out of bed you still need to show up to your workout. The notion of everyday motivation is flawed.
Motivation only gets you started but it’s habit that keeps you going.
What do you do to stay motivated through your workouts and training program?