No longer excited for your workouts? Here are a few ways to improve your workout motivation.
You know that in order for your sports performance to improve, strength training at 110% is a table stakes requirement. Whether you’re looking to compete at a high level, or just trying to look and feel better, the commitment to getting bigger, faster, and stronger must be there. Why then can't you work up the motivation to get dressed and stick to your workout routine? Why would you rather skip training altogether, even when you know you’re only hurting yourself?
While lulls in motivation from time to time are quite normal, an ongoing period of laziness may mean something else is at play. During these stretches, carefully assessing a few important things will allow youto identify what’s causing this lack of desire, helping to remedy the situation and get you back into the gym.
Knowing that, here are six reasons your workout motivation may be lagging, along with possible solutions for each.
1. You’re Overtraining
Perhaps the most common reason for lags in workout motivation occur when you overtrain. You’re hitting the gym hard, day in and day out, placing tremendously high stress loads on the body. Over time, this begins to build up – so much so that you aren’t recovering properly.
This is when overtraining sets in. Overtraining causes high levels of fatigue to occur, making even the thought of getting into the gym too overwhelming to deal with.
When that happens, it’s time to take a brief training break (think an active recovery week where you lay off the weights completely). Your body will get the time it needs to fully recover, and when you do begin to train again, you’ll feel fresh and happy to be there.
2. You’re Stressed
Another cause of low motivation is stress. Maybe it’s school, work, your personal relationship, or perhaps even money troubles.
Whatever the cause, stress is a huge motivation killer. Take a look at your life to determine where the problem lies.
In some cases we may not even realize we’re stressed until we really take a deep look at what’s going on. Supplements like glutamine will help combat this stress when taken before/after workouts and before bed.
3. You’re Burnt Out
Burnout is another serious issue that some high level, competitive athletes deal with. Burnout is slightly different from overtraining in that fatigue and poor recovery are not always present, but a feeling of being stuck in a rut and bored with your training is.
When you’re burnt out, you just have zero desire to train. You may find you’ve got the desire to perform other physical activities (non-related to what you typically do), but as soon as you’ve got a workout planned, you feel like it’s the last thing you want to be doing.
If it’s burnout, it’s time to take a week away from all training. Sometimes you simply just need a break. There’s no way around thisand one week off shouldn’t hamper your performance to a significant extent.
If it allows you to come back in a better place, ready to train hard once again, you’ll be far better off than you were before the break.
4. Your Nutrition Is Lacking
Another factor generally overlook when assessing low workout motivation is nutrition. If you’re eating poorly, and aren’t providing your body with the calories and carbohydrates it needs to sustain your physical activity, your desire to workout will dissipate.
Low carb diets especially have a tendency to sap your motivation since they reduce the level of the feel-good hormone serotonin in the body. Some actually become more prone to depression on low carb diets, and it’s hard to deny a correlation between depression and motivation.
As an athlete, carbohydrates are a vital part of your nutrition strategy, so dieting or not, make sure you have some in your plan.
5. You Need A Change
Next up is boredom. Have you been doing the same workout routine over and over again? If you have, perhaps it’s simply time to add variation to your training.
Anyone will become bored of a given program after so long, so if you can’t remember the last time you changed your workout routine, it’s time to do so.
Try a new training split, add a new mix of exercises, or just get outside for some cardio training rather than chaining yourself to the machines in the gym. These can all help bring back your desire to train again.
6. You Haven’t Set Short Term Specific Goals
The last reason your motivation may be low is if you haven’t set any short term, specific goals yet.
Many athletes want to win a championship, or hit a personal best for the season, but on a session-to-session basis, these long-term goals don’t prove to be all that motivating.
Instead, start setting session goals. Name one thing you want to accomplish in that given session, and then attack that goal. This will give each workout a brand new purpose, helping to enhance your training intensity that much more.
Everyone struggles through motivation lulls. But if you feel as though you’ve been in a big slump lately, assess the situation and determine if any of the six causations above are at play. Do that, apply the solution,and you’ll be in a much better position to begin making progress again.
Additonally the following supplements from 1R may help improve your workout motivation: