Health

Learning to Love Fitness: Breaking the Cycle of Defeat

Take a moment to think about how you view exercise. Is it an escape form the world; a form of physical meditation intended to cleanse the body, sharpen the mind and achieve your loftiest goals? Do you eagerly anticipate the next gruelling session at the gym? Or, perhaps you are on the other side of the fence. You might instead dread the next appointment with a local spinning coach or you may feel that you literally have to poke yourself with a cattle prod in order to summon up the motivation to trudge down to the gym; only to feel disappointed and exhausted after. If you consider yourself a member of this second category, there is nothing to be ashamed of. Even the most stalwart fitness fans can find themselves in a rut from time to time. The main question involves what you can do in order to extricate yourself from these doldrums.

Identify Your Motivations

Imagine yourself running a marathon with no end in sight. After you surmount one hill, another appears just above the horizon. How long would it take for you to have a seat on the sidelines? In such a situation, there is no motivation to continue due to the simple fact that there is no goal in sight.

As this article highlights, it is important to know what you are trying to accomplish by exercising. Perhaps you wish to shed a few extra kilograms or you are looking to increase your current level of lean mass. You might be training for an upcoming competition or desire to increase your cardiovascular endurance. The main takeaway point is that goals are crucial if you hope to maintain your current momentum (think of Sylvester Stallone training in the Rocky franchise).

Bin the “Expert Studies”

Another important point to highlight involves the simple fact that everyone is different. This is one of the reasons why laboratory-controlled studies are hardly viable within the exercise community. While they might seem valid under controlled settings, they are not as effective within the real world. They fail to take into account other factors such as sleeping habits, diet and even mental mindset. This is why some individuals who follow a “sure-fire” exercise regimen will inevitably be disappointed with the end results. The main takeaway point here (and perhaps one of the keys to reaching your fitness goals) is to learn to appreciate what works best for you.

Determine Which Activities You Enjoy the Most

This is when a bit of intuition and patience will come into play. One common reason why people begin to lose their motivation is that they have not developed a targeted training programme. After all, a schedule designed for a marathon runner is obviously different when compared to one intended to meet the goals of a powerlifter. While these are both extreme examples, there is still one key takeaway point to consider: you need to experiment in order to discover what works best for you.

As you may have imagined, this will require a fair amount of patience and mistakes will likely be made along the way. Not only should you experiment with programmes that seem to offer the most results, but you need to enjoy what they have in store. This will provide you with the mental boost that is often required to emerge from the comfort of your couch and head into the gym.

These observations are backed up with very real facts. As was explained in this article, those who are positively engaged with a certain exercise programme will naturally experience better results. If you have been feeling burned out or you lack the motivation to struggle past the mental malaise, the chances are high that it is time for a departure from the norm. You will be very surprised with how even a small change can impact your overall goals.

A Bit of Technological Motivation

The good news is that you are no longer forced to go it alone thanks to modern technology. Not only are there countless fitness gadgets such as smart watches, but dedicated applications will now allow you to track your progress in order to determine if you are set to reach your expectations. These are also great ways to find additional information and inspiration along the way; both keys if you hope to enjoy long-term success.

There is nothing wrong with experiencing a lack of motivation from time to time. After all, we are only human and change is never a bad thing. The main point is to recognise that a problem exists so that you can make the right changes at the right times. You will be amazed at the end results. After all, fitness is more about the journey as opposed to the destination.

Written by:

Marcus Sühr
Marcus Sühr

Next generation personal trainer and co-founder of Trion