Let’s face it: things are utterly sh*t at the moment. For yet another unknown period to come, we are facing harsh restrictions in a last-ditch effort to control Covid-19. We know what that means: dusting off the not-so-dusty dumbbells from Lockdown 2.0, rolling out the yoga mat, and smahooooshing the home workout business.
All well and good in theory; but, if you are anything like me, motivation to train has been at an all time low, therefore rendering our best laid plans completely useless…
BUT, all is not lost; for this battle of the mind is easily won, as I have experienced first-hand with my own individual training. So, in light of this, behold my 5 Top Tips for re-stoking the mental Fire of Desire, getting yourself out of a rut and smashing your way through Lockdown 3.0…
Exercise : Why It’s So Important…
Before we get going on the tips for re-gaining motivation to exercise, I want to breifly outline the importance of exercise in times of Coronavirus. I needn’t stress the wealth of physical and mental benefits of regular exercise in full, but I think it would be good to explain why you should be moving on the reg at this moment in time…
Managing Mental Health – Lockdown is shit. No two ways about it, and if you are anything like myself, then the last 6 weeks has been, quite frankly, a bit of a shocker upstairs! Yet in times of intense mental stress, the one thing that has proven 99% successful in managing negative thoughts has been exercise. This is primarily due to the release of endorphins (‘Happy hormones’) caused by physical activity. If you have been searching far and wide for ways to manage stress and anxiety, dip into the Wonderful World of Home Workouts, or discover the beauty that is running.
Increasing Energy Expenditure – chances are, you are now working from home, which means no commute, no walking to/from the station, and no interaction with other human beings (well, apart from home schooling the kids…); so levels of Non-Exercise Activty Thermogenisis (NEAT) are going to be massively down from usual levels. Therefore, making a concious effort to stay active throughout the day is vital for maintaining the energy balance required for you goal. This could be as simple as going for a 5 minute wander every 1-2 hours.
Promoting Optimal Function of the Immune System – Obviously, the vaccine is in circulation now; but that doesn’t mean we should neglect natural techniques to boost immunity. Apart from specific nutritional strategies to improve immunity, exercise has been proven as an incredibly effective way to improve your body’s ability to fight of disease. Or, as Professor David Nieman explains:
So, alongside the usual benefits of exercise, now more than ever should be a time to prioritising physical activity and staying happy and healthy through regular movement. Now onto what you are here for: my Top 5 Tips for Taking Back Control of your Motivation to Train….
#1 – Create Visual Cues
Visual Cues are a great way to give you a psychological poke to get your ass into gear. This could be anything that gets you motivated, whether it’s a picture of your old self that you would like to look like once more, or a picture of one of your role models who you aspire to be like.
With these, try and avoid people like dudes with ridiculous 6-packs, or girls with bums the size of Britain; instead, opt for someone who inspires you on a more psychological front. For example, anyone who knows me will testify to my love of Ant Middleton & Ross Edgeley, both of whom have made me much more resilient and mentally strong through their books.
Having visual cues in plain sight around the house can help give you a reminder of why you workout, and therefore instil a touch of extra motivation in the tank!
#2 – Develop Strong Daily/Weekly Routines
It doesn’t have to be the full-blown, HG A-Level Revision Notes, Colour-coded timetable of what you are going to get up to to the minute. It could be as simple as a rough mental note about what you want to achieve, how you want to achieve it, and during what period of the day you are going to achieve it.
When it comes to working out at home or running on the regular, schedule a rough time period every week that you want to bang one of these out. If you are really struggling to muster the mental strength to workout at home, one thing that many of my Athletes are benefitting from is working out on the same days/at similar times EVERY WEEK. That way, your body will begin to automatically ready itself for an impending session at this times, including your brain and nervous system.
Routines at just for control freaks. They are the building blocks of a successful exercise & nutrition programme, particularly in Lockdown!
#3 – Make It Groovy with Some Naughty Beats
Because nothing gets the engine revving like some pumping DnB (or, if I am in that sort of mood, a bit of Rick Astley…).
Music has an incredible power in its ability to make us more physically and mentally prepared to exercise. Studies show that certain types of music can have a significant effect on various physiological systems, such as heart rate and breathing rate; therefore making us more likely to push through and smash a huge session.
Turns out that the thing you may be missing in your search for motivation is some naughty beats. And the best thing about this? You decide; whatever floats the metaphorical boat, peeps….
#4 – Get Outdoors & Go Somewhere Different
One of the biggest issues both myself and my partner have found with working from home is the blurring of boundaries between work, relaxation and exercise. The flat has become place of work, place of rest, place of exercise all at the same time, meaning that it is impossible to switch off and ends out getting pretty monotonous.
The solution? Head to your local park & Smash A Session in the Great Outdoors! Not only will getting some fresh air pay massive dividends for your mental wellbeing, the fact that you have to walk/drive to the place in which you exercise helps give you that escape that we all crave from working out.
At the end of the day, that is one of the most common reasons why we train: to get that mental break from everyday life, and escape into a world of Deadlifts and Burpees. Going outdoors and exercising outside may give you that escape from the home that is needed to revive your exercise routine!
#5 – Join The #GPTDreamTeam !
Of course, there is the best option of them all….
With Daily Accountability Check Ins, your Personalised Home Workout Programme, and Access to a huge range of HIIT Workouts, follow-along mobility and Yoga sessions, joining my growing team of Online Athletes will inevitably give you a mahooosive kick up the bum!
If YOU want to keep a one-way ticketon the Gain Train, then get at me for a whole new Online Personal Training Experience with my new training platform and delivery service!
The Final Word
Don’t beat yourself up if you have been feeling like shite when it comes to working out recently. Personally, I have never been as de-motivated to train as I was at the beginning of this lockdown; and as someone who is usually ridiculously self-motivated to train, this was a bit of a novel experience for me.
However, by utilising the above 5 tips to re-light the fire, I have since been able to get the zest for training back in the system. And so can YOU!
If you need a hand give us a message, and I can get you onboard as one of my Online Athletes to SMAHOOOOOOOOOOOSH your goals in 2021!
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