Motivation: How to keep it and how to get it back

We’re all human, and we will lose motivation at some point and stop training. All of the excuses will come flooding in, “I’m too tired”, “It’s too cold”, “I haven’t been in ages” etc etc. I’m here to tell you that that’s ok. Don’t be so hard on yourself. No matter who it is, everyone will lose motivation at some point or another and will stop training. The important thing is to know how to get it back. Or it may be that the reason you started this in the first place is no longer important to you and you don’t need to/want to train anymore. That’s ok also! With motivation, it’s important to keep the end goal in mind. Maybe it is to win a race next season or get a top 10. Maybe it is to just beat last years results. If you don’t race, maybe it is to beat your PR’s down a few sections of trail, or maybe it is simply to get fitter and stronger so that you can ride for longer and harder and have more fun. The important thing is to visualise your goal and keep it at the forefront of your mind. How good will it feel to be on a podium? To start consistently beating your mates? How good will it feel to have ridden twice as far as you were able to this year? How satisfying will the post-ride cup of tea and pasty be at the end of the ride, when you are exhausted and smiling? When it is cold, dark and raining as is often in UK winters, motivation will be at an all time low. This is when it is important to keep in mind the end goal and visualise what it will be like to achieve that goal. To help along the way, it is always good to set mini goals. If your motivation is low to go and squat some big numbers, pick something easier to target i.e. beating your best 2k row time or PR’ing on one of your favourite exercises. This mini goals will help you when you motivation starts to waver and give you something closer to aim for and achieve.   How to get it back when you lose it When you lose motivation be it because of illness, family, holidays, injury etc, it is important to take it easy on yourself. We all do it, very few people will stick to a regime 100% and never faulter. It is OK to take some time away. After some time off, the thought of a gruelling workout is enough to put anyone off going back. This is the opposite of what we want! I find the best thing to do is to just take it easy. Pick your favourite exercises, drop the weight right down and just knock out a few sets of each. Or just go and do a few body weight moves or some steady state cardio or some east intervals. Or even just go and do a long mobility flow. The main goal is for you to get your gym clothes on and get back into the gym environment and work out state of mind. You can do as many easy workouts as you need until your mindset is right. The important thing is to not be hard on yourself, make the workouts enjoyable and as strenuous as you want them to be and to just get moving again and get a bit of a sweat on. Motivation is like a deer; throw it at the headlights of some heavy and taxing squats and it’s outta there! If you have had an extended period off (2+ weeks) I would actually recommend you starting off super light and easy. Going in full gas and hitting some heavy compound movements is going to make you so sore afterwards, you’re going to have another lay off whilst you recover and it will end up being detrimental to your goals. Get your gear on, get moving, get a sweat on and ease back into it!

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