I do suffer from gym fatigue from time to time. This may seem hard to believe from looking at my enthusiastic posts on Social media, but there have been and are times in life when the gym is just not calling to me.
It is at times like this when I Need to take stock and re-evaluate my goals and remember why I started in the first place and how far I have come and how far I want to go. I am writing this during one of those times.
Having spent a week of down time away and after a few crazy stressful months, my gym motivation seems to be having a bit of a nap. So the question is, how do you get out of a gym funk when it feels like it is the last thing that you want to do.
New kit! I do have a bit of a trainer addiction! I love new trainers especially the bright ones. Sometimes when I am feeling really demotivated, then a new piece of kit really helps me to get my act together to get in to the gym and workout!
Gym location: If the gym is not convenient to get to that it is unlikely, for me anyway, that I will actually go their regularly. If you are lucky enough to find a gym which is near by, then it is usually better to go to that one and with it being easy to get to, it is more likely you will stay motivated to keep going back! Make it as easy as possible for yourself.
Goals and rewards: Set up a series of goals over a 12 month period. Write them down in a journal. I have been guilty of not doing this, knowing I want to be in the best shape of my life but not really having a direction of any kind. Having small achievable goals is a great way to give you something to head towards. The challenge with just having one goal is that once that goal is reached, the reason for your motivation often drops off. So it is good to have a series of goals and reasons to get and stay in awesome shape. And to reward yourself each time you hit a target.
Gym buddy: This is the one which helps me the most. At times I have had a coach (different to a PT) who has been my motivator and really helped moved me towards where I want to go with my goals. Having someone with whom you speak to regularly and who can push you at times when you really do not feel like it are a great way to keep you going. Or better still, a gym buddy!!!
Pictures: Take pictures of yourself every week to track your progress. Put them somewhere all together side by side and look at them regularly. This way you can see how far you have come and remind yourself of where you were when you started. Seeing the changes in your body is really rewarding and of course motivating!
Feel good: I rarely regret going to the gym and the incredible feeling that I get once I have completed my workout. Of course you have the endorphins which are chemicals that flood the body after you have worked out increasing your feelings of well being but also I seem to have increased confidence, reduced stress and increased self esteem, not to mention a sense of achievement and accomplishement. It is easy for me not to remember this when I am sitting at home on the sofa binge watching Netflix, whilst harbouring obsessive thoughts over whether or not I should go the corner store and buy a bag of cookies! When I remember that feeling great after the gym far outweighs a binge watch and a biscuit, it gets my arse out to that gym!
Schedule and plan: Each week I put into the diary the time that I intend to work out and so it becomes an appointment. I do not always manage to stick to it but it really does increase my chances of actually getting to the gym. Additionally I have a plan of exactly what I am going to do when I get to the gym so I do not cheat myself. If I do not have this, I find myself starting out saying that I will do the treadmill for 30 minutes and then half way through just stopping. With a workout plan for both cardio and weights I tend not to cheat myself and leave the gym early!
Enjoyment: It is unlikely that we will stick at anything that we do not really enjoy. Granted sometimes we will need to give ourselves a few tries at something to see if we really like it, but when I was a cardio bunny I struggled so much to go to the gym. Being on the same old stair master day after day was actually rather demotivating. I really wanted to get in to shape, but could not get excited about staring that timer down on the cardio machine day after day. So I experiment with things like cross fit, rock climbing, body pump etc., until I found what I really really love lifting dem heavy arse weights… and I have not looked back since.