Consistency is so important when it comes to pushing our bodies to continually get bigger, stronger, leaner, faster, or better in any way. It’s been well said that half the battle is simply showing up.
It’s true. A less than perfect training session is infinitely more effective than no training session – any day of the week.
While we’d like to be setting PRs during each and every training session, it’s just not going to happen. And there are some days when setting a new PR is the furthest thing from our minds as we’re simply struggling to muster up enough motivation to get to the gym and complete our first warm-up set.
I don’t care how dedicated you are. We’ve all been there. There’s no sense in being ashamed about it, but there is something you can do about it the next time you find yourself in a motivation-less rut.
There are a few things you can do, actually.
Get Dressed to Workout
It sounds overly simplistic, I know, but the mere act of throwing on your favorite training clothes is sometimes all you need to turn on the motivational switch in your head that tells you to stop being lazy and unproductive, and go move some heavy weights around. It’s all about making the subconscious association in your mind between what you’re wearing and what you’re supposed to be doing.
When changing clothes doesn’t cut it, it’s time to move to phase 2.
Caffeine and Music: The Secret Motivational Weapon
Start brewing a strong batch of coffee. While the coffee’s brewing, go put on your headphones and blare your latest training mix in your eardrums.
Once the coffee’s done brewing, promptly drink down 1-2 cups (don’t forget to add a little coconut oil). Give it a few minutes to kick in.
At this point, if you feel your motivation beginning to well up to the surface, go ahead and do a little light stretching or mobility movements to encourage it along.
Still not feeling it? Time for phase 3.
Give Yourself a Workout Ultimatum
In phase 3 it’s time to make a promise to yourself.
But whatever you do, don’t remove the headphones. Keep that music playing. Trust me. Music has a strange power over our mood and energy levels. Playing music you’re usually working out to has a physiological effect that will increase your chances of working out by 150%.
You can’t argue with data and biology. It’s math and science. Just ignore the fact that I completely made it up because we all know you can’t put anything on the internet that isn’t true.
So, the promise you’re going to make to yourself is that you’re going to get in the car, go to the gym, and do 5 minutes of light warm-up activities. A brisk walk on the treadmill, jumping rope, high rep warm-up sets, low box jumps, and light kettlebell swings are all good options.
The promise also includes the condition that if, after 5 minutes of light warm-up work you’re still not feeling it, you’ll go home and call it a day. At that point you’ll have done all you can do to get in the mindset of training.
Still Not Motivated To Train?
If you still don’t have it after all that it’s time to throw in the towel and get back to whatever slothful activity you were doing at home. You’ve eliminated the possibility that you were just making excuses and a workout just isn’t in the cards.
Sometimes this happens; even to the best of us. Before giving in, though, you should do all that you can to get yourself over the motivational hurdle and check completing a training session off your daily to-do list.
Nine out of ten times, by the time you’ve dressed to train, pumped yourself full of inspirational sound waves, taken down some caffeine, driven yourself to the gym, surrounded yourself by others getting after it, and elevated your heart rate with some light exercise, the motivation kicks in, and you’ll be as amped to train as ever.
It’s good to have a few methods of tricking our bodies into doing what we want them to do when they don’t want to cooperate.
Consistency is perhaps the greatest arbiter of success. In most cases, a quick shot of motivation is all we need to turn what would’ve been a skipped workout into a productive training session.