On this Motivation Monday, we ask, is #Motivation more than just a hashtag or a nice quote? We all struggle to get motivated and stay motivated, even the successful among us!
We put together a group of incredibly motivating and successful people for this interactive panel workshop. They are here to share their stories of success and failure, how they push themselves to stay motivated, and how you can tap into your own motivation with strategies to carry you toward your potential!
You’ve been putting it off for a LONG time. You keep saying to yourself:
“It’s the holiday’s so I’ll just get started in January.”
“I’ll start back up at the gym when work settles down.”
“I just can’t seem to find the time.”
NEWS FLASH: You’re conditioning yourself to say it’s just not important.
The truth is if you don’t have good health, any of the money you make, or time you spend doing it won’t matter because your quality of life will suck. And putting it off until “tomorrow” is just programming you to push working out further down your priority list.
But you can change that in an instant (or should I say a bunch of instances done with intention.)
Mel Robbins explains the 5-second rule here – No, not eating food off the floor within five seconds! – but taking an immediate action step towards something within 5 seconds of thinking about it.When you act immediately on a thought, you condition yourself to get more done. To prioritize now. It’s what Mel Robbins calls Metacognition or “a way of tricking your brain in order to achieve your greater goals.”(The science can be explained here.) This will build your confidence, help you face fears (is that scary situation you’re facing ever really as bad as we make it out to be in our head?) and most importantly, build momentum. Momentum is a critical component of behavior change. The 5-second rule is a strategy you can use to get yourself to do something you don’t want to do – like working out.
Yes I know – dragging yourself out of bed, putting on your workout clothes, and driving to the gym is not as simple as it sounds. You’re overworked, overtired, crunched for time and your life just never seems to slow down. So I’m going to give you a simple way to get this started tomorrow morning.
When your alarm clock rings tomorrow morning, actually get up (Yeah it’s crazy that we may actually use our alarm clock to do what we use it for in the first place.)
Huh? How is this going to help me get more done you’re asking? Well, when you hit snooze, you’re basically conditioning yourself to say, whatever I have to do today isn’t as important as sleeping in for 5 more minutes. And besides, you know how much more tired you feel when you wake up after a snooze.
So how does this help me to workout? I’ll tell you…
When you hear the alarm go off, reach over and turn it off. Instead of hitting snooze, sit up out of bed. Do this within 5-seconds You’ve now begun the process of reconditioning yourself to act on a thought immediately and building the necessary momentum. Next, you think about turning on the coffee pot and making a cup of coffee. Go do it! You’re now 2 for 2 and your confidence is building. Then you think, “I forgot to make my bed.” Immediately go and do it. Not “I’ll do it after I check how many likes I got on my Facebook post last night”, but immediately when you think about it.
What’s happening is simple. As you check off a task from your mental checklist by taking immediate action on it, you’re rewiring your brain to GET STUFF DONE and allow your thoughts to become a priority.
So next time you’re thinking of working out, but you’re hesitating, take an action towards it within 5 seconds and start reconditioning yourself. Maybe it means you go to your dresser and set your workout clothes on the bed. Maybe it means immediately grabbing your phone and putting it on your calendar. Any actionable step, no matter how small, will do. When it comes to changing your habits and behaviors, momentum trumps everything.
What small task that you’re thinking about right now can you go and do that can build momentum? If you’re on the cusp of getting started, we make it easy for you, just fill out your contact info and we’ll reach out to schedule you a complimentary workout!
You’ve been working out consistently for a while now, but nothing seems to be changing. The scale still reads that same obnoxious number that disgusts you. Your clothes don’t feel any looser, in fact, your pants seem to be even harder to button than before you started working out!
Like many others, you’re showing up to the gym and going through all the necessary motions. Classes, cardio, some strength training mixed in. Mentally you feel better, but why isn’t your body changing?
When it comes to planning for the result you want, there’s an important part of the puzzle that you need to consider. Are you following a training program or are you just doing workouts?
When you’re just doing random workouts (and believe me, I’ve done it…a lot) it’s extremely hard to hit your goal, because although you feel like your sweating and burning calories, there’s no real progression planned or tracking involved. This leads to a lot of random results unless you’re a total beginner, which in that case you will see some changes over the first few weeks, but even then you will plateau eventually.
Planning your training program in phases is an effective way to avoid those randomized results. As good as we think we are at multitasking, we work best focusing on one thing at a time. For example, if we plan on only getting stronger for 4 weeks, we can actually get stronger, instead of trying to get stronger, burn fat, tone our arms…you get the idea. We spread ourselves to thin and get sub-par results by focusing on too many things at one time. Get good at one thing, then switch gears. Get good at that, then switch gears again.
Here’s an example outline of 3 months of training phases:
Month 1 – Muscular Endurance – All exercises are 2 to 3 sets of 12 to 15 reps – Little to no rest
Month 2 – Hypertrophy – All exercises are 3 to 4 sets of 8 to 12 reps – Short rest periods
Month 3 – Strength – All exercises are 4 to 5 sets of 3 to 6 reps – Longer rest periods
Month 1 the focus is to build endurance. Once we have that work capacity built, we can move to Month 2 and build more muscle. After you’ve added more muscle, month 3 is focused on strength to make that new muscle stronger. Wash, rinse, repeat.
You should keep most all of the movement patterns the same. Here’s what will happen: you’ll make continued progress over all three months by putting some structure into your workouts that switches phases each month. Too often I see the same guy on the bench press for 3 years still pressing 135 for sets of 10 reps and to no surprise, he looks exactly the same and hasn’t made any progress. Don’t be him.
Define your outcome – What do you want to achieve? (ex. lose 15 pounds)
Build your program phases – M1 Endurance, M2 Hypertrophy, M3 Strength
Switch Gears – *And this is the most important part! Follow your program for each phase and switch gears.
Hopefully, this helps you add some structure to your random workout routine! For more guidance specific to you, and to experience the difference first hand, fill this form and we’ll call you to schedule a complimentary training session!
Summer is a great time for the beach, good times with family and friends, vacations, and yes – exercising outdoors! Especially if you live in the northeast with brutal winters, the summer is a wonderful break from the frigid conditions in the winter. Not only does exercising outdoors present an opportunity for a fun change of pace, but there are several advantages too!
1. Vitamin D
On the aggregate, research shows that more than 40% of America is Vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D is essential for optimal functioning and evidence supports that deficiency may increase risk for several chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease and cancer. If you don’t work a job where you’re outside much of the day, exercising outside is a great way to get that essential vitamin D. This could include going for a run, taking a yoga class outside, doing calisthenics in the park, or working with a coach! (1)
While the benefits of short duration extreme heat exposure, such as sauna use, are well documented, there is also benefit to more “moderate” heat exposure. Recent research from the Journal of Applied Physiology shows that, independent of exercise, repeated exposure to heat closer to 100 degrees Fahrenheit (compared to the 180 to 200 degrees in a sauna) can elicit improvements in the function of your mitochondria! This means an improved ability to generate energy in your cells, leading to greater health and in particular reduced risk for diseases related to aging. When combined with exercise, these effects are seen at an even greater level! (2)
This is very important for two reasons: fighting boredom and continued progress. When you’ve been doing the same thing for some time, a natural complacency sets in. Even if you’re practicing good training principles of periodically varying exercises, intensity, duration, planes of motion, range of motion, etc. (if you aren’t, address that first, but that’s for another article)! When you’re outside, you have the opportunity to literally go outside the box – all those machines and weights you had inside aren’t around, so what do you do? Getting out of your comfort zone is key to sustaining progress over years and decades of continued training. When you’re outside, you might find that training with odd objects, calisthenics, running, or other modalities suited for the outdoors challenge and invigorate you in ways you never knew!
While all exercise can be fun, and everyone has their own preferences, there’s something extra special about moving around outside that brings out the kid in you! Even if you’re just doing the same thing you always do in a gym, exercising outdoors brings a whole new energy. If you enjoy running, it’s no secret the amazing views and scenery you can feast your eyes on that have eluded you all winter! The whole category of odd object training like tire flips, sandbag exercise, battle ropes, sled pulling or pushing have a kind-of inherent fun that’s best captured in the sun.
Just like anything else, it starts with preparation. You should have a space picked out in advance that’s at least large enough to reach your arms all around, overhead, and to step forwards, backward, or side to side. Now what will you need? If you plan on doing elevated push-ups for example, you’ll need the arm of a sofa, a countertop, or a stair nearby to use. If you’ll be doing exercises on a set of stairs or a step, plan how you’ll get to it during the workout. Will you need to move a table to have adequate floor space? Make sure you know where you’ll move it to while you plan to exercise.
Do you like to listen to music during exercise? Have speakers and a playlist picked out in advance to eliminate delays. Would you prefer it to be quiet? Try to plan a time when distractions like pets, kids, or incoming calls will be at a minimum.
By the time you start your warm-up you are psychologically prepared, and ready to get physiologically prepared.
Plan what you’ll be wearing! At home, it’s tempting to keep your lounging around clothes, or work clothes on for exercise, but the association with taking a nap or thinking about work is not what you want when the goal is an efficient, focused workout. Just like how athletes wear a uniform to compete, try having your own workout attire specially for that purpose; when you dawn those clothes, you’ll be primed and ready to exercise at your best!
If you’re used to using the drive or commute to the gym to get “in the zone,” try to give yourself a little psych-up time in the “green room.” Try changing the music to your workout playlist while you’re prepping the space, filling water, and changing, so by the time you start your warm-up you are psychologically prepared, and ready to get physiologically prepared.
If you wouldn’t miss an important meeting, a child’s big event, or a fancy date, don’t miss your time to take care of yourself!
Have an exercise plan! At home, it’s extra easy to convince yourself to turn a water break, or mulling over what exercise to do next, into checking emails and texts that quickly becomes the end of the workout. Have a plan from beginning to end of what you’ll be doing. That could be as simple as planning on doing 10 squats every commercial break during a TV show or sports game, or a more specific training program with a full warm-up and planned exercise regime.
Once you know what you’ll be doing, make an appointment with yourself (or with your in-home personal trainer), and stick to it! If you wouldn’t miss an important meeting, a child’s big event, or a fancy date, don’t miss your time to take care of yourself! It’s also a good idea to alert your family or roommates as to when you’re going to exercise, so they can not only hold you accountable, but also plan their own time as well. This is especially important if you are using a common space such as a living room or den, so you don’t have to fight with a child about playing Xbox in the other room, or a roommate about needing to relocate unexpectedly.