The reason why some people can get up to go to the gym at 5 a.m. while others can’t train under any circumstances is primarily a question of motivation. If you could just endure for a while until your physical transformation becomes obvious, you will have enough intrinsic motivation to go around.
Still, how does one get there?
Before this physical transformation becomes visible, you have to train, diet, and lead a healthier lifestyle. In other words, you need to endure a lot of self-sacrifices and display a lot of discipline without any immediate payoff.
In order to persevere during this initial period and make this huge first step, you need to learn how to keep working out when you’re just not feeling it. Here are the top five tips to help you out!
1. Buddy System
The first great way to keep working out when you’re just not feeling it is to work out with a friend. The so-called buddy system is quite effective for several obvious reasons. If the two of you are spotting for each other (while weightlifting), the chances are that their own workout will depend on you. This means that skipping a workout session also means letting them down.
Second, you should never underestimate the power of a well-structured pep-talk. This is especially true when it is delivered by someone you appreciate. One more thing worth keeping in mind is the fact that if you’re working out with a buddy, this becomes a part of your social life, as well.
Previously, we’ve mentioned spotting, and it’s important we mention one more thing here. Spotting is probably the safest way to work out, especially with exercises like the bench press. Other than this, your perception of your posture while working out and your actual posture don’t necessarily have to match.
2. Pick Something that Doesn’t Feel as Workout
The best advice is that you need to pick something that doesn’t feel like a workout. Instead of just running, you can find a different (more structured) form of cardio. Ideally, this can come in the form of a sport like racquetball.
The fact that this type of workout is structured, has techniques, a point system, and depends on your ability to play mind games, chances are that you will soon stop looking at it as a workout. In your mind, instead of thinking about fatigue and physical growth, you’ll start thinking about various moves and skills that you need to improve.
Keep in mind that group sports may give you a similar effect. Also, group sports provide you with the buddy system, on top of all the benefits that we’ve described in this section. One more thing worth mentioning is that, in the majority of group sports, you can idle a bit if you don’t feel like it.
3. Keep Track of Your Training
Keeping track of your training is probably one of the simplest motivation hacks in this field. Simply note down your progress in a table. Did you train today? How much did you weigh in the morning? What are your current measurements? All of this can become a part of your daily journal. Sometimes, just taking a look at your records will be proof enough.
This way, you get a simple and reliable method of comparison. The problem with your own perception of your physical progress is in the fact that it comes gradually, which makes it hard to perceive. One way to get around this is to take photos on a daily or weekly basis. Then, you can put them side to side (before and after comparison) and see exactly how you’re doing.
Remember that your own perception may get in the way of your intrinsic motivation. So, you need a way around it. Hard evidence is what you need here, and keeping track of your progress is the simplest and the most effective way to get there.
4. Invest in this Lifestyle
Some people need to invest in a habit in order to take it seriously. So, you can start by buying some gym apparel and workout equipment. Once you start taking this seriously and get some initial results, you could also buy some supplements and fill your fridge with healthy foods.
Those who want to show commitment and go all-in on this idea could also consider paying a specialist. Going to a professional nutritionist to get a quote or hiring a private trainer are probably the most reliable ways to improve your performance and the effect of your workout regimen.
Remember that the money you spend on this has no intrinsic value. In other words, it’s not some universal solution to all your problems. There are a lot of people who buy an annual gym pass and go there twice before actually quitting. This is not a fail-proof plan or some sort of magical solution. It’s a hack, a trick to get you that extra bit of motivation when going gets tough.
5. Endure the First Five Minutes
One of the simplest solutions is to just physically force yourself to work out, even when you don’t feel like it. According to some studies and experiences, all it takes for you is to endure these first five minutes. After that, the autopilot will take over, and your initial reluctance will disappear altogether.
However, making yourself just go to the gym (in this condition) is not going to be easy. Remember that there is such a thing as pushing yourself too hard and that this practice can cause a spring effect.
Sure, pushing yourself to train can be an effective strategy every once in a while, but having to do so every single training may give you the opposite effect.
At the end of the day, while there are a lot of tricks and hacks to help you out, the truth is that sometimes it’s just better to stay at home. Forcing yourself to do anything is going to create a reluctance towards this thing, which means that instead of just skipping one training, you might end up abandoning this healthy habit altogether.
Also, make sure to remember that every good training regimen has at least one or two rest days per week. Still, for those who are concerned about their mood getting in the way of their progress, the above-listed six tips are known to be quite effective.
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