It’s that time of year again. We are merely hours away from Thanksgiving and the year end holidays are on the way. While I myself have always been doubly motivated during the fall and winter seasons, most people tend to skimp around this time of year. It’s understandable as the temperature drops, traveling becomes more difficult, and family gatherings are inevitable.
Never fear, I’ve conjured up five tips to help you stay motivated during these gloomy months and hopefully allow you to stay in peak physical shape for the glorious spring season just months away! Here we go…
#5 – Get Off Your Ass
Newton knew what he was talking about when he defined the laws of motion. The idea that an object in motion stays in motion while one at rest stays at rest applies not only to intangible materials but people. The wintry months don’t help us at all as it gets darker earlier and forces us to stay inside our warm homes. Who wants to move in such a cozy setting?
While it’d be great to sit on that recliner all day, you need to find ways to keep yourself busy on your days off from work. Start a to-do list for around the house, give your car a tune-up, or go for a jog. Find ways to avoid being sedentary before hitting the gym!
#4 – Update Your Playlist
Surely you know the beneficial effects music can have on your workouts so why not take a little bit of time and adjust your current playlist to reflect songs you’ve recently heard or have exhausted. I’m one of those people who have been listening to the same Disturbed and Metallica songs for years but know my friends at my gym would much rather have diverse selections.
To demonstrate this we had done a study for a course last semester where we had done a variety of exercises with and without the aid of a song, which was “Savior” by Rise Against. Our data suggested the participants, 3 total, had a 30% increase in weight lifted when listening to the song than without. That sounds good to me!
#3 – Change Something Every Workout
I hate the cold and surely the majority of you do as well which leads to staying inside. Power to all the folks who enjoy running and training outside when it’s below freezing but I won’t be caught dead with them. This limitation the weather causes can lead to some repetitive workouts depending on how you train and what your gym has to offer. I lift at a local gym no bigger than the lobby of a KFC so I have to use my imagination sometime to avoid getting bored with my routine.
I’m not advising you to change your routine. If you are seeing results on paper or the mirror don’t adjust anything! My suggestion to you is alter things on a micro scale. Try changing your rep/set scheme for a particular exercise or the tempo. I recently began following supplement companies and muscle magazines on Facebook that post daily workout advice to help avoiding repetition.
#2 – Form a Routine
You already have a routine you say? What about your pre-workout routine? Forming ritualistic practices prior to lifting is a great way to ensure you hit the gym when you intend to. When I was lifting at the recreational center last semester I needed a 3 hour time block to guarantee a great lifting session. I would eat 2 small meals, read about what I was lifting that day, take my supplements, take the bus down to the gym where I would visualize my lifts and listen to my music, and then finally lift.
Whatever you decide to include in this pre-workout ritual just be sure to stick with it. Don’t go to the gym randomly every day. Give yourself a 1-2 hour window to do activities leading up to your session and you’ll ensure a productive day!
#1 – Say Cheese
There’s a reason that every gym has at LEAST one mirror hanging somewhere and that’s for members to check themselves out. Don’t try to hide the fact that whether you’re squatting or doing crunches that you flex your arms at least one during a gym session.
We all do it.
The thing with checking yourself out in the mirror everyday is that it’s very hard to gauge how well you’re progressing. That’s where taking some snapshots of yourself comes in. Whether you take a picture of yourself in the bathroom doing a most muscular or you go through all the competition poses and have a friend do the dirty work, the key is keeping a photographic journal of yourself. It’s much easier to dissect how a certain program is working by looking at visuals spanning a 3 month window as opposed to daily wonderment.
Just think of all the “likes” and “pokes” you’ll get on Facebook. Now hit the gym!