On Motivation

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Oct 20, 2009 Fitness, Motivation , , 0 Comments

The single best indicator of the likelihood of success

of a fitness program is motivation. Genetics, programming,
pre-existing conditions, even the all-important diet, all these
things take a second place to motivation. The problem is
everyone is motivated every now and then, but how do you
maintain that motivation when it is cold, rainy and miserable
and you would rather have your toenails pulled out than go to
the gym and get yelled at by your incredibly awesome personal
trainer?

Maintaining motivation

I was riding my motorcycle at a safe and reasonable
speed down Crown Street when I came, quite suddenly, to a speed
bump. Now my bike is as old as I am and like me, does not react
well to sudden changes, so my rear suspension bottomed out hard
and fast. This feels just like someone kicking you in the seat
of your pants and wasn’t something I felt like repeating and so
I continued down the road at a much slower and probably much
more reasonable speed.

The same thing, minus the kick in the bum, happens when you are
training. Everything is going wonderfully till something small
unseats you. You get sick, you get injured, you have to work
late for a week. All it takes is a small disruption to your
routine and the whole house of cards collapses and next thing
you now you are eating ice cream out of the container in your
tracksuit pants. The most important thing to do is:
Pick it up and keep going!

Doesn’t matter if you haven’t been to training for a week, or
that you ate an entire chocolate cake or that you slipped up on
the weekend and smoked a few cigarettes. What ever happened
before is much less important than what happens next. Get back
on the horse. Get back into the gym. There is an awesome quote
by an American boxer by the name of Floyd Patterson that sums
this up. He said, “I may have been knocked down more than any
other heavyweight champion in history, but the way I figure it,
that means I got up more often than any other heavy weight
champion in history.” Awesome.

Set S.M.A.R.T. goals.

I love an abbreviation. This one stands for specific,
measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. It means that you
should have a goal in mind, a goal that is quantifiable. Being
“healthy” is awesome, but what the hell does it mean and how do
you know if you’re there? Having a 15% body fat on the
other hand is something you can measure and check. Talk to
Lynsey or me to get some help with this one if you need it and
keep an eye out for my next email when I challenge you to join
us for “NO”vember the month when we say “No” to all the naughty
stuff, pizza, beer, chips…(but more about that next time)

Finally: Check your progress.

Nothing is more disruptive to your motivation than feeling
like you are not getting anywhere. The human reaction to
powerlessness is often to give up. Remember when you started and
you could barely lift the bar? Let alone put weight plates on
the end of it… Getting stronger is great but it helps if you know how
much stronger. Write it down, we have individualised forms available
at the gym to track your progress. If you don’t want something
that formal – just being aware of your current capabilities compared
to what you used to be able to do can be the difference between
getting into the gym and staying home with a box of cookies.

That’s all folks – I’ll be back in your inbox very soon with
the details of the “NO”vember challenge and the list of things
you can eat. If you are going to join in the challenge, you have
some homework. If you don’t do this already, start today – eat
breakfast and drink 2 litres of water every day. These 2 things
are imperative to a healthy eating plan.

See you at the gym!


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