Going through the motions, we’ve all been guilty of committing the horrible sin of laziness. We made it to the gym, or on the bike, or out onto the field but mentally we are worlds away. Our actions are robotic, we’re doing the bare minimum. Maybe you’ve been feeling that way about your workouts. You’re struggling to motivate yourself in the gym, you aren’t getting the results you want, and just going through the motions.
If you commit to something long enough there will be times when you don’t feel like being there. It’s okay, those days happen. We’re here to help you avoid them with this week’s breakdown.
Pick A Goal
“In the long run, we only hit what we aim at.” – Henry David Thoreau
Life is chaotic, we’re constantly being pulled in different directions and having a solid and concrete goal provides us with a focus point and a reason for each decision you make. If your goal for Monday morning is to deadlift 500 lbs you are far more likely to spend the weekend resting properly and getting your sleep. Once you get into the gym you can focus on this goal, doing a proper warm-up, foam rolling and completing your supplementary work. It keeps you on track and dedicated to the workout.
When you are reflecting on which goal you would like to pursue choose something that combines aspects of both Intrinsic and Extrinsic motivation, having both elements helps in overcoming adversity and will lead to more sustainable living practices. For example, my goal is to lose weight and if I do I’ll be able to wear my favorite pair of pants – that I’ve recently outgrown – to a party this summer. That is the extrinsic aspect, but I also want to develop the confidence to wear them and that becomes my intrinsic driver.
Track Your Progress
We have understood the value of tracking progress from the very beginning of time, whether it’s scratching on a tree, breadcrumbs in the forest or countries printed on parchment. It’s amazing to have set a goal but unless you know where you have been you run the risk of traveling the same path over and over again.
Every time you go to the gym you should be looking to improve on your previous session, that means adding more weight to the bar, doing an extra rep or finishing a bit faster. Tracking the results of each session in a training journal allows you to track progress and see where adjustments need to be made.
Focus on the Big Rocks
There was a time when weight training consisted of a select few exercises, that is no longer the case. Amazing work done by intelligent coaches have led to the creation of hundreds of new exercise variations and modification, but, it’s not all positive. Trying to navigate the giant pool of exercises and pick the right one for you can be a daunting task, add in confusing acronyms and obscure last names – TK BU KB Press or the Svend Press – and it all becomes too much.
Our advice, stick to the Big Rocks, these are the primary compound lifts that you learned when you first started training. This is especially important if you are short on time and want to avoid falling into the trap of serving yourself a daily dose of HIIT training. Forgo the machines, and excessively complicated setups in favor of the basics: Squat, Deadlift, Lunge, Pull, Push, Plank, and Carry. They are full body exercises, that require full body recruitment and contribute to higher levels of post-exercise metabolism.
Put Your Phone Away
Netflix and Work? The phenomenon that involves spending 30 minutes picking a show to put on while you do work which will take twice as long and be half as good if you had just sat down uninterrupted.
The gym is no different, spending 30 seconds lifting a weight and 3 minutes checking the IG is a death sentence for your workout. How long you train matters far less than how long you train with intention. If you are going to be in the gym for an hour regardless why not dial it in and get some real benefit.