What to Do When You Lack Motivation for Training
Bumps in the road...we all come across them every once in a while in our training. It is only natural to have ups and downs along the path, and you are just as likely to experience days where you stroll into the gym ready to crush your workout as you are down days. Days when we have trouble getting out of bed, feel lethargic throughout the day, and just utterly lack the motivation to train. For those "down" moments, however, it is useful to have a few strategies in your back pocket ready to go at any time when you feel less than excited about getting up and attacking your day.
Assess the Situation
Before anything else, it is important to accurately assess your situation. Are you starting to feel sick, is your shoulder pain creeping back, or are other stressors in your life starting to build up? It is one thing to just generally feel "a little out of it," but it is another issue entirely if your body is legitimately at its limits. Try to determine whether the causes of your lethargy are mostly mental or physical. Take a few deep breaths, briefly scan your body, and be as objective as you can. If your joints are aching and you are running on low sleep, for instance, then perhaps take a look at Option #1 below. If, however, your body feels fine but you feel uninspired, then choose Option #2.
Option #1: Rest or Low-Intensity Workout
Consider the following analogy: your overall recovery ability is a large bucket. The process of physical training is, in effect, emptying the bucket by depleting your resources and breaking down your muscles. Other aspects of your life can also affect your recovery, such as relationship issues, a stressful work environment, or lack of restful sleep at night. Over time, if you continue to empty the bucket without "filling it back up," then there is a likely chance that you will become fatigued or even worse, injured.
When discussing training schedules, Coach Christopher Sommer reminds his athletes that "you don't get stronger in the gym," but rather it is the time spent recovering in between training sessions that allow the body to adapt and grow. With this in mind, it is important to give the body the time it needs, and if you're assessing the situation earlier led you to believe something is amiss, then perhaps you simply need to rest. This comes with a caveat, of course: you need to earn your rest days and be sure that you return to your training with renewed energy after your rest. Other great rest day options include massage, sauna, or ice bath.
Alternatively, there are other lower-intensity training options if you just need to get your blood flowing and body moving without a full-on difficult training session. First, get your heart rate up with some running, swimming, biking, jumping rope, or any similar cardio-based activity that is safe and pain-free. Even something as simple as hiking on a trail can be rejuvenating and offer a much-needed respite if your body deserves a break. Afterward, once you are nice and warm, spend your planned training time doing some light stretching just to get the body moving through its full ranges of motion. With a session like this, your goal should be to leave the gym feeling better than you did when you arrived.
For some extra motivation, check out the killer progress this GB Athlete has made with our Handstand Courses. It's your turn next so don't waste any more time and get started now!
Option #2: Seek Inspiration and Get Motivated!
"Consistent, patient work is the way to make progress. Dedication and consistency lead to massive improvements." - Coach Christopher Sommer
What if you assess the situation and determine that your body feels fine, but you just lack the motivation to push yourself in your training? Luckily for you, this option is much more straight-forward... simply get up off your butt and get to work! The GB Community is very active on social media, and there are tons of resources to inspire you to do your best. Sometimes all it takes to get yourself up and moving is a little "energy boost" from watching others around you do the same.
Gearing up for a handstand session? Check out this awesome Handstand Training playlist from the GB YouTube channel. Need some motivation for pushups, rows, planks, and hollow body holds? Watch the Bent Arm Gymnastics Strength and Straight Arm Gymnastics Strength videos. Your main focus and priority should always be your current training, of course, but it is also important to know where you are headed and to stay hungry and eager along the path.
Another great source of motivation is simply looking at the progress others have made. There are so many committed people training Gymnastic Strength TrainingTM all over the world, getting stronger and more flexible day in and day out, and sometimes all you need to get motivated is to check in and see their progress. The GB Instagram account and website are also full of inspiration that can help you recharge and get the boost you need to hit the gym. Be smart, however, and when it comes time to train hard, then put your phone down and get to work.
GymnasticBodies Online Training and the supportive GB Community are sure to keep your motivation high and help you work through inevitable bumps in the road.