Instead of a squat rack, you have the sitting room. Instead of the kettlebell, you have the kitchen. Instead of an outrageously handsome instructor giving you a kick up the backside to push yourself, you have the overwhelming urge to lie on the sofa for 12 hours bingeing that weird programme about tiger breeders on Netflix…
As gyms have closed, it is much harder for people to get their fix of physical activity on the reg and, coupled with the complete overhaul of our daily routine, it is much harder to structure one’s day accordingly. After all, if you don’t have your beloved barbells, working out appears to become more of an arduous chore as opposed to a physical and emotional necessity…
However, I am a bit of a crazy b*stard when it comes to fitness; my mum has always said that when it comes to exercise, I’m a wee bit of a junkie! This means that, come rain or shine, I will find the means (both physical and mental) to crack on with my training regardless of the circumstances; therefore, the question I have been asked countless times recently is “how the funk do you motivate yourself to workout at home?!” …
Lo! and Behold, I give you my Ultimate Guide To Motivating Yourself to Workout At Home!
#1 – Pencil It In The Diary
Let’s face it: the excuse “I have other plans” no longer applies, mate. You’re calendar is pretty sparse, only punctuated by the odd household job here and there. Likelihood is that the fence has probably already been painted, that shelf has probably already been put up, and there is ‘nowt left to do to make the house looking top dollar. Now’s the time to pencil in a regular time slot during your day when you can zone out and crack on with a great workout!
I always find that writing something down makes me more inclined to actually do it. Whatever works for you; a diary, a calendar, a scraggly note pinned on the fridge. Just having it down in black and white makes it much more likely to happen.
Furthermore, if you had a pretty stable routine prior to the pandemic, the current state of affairs has probably thrown you a wee bit off keel. Setting aside a set time every day dedicated to home workouts, outdoor runs, or a walk in the woods can help restore a bit of normality to your every day.
Because a Great Man once said:
Routine is the glue that holds our lives together. Man without routine is like Ben without Jerry, Morecambe without Wise, Beans without the Toast…H. Gripper, 2020
#2 – Crack Your Favourite Tunes Out
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: music is the key to a great workout!
Even when things were normal, studies have shown that music has a profound effect on the quality of your exercise, be it cardio or strength training. Listening to upbeat, motivating music that lifts you to where you need to be can reduce feelings of perceived fatigue and increase endurance, whilst also helping you to psychologically prepare for the intense physical stress that comes with a hard training sessions.
The beauty about being at home? No more generic, repetitive gym music: the ball is in your court, my friend. You decide the soundtrack…
If you are struggling to find the will to get up and get moving, why not stick on your favourite playlist to help get you into the mood for a mega-sesh. It could be some a guilty-pleasure-80’s-mixtape, or it could be some filthy Drum & Bass; either way, the right music can get you off the hump and into the groove.
Need a banging playlist to get you started? Check out my Spotify (@Harry Gripper) for some naughty tunes that take my personal workouts to the next level! s
#3 – Get the Crew Involved
Unfortunately, thanks to Lockdown restrictions and social distancing measures, you don’t have access to the Gym Buds who are usually there to give you that much-needed kick up the ass when you can’t be bothered to workout.
The way ’round it? Get a group chat fired up with all your fellow fitness fanatics and create times throughout the week where you do home workouts, or go for runs, within the same period. This will help you stay accountable to your routine; plus, for the more competitive among us, a bit of healthy rivalry may be the boost you need to motivate you towards keeping the fitness ball rolling.
Personally, I can never turn down a challenge when it comes to fitness, from the outrageously funky (see my…graceful attempt at the trending T-Shirt Challenge…), to the more traditional (but no less brutal) Crossfit Workout Of The Day…
And it’s not limited to the peeps you usually share the gym with…
Luckily (or unlucky, for some…), many of us are self-isolating surrounded by our nearest and dearest. Don’t think that your routine can’t involve the spouse, kids, or parents; getting the whole house in the mix will no doubt make for a fun and challenging session!
Try exercises like Plank High-5’s and Wheelbarrows for a workout that is as fun as it is brutal, or try choosing 5-10 exercises and do them as a pair where one person works while the other rests.
With obesity being a factor associated with higher risks of Covid-19, keeping the entire family fit has never been more important.
#4 – Have A Lockdown Goal
So your race has been cancelled, or your training cycle for a 1RM Deadlift PB has been scuppered. Now, you are left in limbo not knowing where to go; because after all, if you have nothing to train for, what’s the point of training anyway?
This is where you have to dust of the Creativity hat and find a new goal that you can work towards in the comfort of your own home…
Thankfully, many people have taken up running given the restrictions placed on gyms and other leisure facilities. If you are struggling to find the will to stick the trainers on and hit the roads, then set yourself small, attainable goals for each week with regards to distance, speed, or both. Progressively increase your weekly mileage and, before you know it, you’ll be cracking out 10k’s like no tomorrow!
Studies show that goal setting plays a central role in developing healthy, sustainable habits with regards to exercise. Having that target of, say, running a 5k without stopping by the end of April, will help give you a focus for the next couple of weeks. This will help you stick to a regular routine, and motivate you when the will to get out is in the bin.
It doesn’t have to be running-related, either; for example, my goal for the Lockdown period is to be able to do 5 Chinups on the bounce with perfect form. Calisthenics (bodyweight exercises) are highly underrated for muscle-development and hypertrophy; maybe now is the time for you to perfect your push-up!
#5 – Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff!
Missing a workout, eating a dodgy meal, or having a lazy-day binging Tiger King on Netflix all have the potential to make you feel like a failure when it comes to your fitness. If you take anything from reading this post, take this: DON’T SWEAT IT!!!
It is so easy to get into a downward spiral when you start mentally punishing yourself everytime you do something that you perceive as “off-track” with regards to your health. This sort of mindset is only going to serve to de-motivate you to a point of no return…
Everyone has off-days; everyone has the odd piece of chocolate here and there; and everyone certainly has a lazy day once in a while. It is so much better for your motivation if you simply allow yourself that vice rather than putting a psychological black mark on it.
I am a huge advocate of the 80/20 rule; yes, 80% of the time it is best to be on it with the nutrition, and cracking on with quality workouts. However, it is also important to remember to give yourself that other 20% for a bit of leeway in your lifestyle!
Don’t sweat it, peeps; one Kit-Kat here, and the odd missed workout there ain’t gonna break the the bank!
#6 – Join The Dream Team!
If you are struggling to find the ‘nouse to conjure up enough drive to crank out home workouts on the reg, sometimes it is the accountability of others that you need to keep it on the island. Lucky for you, I may have just the remedy for you
The GPT Dream Team is my community of fellow fitness fanatics, consisting mostly of my lovely clients as well as PureGym TW regulars. Every day, it gives me great pleasure seeing the positivity, optimism, and motivation everyone in the group gives one another, which also serves to help me stay afloat in these tricky times! If you are interested in daily workouts, challenges, and just general good chat, then get in touch and we’d love to have you in for the ride.
It is great being part of such an awesome community, and anyone wanting an extra bit of motivation is more than welcome to hop on the chat!
The Final Word
Don’t beat yourself up if you are struggling to motivate yourself to workout at home; anyone would be lying if they said that they have woken up every morning of lockdown ready and raring to smash a home HIIT session. It is only natural, given the circumstances, to feel a bit down in the dumps and demotivated when we are stuck at home 24/7!
However, follow these wee tips to help kick you into first gear, and I am sure you’re personal endeavour will take you the rest of the way! Everyone has the motivation there; sometimes it just takes a bit of digging to bring it to the surface!
Go crack us a follow on instagram @gpt.fitness for some quick and easy home workouts, and please don’t hesitate to drop us an email if you are interested injoining the GPT Dream Team 🙂
If in doubt, just think of the feeling you’ll have after exercising; let that be the dangly-carrot to power you through a Big Ol’ Session 🙂