Whether you’re a newbie to your fitness regime or you’ve been immersed in the same training program for years, a common setback for everyone is finding the motivation to keep going.
Whilst it’s often only a short-lived feeling, low motivation can easily throw you off your workout groove meaning you might need to hit the reset button. With a few simple adjustments, workout hacks, and a little fine-tuning though, you can re-find your workout mojo in no time.
Tip 1: Learn a new skill
Doing the same thing over and over again can be boring. Our lack of motivation can stem from repetitiveness of our training routine. Little is more demotivating than knowing you’ll be doing the same exercises you’ve done hundreds of reps in already.
One way around this could be to teach yourself how to do a new exercise or skill. Any new skill must be challenging to be interesting (there’s no point trying an exercise if you can learn it in a day!), but also achievable.
We have a few ideas below:
Pistol Squat: The pistol squat is a great exercise for building quad strength, managing muscle imbalances, and showing off at parties. There are plenty of progressions you can incorporate into your workouts until you can master the full exercise.
Gymnastic Rings: They’re hard, but the exercises and skills you can learn on them are endless. You’ll never get bored training on rings as once you’ve mastered one skill, you can just move on to the next! What’s more, they’re amazing for building upper body strength and training your abs. Here is our beginner’s guide to gymnastic rings.
Handstand Push-ups: Another exercise that requires no equipment and impresses at parties. The handstand push-up is one of the most challenging exercises you can attempt (you’re asking your shoulders to take your body weight, and then press up and down!), so be sure to try some foundation exercises. First to build strength in the shoulders and chest, and then develop control over the scapula and core areas.
Tip 2: Bring a friend on board
Exercising on your own can get tedious, boring, and lonely for some people, especially if you do it regularly. If this sounds like you, it might be time to recruit a friend to exercise alongside you. Studies show that individuals who exercise with a partner are likely to work out more often.
Exercising with someone else also adds some accountability to your exercise regime. You can encourage each other to do what needs to be done. You’ll also be motivated to not let someone else down by skipping a day in the gym.
You could bring them into the gym with you and show off your workouts to each other. Alternatively, you could just keep it simple and go for a run or cycle together. For those of us who like to exercise at home, why not link up with a friend over video call?
Heck, if you’re desperate exercising with a robot might be better than exercising alone.
Tip 3: Set specific goals
It might help to shift your focus to working towards a specific goal, rather than just focussing on vague goals like “getting fitter”, “run further”, or “lose weight”. How much further do you want to run? Do you want to do it within a certain time limit? How much weight do you want to have lost after 6 weeks?
Setting specific goals can help focus your workouts. So long as they are achievable, they can help you stay motivated or even re-motivate you when you reach a slump. They’re also a foolproof method to keep yourself accountable.
Tip 4: Forget perfection
It can often feel like everything in the exercise world has to be perfect for us to see results. This illusion is perpetuated by social media, magazines, celebrities, and mass media, often leaving you thinking I don’t have the time, energy, or willpower to do that.
As it is, social media is just one big highlight reel so what you see on there is far from the reality, often funded by sponsors, and barely a snapshot of the reality of workouts.
The truth is you don’t have to work out like a navy seal every time you step into the gym. Doing something is better than doing nothing, so even a quick 20-minute workout or a short walk can help you reach your fitness goals if you haven’t got the time or motivation for your usual workout.
Tip 5: Remix your soundtrack
Bored of the same old tunes? Ramp up your workout by taking some time to create or find a playlist to exercise to. Keep updating it or add a lot of songs so that you don’t end up with the same songs every workout.
Whether it’s pumping iron on the bench press, or burning calories on the treadmill, adding music to your workout has been shown to improve performance and psychology.
Tip 6: Switch up your environment
If you’ve spent the winter training indoors at a gym or from your living room, the arrival of spring might be the perfect time to bring your mat out to the park or take to the local running track instead of the gym’s treadmill.
Throwing in a new environment every so often can help you stay motivated and give you some new experiences during your workout. Exercising outdoors can not only help you explore even more of your local area, but it can also give you more variation to your routine. A crucial aspect in retaining motivation to exercise.
Just be ready to make a few adjustments if your program is geared to using indoor equipment or reliant on being inside.
Tip 6: Take a new angle
Reframing your workout is an effective method for achieving exercise goals. By thinking about your workout as something you “want to do” rather than something you “have to do”, you might begin to see your workout in a more positive light.
Changing your mindset can be difficult, particularly if it’s a workout that, for whatever reason, you just dread. So here’s our quick guide to change your mindset and hate your workout a little less.
Method 1: Understand your aversion – figure out why you are dreading the workout. Is it a previous bad experience, is it too easy, or just not worthwhile? Once you understand your dread it may be easier to adjust the workout and thus feel differently about it.
Method 2: Adjust your expectations – sometimes you hate the workout because it’s hard and you’re worried you might fail at it. In this situation, it’s ok to tone the workout down a bit. Maybe adjust the reps, slow the pace, or lower the weight. Easing into the workout and managing your expectations might help you reframe your opinion of it.
Method 3: Do it more often – usually we end up doing the workouts we like the least, less. Lack of familiarity with the workout can sometimes be the source of anxiety towards it. Gradually increasing the frequency with which you do the workout can make it less remarkable and reduce the stress it can cause.
Method 4: Reward – everyone loves a reward. Giving yourself a reward at the end of the workout, whatever it may be (hot bath, a nice meal?), might help motivate you to get it done.
Tip 7: Write your objectives down
Sometimes the trick is as simple as jotting a few words on a bit of paper. Whether it’s short-term or long-term objectives, getting them down on paper before you workout can be crucial to re-finding your workout mojo.
Tip 8: Get some new gear
Treating yourself to some new activewear can truly change your approach and reinvigorate you into being more motivated to exercise again. If the clothing or a brand new pair of running shoes doesn’t cut it for you, you could try getting your hands on some new equipment.
Simple and affordable exercise equipments have the same effect, not only on how you work out but brings with it an exciting change to your routine. A cheap pull-up bar or some fancy dumbbells may just give you that extra motivation you need. Plus, they store away easily and do not cost much to buy.
So, there we have it.
8 tips, tricks, and hacks you can use if you’re struggling to find the motivation to get back to the gym.
Whether it’s getting back to burning calories on the treadmill or pumping the legs on the squat rack, motivation plays such a key role in kickstarting and maintaining our exercise regime and achieving our workout goals.
If you’re struggling with your motivation to workout, try a few out and see which ones work best for you.