It is rarely easy to get in a day’s workout, especially if a rough day has absolutely wrecked your will to do anything but curl up on the sofa with your favorite TV show. For some this happens more often than others, but everyone has been in a situation where a workout is the last thing on their mind. Lazy Sundays and Netflix marathons, anyone? Here are some tips on how you can avoid this, and how to motivate yourself to workout even if you don’t want to.
1. Hire a Trainer Who Will Charge You Even if You Don’t Show Up
There are two reasons why this is one of the best ways of motivating yourself to work out on those tough days. First of all, you are already paying the trainer and if you do not show up it is money wasted. Secondly, no one wants their trainer to think that they are a quitter that gives up easily. We all want to be the best we can for our trainers, and not showing up for a scheduled appointment gives a poor impression.
2. Create a Playlist
While a new high-intensity playlist alone won’t exactly force you off the couch by itself (although there is a slight possibility), it will turn an unenthusiastic and low-energy workout into one that will get the job done. Only you can choose the songs that will get you pumped and turn your workout (especially cardio) into something truly effective. Here’s a list of some energizing and inspiring workout songs all ready to go!
3. Bribe Yourself
They teach us as kids that bribes are bad and get you nowhere. However there are huge advantages of bribing yourself, so do it! Simply tell yourself that if you go through the entire week flawlessly (workouts, diet, etc.) you will treat yourself to a fancy meal/new piece of clothing/gadget/whatever your heart desires. It may seem counter-intuitive to bribe yourself with food as a reward for working out, but small treats are okay as long as you stick with your nutrition plan 90% of the time.
4. Work Out First Thing in the Morning
The reasons for working out first thing in the morning are two-fold. First of all, it is far more likely that you will have the energy and the will in the morning, before the day pummels you with chores, tasks, and draining interactions with other people. Also, several studies suggest that working out on an empty stomach burns 20% more calories than other times of the day. If getting up early to exercise sounds like double torture (we feel your pain), refer to tip #3 and make the bribe extra exciting…
5. Prepare the Day Before
Especially for those early birds working out in the mornings.It is all about preparation and getting all your equipment ready the day before. Put your workout stuff (all packed and ready to go) by your bed, sleep in your (clean!) workout clothes, and leave keys and tennis shoes by the front door. This will let your mind get used to the fact that you are going to work out as soon as you open your eyes. It may seem silly, but it works.
6. Fuel First Thing
Once again, this is for the people who work out in the morning. Whatever you have to do to fuel your body for a killer workout, be it coffee, water, green juice, fruit, or full on breakfast, do it right after rising. If you’re one of those people who can’t stomach eating in the morning, bring a light snack with you so you can easily refuel.
7. Work Out With a Partner
Working out with a partner is one of the best things you can do for your workouts! Working out with a buddy is 10 times more fun and can stoke a competitive fire. Your partner can help you with more difficult exercises, introduce you to new workouts (underwater spinning, we’re coming for you), and distract you when it gets tough. You can even make a pact where you have to put money into a community jar when you stand your partner up.
8. Post Results on Social Networks
There are now countless apps that track every component of your work out from the miles that you run to the calories you burn (I personally use RunKeeper). Many of these apps allow you to post your results on various social networks. While some may see this as simply bragging, it is much more than that. Not only can it help you show your friends how well you are doing, their positive feedback will inspire you to work out more, as well as help you keep track of your progress. You can also schedule workouts, giving you extra reminders not to skip them!
Guest author: Goran Bogunovic’s fitness career started fifteen years ago where it was love at first bench press. He loves to share his substantial experience in fitness, strength training, nutrition and supplementation with readers. Goran is his own guinea pig and tests everything out on himself before passing the knowledge along to clients.