I am often asked;
“How do you motivate yourself to work out?”
“Don’t you ever have days where you can’t be bothered?”
“Why do you workout so often?”
These are easy questions for me to answer. I love it. Simple as that. I enjoy everything that training does for me. The positive changes in my body and mind. The challenge of trying to be better than I was yesterday. Lifting heavier or running faster. These outcomes from training keep me wanting to do it. I have always said that when I stop enjoying it then it is time for a change. For me variance is key. The more variety that I have in my training the more enjoyable it is and the easier it is for me to adjust to maintain my motivation. If I feel ready to lift heavy weights then that’s exactly what I will do. If I feel a little more banged up, fatigued or tired then I will go for an easy walk, run, cycle or swim. Adjusting my training this way stops it becoming a chore and keeps me consistent without pushing my body too far.
I have goals that I am working towards and I think these are more powerful than anything at maintaining my interest in my training. I want to be stronger in every BIG lift (the squat, deadlift, bench press and military press). Seeing progress with the weight that I am lifting keeps me hungry for more. It makes me want to go in to the gym and test myself each and every session. Will this goal ever have an end point? Probably not. You see this goal will allow me to constantly strive to get better. To get stronger. To lift heavier weight. But is this my only goal? Surely I would get bored if progress stalls. Yes and no is the answer here. Reaching a plateau on any lift will only make me think of new ways to allow me to get stronger and lift more weight.
Becoming stronger is not my only goal though.
I want to be able to run 5km in under 22 minutes. I want to be fit enough to jump on a bike and cycle 50+ miles when ever I feel like it. These goals are at the complete opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to my previous goal but that is what I love about exercise. There are NO RULES.
Can you train to get stronger as well as run and cycle further? Sure.
Surely you would be better to focus on one goal first, achieve that, and then move on to the other? Maybe.
But that is not the point. I do what I ENJOY! Simple as that. If you have a goal then it keeps you accountable to your training. BUT doing what you enjoy whilst having a goal will make you stay consistent to the program. Consistency breeds results after all.
Have you noticed that I am yet to write about wanting to get a six pack or wanting bigger biceps. Of course I want that superhero physique of massive muscles and a rippling six pack but these will be a by product of achieving my other goals and getting my diet in check. If I can lift more weight, run faster, cycle further and I am eating well then surely my body will be a symbol of this. Food for thought for all of you who drag yourself into a gym to spend an hour doing something you hate *cough* cardio bunnies *cough*.
Have a goal and do everything in your power to reach it BUT just make sure you enjoy the process on the way.
Be accountable to your goal each and every day and you will reap the rewards of having a body that symbolises the hard work you have put into it.