It’s cold outside, you’ve had a long day at work, and the couch is calling your name. You know you ‘should’ train, but you’re so tired, and that new Netflix series is all too tempting. What to do? Well, you could just stay at home and call it an evening, but you also know deep inside that doing what you feel like all the time won’t help you reach your GOALS. Let’s look at how we can kick this inertia to the curb!
Tap into your ‘why’:
Those with a strong ‘why’ can bear any ‘how’. If you know exactly why you are doing something, then the execution becomes easier. It is imperative to have strong goals which help you look at the bigger picture, that will move you when times are tough. The 5 why’s exercise is a great way to tap into inspiration, by turning a vague goal like “looking better” into a burning desire. The idea is to ask yourself why your general goal is important to you, at least 5 times until you feel you have reached the heart of the issue. For example, you may realise your weight loss goal is fuelled by the desire to live a long, healthy life so you can be meaningfully present in your children’s lives.
One small trick:
Tell yourself, you will only workout for 10 minutes. Why does this work? It helps to break the inertia and starts forward momentum – after all, the hardest thing is just getting started.
Once you have made an effort to show up, warm up and begin some movement, your heart rate and energy increases, and then it is much easier to keep going than suddenly stop and leave.
Still not feeling it? Try some stretching, foam rolling and light isolation work to come in stronger at your next session.
Have a delicious post-workout to look forward to:
Though food and drink shouldn’t be a prime motivator, exercise when you don’t feel like it is easier when you know you get to fuel your muscles afterwards with something that tastes amazing. Having a post-workout shake is a simple and quick way to help you achieve your body composition goals - from the standard Chocolate and Vanilla to the more obscure flavours like Caramel Popcorn and Pavlova Cake, there is something for everyone. Need something more? Check the recipes section of this website for inspiring recipes that will help you achieve your muscle gain and fat loss goals!
Habit trumps motivation!
This one is well known by fitness professionals and athletes – you do what must be done, not because you feel like it, but because you know that success requires a level of discipline. Most of our behaviour is based on pre-existing habits – if you’re not quite there yet, start small, find a friend for motivation, or a coach to give you the direction you need. Do things to make it easier for yourself – have your workout gear and shoes already laid out for you when you wake up, and make the extra effort to prepare healthy meals, so you get the full reward of your training efforts!
Train before your mind knows what it’s doing:
Morning exercise primes us for the day, gets our energy up, and once it’s done, it’s done. Cortisol is highest at this time, which is great for gym performance and your body composition goals, plus it is the natural ‘motivator’ that will get you moving. If you leave the gym for after work, you are more likely to be tired, not just from a day of dealing with work stress but also from digesting meals throughout the day. If you must train after work, make sure to choose a gym based on optimal location – it makes it harder to keep driving home simply!
Need more? Get an extra boost with a quality pre-workout:
If you want an extra edge, a pre-workout can assist with energy, stamina and increase in performance (you WILL feel more motivated to move!). Looking for a solid muscle pump? Try Anabolix Freak3d or Applied Nutrition’s A.B.E. Would you rather a thermogenic to help you shed some extra fat? EHP Labs’ Oxyshred is a consistent top seller. Note: These should ideally be used before 4 PM (or for the more caffeine sensitive – past 12 PM).
If you opt for a naturally flavoured boost, try Thermal Switch by Switch Nutrition. For the most sensitive individuals or those needing to give their adrenals a break – opt for a stimulant-free boost like Kiss my Peach from EHP Labs or N’gorged by Anabolix.
We all have that ‘can’t be bothered’ feeling from time to time, it’s what you do with it that counts. Will you let it take over you, or power on through? Take a least one tip from this article and use it to transform your thoughts and actions when you need an extra dose of motivation!
James Clear. (2019). Motivation: The Scientific Guide on How to Get and Stay Motivated.[online] Available at: https://jamesclear.com/motivation. Beauty from within
Precision Nutrition. (2019). Better than swimsuit season: Discover relentless motivation for transforming your body.[online] Available at: https://www.precisionnutrition.com/weight-loss-motivation
Sinek, S., Docker, P. and Mead, D. (2017). Find your why. New York: Portfolio.