Help! I'm losing motivation working out!
By: James Hutchinson
Everyone can lack motivation and struggle to stay consistent with their training at the gym now and then. There are many factors that can contribute to this. The main reasons we hear when speaking to clients is that work and/or family commitments make it difficult for them.
This is perfectly understandable and normal.
When a lack of motivation becomes a regular occurrence and puts you behind with your training and your fitness, however, it is time to change things. It is so much easier to talk yourself out of a training program than it is to get into one. It takes strong will and determination to stick with it and be consistent with your training program.
Here is some advice that will help you stay motivated:
1. Remember the end goal
There is a reason why you go to the gym, it is always important to remember your goal and what it takes to reach it. Nothing comes easy. It takes hard work, dedication and persistence to stick with your long-term plan. And continue.
2. Workout with a friend/partner
You can help each other get through the workout and it will make going to the gym more interesting. To make it even more engaging and fun why not add a competitive element to your training program. You can set targets and challenges where you are competing against each other. For example, see who can do the most push-ups in 1 minute. If you book a personal trainer it will also work out less if you do it together.
3. Work with a personal trainer
A PT can offer valuable advice and keep you motivated by devising you a long-term programme that is very structured and aimed towards your fitness objective. Going to a gym can be overwhelming for some people, so a personal trainer is very useful in guiding you in the right direction. Not only can they offer education and motivation, they can give nutritional advice if your diet is lacking in the essential macronutrients. At Elemental Fitness we have a range of personal trainers with different skill sets and specialities including kickboxing, strength and conditioning and weight loss. For more information on what our personal trainers can offer you click on the link: https://elemental-fitness.com/training/personal-training-leeds
4. Have a structured programme
On one day focus on building leg strength, the next day chest and shoulders for instance. Working on the same muscle group every day is not a good idea and can get very repetitive. Your muscles need time to repair and rest after a heavy workout session. You are in danger of causing injury if you overdo it on one muscle group. Similarly try and stay consistent with your training days and not leave too big of a gap between sessions.
5. Aim for small goals and rewards
It can be difficult to think too far ahead. Some people are dismayed when they do not see instant success or results from their workout programme. Remember it takes time and patience to achieve your overall goal. However, if you set yourself shorter term targets and reward yourself every so often it can help to keep you motivated in the long term. A shorter-term target for example could be to achieve a full barbell squat if you are a beginner to the squat movement. It is about small progressions and learning the right technique first.
6. Do functional exercise
Most gyms have a functional area which includes different equipment and machines. Functional exercises can improve your overall fitness levels and are useful movements for everyday life. Here at Elemental Fitness we have a wide range of equipment such as kettlebells, dumbbells, medicine balls, stability ball, steppers, punch bags, a sled prowler, a tyre and battle ropes. These can help to keep your workouts fresh, fun and interesting. They add some variety to your workout programme to keep you motivated. You can make the workouts very enjoyable and at the same time it is improving your fitness and keeping you engaged. For more information on what Elemental Fitness have to offer click on the following link https://elemental-fitness.com/
7. Take regular measurements to see progress
Take body measurements and weight after several weeks of training and compare this to previous figures. But don’t get disheartened if you see no progress. This should spur you on to try harder and change your programme at the gym. Positive results will convince you you’re doing the right thing and are on track. At Elemental Fitness we take body measurements every 6-8 weeks. We start by giving you an induction to find out your goals and fitness ambitions. Measurements we take include Body Mass Index (BMI), Body Fat %, Body Water %, Basal Metabolic Rate and Bone Mass (kg). We then update this information on an online dashboard, which enables you to see your progress. To see a full list of measurements we take at Elemental Fitness click on the following link: https://elemental-fitness.com/training/training-induction
8. Add variety to your workout
If your workout is not stimulating enough mentally and physically anymore and you feel it has hit a plateau there is nothing wrong with changing it up and adding more variety. If you enjoy a specific exercise or routine make a note of this and what you like about it. Seek advice from a PT, from reliable fitness experts online or an experienced gym goer. Just ensure your sources are reliable. Give us a message on Facebook or via email, we’d be more than happy to answer any questions.
9. Have rest days
Rest is just as important as working out. Make sure you have plenty of rest, a lack of sleep can have a huge impact on your lack of motivation. You could be overdoing it at the gym, at work and at home. Allow yourself some time to relax from it all and refresh yourself ready to go again the next day.
10. Add a more competitive edge to your training
Set yourself personal challenges. This can make workouts more fun and engaging where you have something to aim for. Run your personal best on the treadmill for instance, then the next time aim to better that. Just remember to record your results each time. We offer our clients a different challenge every month and put the results on a leaderboard which are regularly posted on our Facebook page and website. It inspires healthy competitiveness and motivation in clients. The winner at the end of the year, with the most points, receives a prize. For more information on the Elemental Fitness Challenge Leader board click on the following link: https://elemental-fitness.com/challenge/2019
11. Record positive results when you make progress
When you can visibly see results and feel better mentally and physically this can have a huge impact on your motivation. It reminds you of why you are training at the gym in the first place. As well as taking measurements as mentioned above it is also advisable to take a photo of yourself before and after as it can inspire confidence and motivation. Keep a record of how many reps and sets you were able to do on one exercise, how much weight you used etc and aim to better this the next time. This is showing that you are making progress.
12. Join a class
You will be mixing with other people and they can help you stay motivated. There are many classes that lots of gyms offer now such as circuits, HIIT, bootcamp, boxing to name a few. Here at Elemental Fitness we have a Kickboxing Academy where we run a range of kickboxing classes where everyone is welcome no matter of age or ability. There are many benefits to joining in with the kickboxing classes. You are not only learning a martial art, but the classes also help to keep you mentally and physically stimulated, improve weight loss, can ease depression, improve balance and coordination, improve stress levels, increase flexibility and improve sleep. For a full list of our kickboxing classes click on the following link
We also run a circuit class which will give you an all-body workout every Saturday morning at 10am.
13. Visualise results
Imagine being successful and having the body of your dreams, have this picture in your mind and how this makes you feel. It can be very stimulating mentally and physically and can inspire you to continue with your training. When you have the end goal in sight whatever this may be this can be a huge motivator. If you are involved in competitive sport picture yourself lifting the gold medal or trophy you aspire to achieve. Visualisation techniques are very useful in helping you to stay motivated and have consistency. They are regularly used by athletes, footballers and many other sportspeople to help them achieve their goal.
A lack of motivation can stop you from achieving your goals if you let it. Through regular exercise you are not only improving physiologically but also psychologically. If you take onboard some of the advice above it will help to keep you on top of your exercise programme and stay motivated. The main things to take into consideration if you have hit a plateau, are just starting an exercise programme or if you are new to the gym is your work/family commitments and how much time you can dedicate to a fitness regime. Being organised, having a long-term plan and staying consistent and positive will keep you on track. It also requires a lot of patience and understanding. You will not achieve success over-night it takes a lot of time and effort to reach your overall fitness goal. Small progressions, results and rewards will help you to stay on track and achieve success.