How to combat motivation slumps
In my last blog post (written months ago) I discussed my struggle with staying motivated and how I simply felt burnt out. Since then I have taken several steps to work myself out of that slump. At this time of the year a lot of people decide to throw in the towel and "start fresh" in the new year. New year new you right? Maybe this is true for those who are truly, internally motivated to change but perhaps not for those who are externally pressured to "get fit". Or maybe you are someone like me who was in love with the grind but lost that spark somewhere along the way. Wherever you may be in your journey, below is a list of things to consider as you work to revive that love for the grind:
1. Reevaluate your priorities
Working out has been a numero uno priority for me for years and this year it finally hit me that I needed to prioritize other things in my life aside from the gym. I still kept working out as a top priority, just not number one. Perhaps you have other things going on in your life that are more important to you right now and the gym may need to get stood up an extra night or two. And that's okay! Being realistic with your priorities can at least help you justify why your gym visits have slowed down. Maybe you're not motivated to go to the gym because you just simply don't want to be at the gym! You'd rather be helping your best friend get ready for her wedding, or working an extra couple of hours for that raise. Whatever it is, just be honest with your priorities and own it. When getting fit is truly a top priority you'll make the time and you'll make the visits worth it.
2. Switch up your routine
Having the same lifting routine, using the same cardio machines, and even going to the same gym can get boring. I had been doing the same lifting split for months and just simply got bored. I decided to actually write down my new split and plan to change it every 4 weeks. This kept some structure in my routine (which I need) but it was a new structure and knowing that I was going to switch it in 4 weeks gave me that sense of deadline like "hey next month you may not be doing kettlebell swings so you better swing the shit out of that kettlebell". Maybe (definitely) I am the only person who thinks that way. Either way, even just writing down my plan gave me a sense of direction and goal which motivated me to follow through.
3. Ditch the cardio machines
Maybe you are one of those people that loves cardio machines and props to you if you are but I honestly get bored AF most of the time. I'll still do the stairmaster every once in a while but the thought of getting on the treadmill, bike, or elliptical... snooze city. Here is a list of ways that I have been getting in my cardio that doesn't involve a machine:
-Real stairs: Pick up 25lb plates and go up and down the stairs at your gym a few times. If your gym doesn't have stairs use a step and do a few rounds of step ups
-Sleds: Throw a couple of plates on a sled and give that baby a push in between your lifting sets. This is by far one of the quickest ways to get your heart rate up fast.
-Bodyweight HIIT circuit: You can literally make up your own circuit and just go hard for 30-60 seconds and rest for 30-60 seconds. An example would be burpees for 30 seconds, rest 30 seconds, box jump 30 second, rest 30 seconds. 20 mins of HIIT is a quick and effective way to burn dem cals.
-Battle ropes- Pick these up and slam them on the ground a few times, feel the burn and repeat.
...Jump rope, boxing, supersets, medicine ball slams, swimming, tire flips. You get the gist.
4. Try a new gym or activity
In addition to switching up my lifting split I also switched back to my old gym. You'd be surprised at how much just a change of scenery can make a difference. And if it's just the whole idea of a gym that makes you want to puke, try a yoga or tabata class with a friend, go for a hike, try something new that's active!
5. Give your body a rest
Maybe you feel unmotivated because you are just as exhausted physically as you are mentally. Sometimes you just need to take a step back. You're not going to *lose all of the gains* if you take a little gym vacation. You may be surprised with how your body responds to rest. Even if you get a little fluffy after some time off, that time off may be just what you need to reset and refuel that energy.
If you have struggled in the past with staying motivated, please share in the comments below what steps you took to gain your motivation back!