Yesterday we covered skipping the gym and why rest days are for those looking for excuses. Today we continue our series on motivation and overcoming those times when training seems like a chore or task rather than something to revel in. When motivation to hit the weights, wanes, there are a number of effective methods you can employ to get over this bump in the road to greatness.
1. Compete: We here at wild/STRONG believe competition is key to everything. Nothing provides motivation to drag yourself to the gym and have a good training session, than having a date on the calendar looming – staring back at you – an invisible opponent who is in the gym every day, waiting to crush you on the field of battle because you didn’t prepare for the war.
Those who train but don’t compete, are lesser-thans. If your goals are different and competition is not something you strive for, that’s fine. Just don’t go asking yourself why you aren’t seeing the same gains as someone who does. The person who tests themselves in competition, on a consistent basis, will be better than you. They will understand their limits better than you do. They will be more effective at identifying their weaknesses than you are. Their training has a level of motivation and intensity you will not be able to replicate.
Having a tough time pushing yourself to the limit in your training? Get on the internet, locate a competition and sign up, today.
2. Buy new gear: It’s amazing that this works, but it does. We are like children when it comes to new stuff. Buying a new pair of shoes, wraps, knee sleeves, shirt, hoodie, whatever it is, can jump-start your motivation levels. We want new gear to work better or make us feel better – some if it actually does, but generally speaking this is a placebo effect. If some of your gear is older, not as effective, doesn’t look as cool – go replace it. Treat yourself and then get in the gym and test it. Investing in your fitness level is never a waste of money, as long as you use it. Obviously nothing will motivate you to train more than throwing on a new “Definition” T-shirt from wild/STRONG or a nice, form-fitting “Untamed” ¾ sleeve (A study is being conducted now, but we are fairly certain these raise your test levels by 40%)
3. Get training partners: Having someone you train with every day is a powerful motivator. This person should be someone who pushes you to be better and vice versa. This must be a two-way relationship. Don’t be the one who is always seeking the push. This can be your significant other (if you are lucky enough to be with someone who shares your passion, Just don’t take one of those “we are kissing while we do overhead squat” pictures. Those people suck.)
Having a variety of training partners who hold you accountable, support you when you are down and push you to be better - is an important tool for anyone who wants to achieve their goals. Just be sure to return the favor.
4. Watch Youtube: Watching videos of whatever activity you train for can be a great source of motivation. Thinking about skipping the gym tonight? A couple videos of Illya Illin hitting a world-record clean and jerk can turn that right around. Youtube is filled with motivation videos of people doing awesome shit. My personal favorite, even though I am not a powerlifter, is Mark Bell and Brandon Lilly’s Powerlifting: The Mentality video. If I ever think about not training, I can watch that and immediately turn into a rabid dog, foaming at the mouth until I can get into the gym to lift some heavy weight. Whatever your sport or reason for training – log on and watch a couple videos and then go hit some PR’s.
5. Listen to Good Music: We covered this in our piece on “Preparing for a PR”, so I won’t belabor the point here. Suffice it to say, music can be a powerful influence on your motivational levels. Make a playlist next time you are recovering from a training session.
6. Learn to Meditate: This is something I wish I had started doing at a much earlier age. Spending time by yourself visualizing your goals is very effective at motivating you to train. A great mentor of mine once told me, “Work back from your goals.” That is to say, identify your goals, and view the steps to get there from the goal, backwards. This is a simple and very effective way of achieving what you want – in training and in life. Meditating is a perfect way to view this system and what you need to do today to make those dreams a reality. If you are new to meditating, there are a number of apps out there that can point you in the right direction. I personally like “headspace”, it is a free download and you can try it out for free before given the option to pay for some of the premium services.
At the end of the day, motivation is up to you. You are the only person that can make the choice to get up every day and pursue your goals. These are just a few of the ways I push myself. I hope some of them work for you – identify which ones do, and make them part of your repertoire. Now go have a great training session!