Dan "Nitro" Clark here. You know the benefits or working out, right? But how come you probably skip more workouts than you should? How do you build that iron will determination to keep consistent with your workout program so you can reach your health and fitness goals?
I've been working out since I got my first bench press set in 1977 when I was 13 years old. It was a gray and silver plastic set of weights from the department store totaling 110 pounds.
Fast forward to 38 years later and I'm still slinging the iron and trying to crush WOD's at the box.
Over the years I've had a lot of people say to me, "It's easy for you, you love working out!" The truth is, a good portion of the time, I loathe the idea of going to the gym and training. My saving grace is - I know how good I'll feel after I train.
A good, hard workout where I give everything is SOUL CLEANSING. It's my sanity. It wipes the slate clean and let's me begin again anew.
How have I been able to be consistent in my training for almost 40 years?
Here are my top MOTIVATION HACKS!
1. Get through the door. I know no matter what, If I can just get myself through the gym door I'll be okay and things will workout. When I'm feeling super unmotivated I change my goal from working out - to just getting through the gym door. I don't think about the workout - I focus on just getting myself through the door. Once I'm there - and start moving something takes over and it all seems to workout. If you're having a particularly low motivation day - change your goal from working out to just getting through the gym door. Once you get there - you're going to be just fine.
2. Imagine how great you're going to feel after the workout. This is a Jedi Mind Trick that I've been using for years. When I don't feel like working out and dreading the thought of it - I simply take a few deep breaths and imagine how frickin awesome I'll feel AFTER I workout. The myriad of feelings are: frickin awesome, proud, accomplished, healthy, good about myself, strong, confident, etc. I take a few moments and really let these feelings sink in. By focusing on the positive instead of the dread of working out - I'm creating new neural pathways associating exercising to positive - kick ass feelings.
3. Ignore that voice that says go back to sleep or skip the gym. We've all got the nagging voice in our head that keeps us from going to the gym. It says thing like, "I'm tired, I don't want to workout, I'll do it later, not today, it's too early, it's too late, it's too cold, I don't have time, etc." I ignore that bastard and tell him to shut up and sit down - I've got a workout to crush. Try it! Next time you hear that voice in you head say...
4. Tell a friend you'll meet them at the gym. I use this one a lot right now. On days where I'm not looking forward to working out - I hit a buddy up and tell him/her I'll meet him / her at the gym. Now, if I don't go... I'm not only letting myself down, but a friend down. This is usually enough to make me keep the commitment.
5. Don't be a Hans Solo. Find an exercise community where you enjoy the people. It'll give you something to look forward to besides the workout. I love being surrounded, motivated and inspired by people with similar goals. CROSSFIT has a great community - and one of the main reasons I do it. There are a lot of great running groups out there too: Weeple Army, SISU, Lone Star Spartans. If you're running low on motivation, don't go at it solo. Join a community.
6. Sign up for a competition or race. Training without a goal, race or competition is like earning college credits without aiming to get your diploma. When I'm feeling unfocused in my training and workouts start to seem pointless and my motivation has evaporated - I'll sign up for a competition or race. Nothing focuses me more than whenI know I have a competition or race coming up. If you're feeling lost and a drift and need a reason to train - sign up for a competition and watch the motivation come pouring in like a...