Hacks to Home Workout Motivation
I guess most CrossFitters are social creatures when it comes to working out - heck, humans are social creatures! We need some amount of social contact to thrive - babies die if they don’t get any touch (https://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/23/health/23mind.html) and sport teams that are the touchiest are the best performing ones! Fuck.
I know I perform way worse when I am working alone - and realising that and having some compassion for oneself is a good step to start with. We’re living through a crisis, and some of us are more affected because of the isolation. That is okey, and it will end. We won’t be in this isolation forever.
Some may worry that we’ll give up more easily if we’re kind to ourselves. That it invites complacency or this “oh what the heck” effect where one has popped open the chips and taken one and feels that “I might as well eat the whole thing since I already screwed up”. Not just so:
People think that “‘if I’m kind to myself, I won’t be motivated’ and the exact opposite is true - that the nicer you are to yourself, the more motivated you are to change,” says Lori Gottlieb (Psychotherapist, author of ‘Maybe You Should Talk to Somebody’ in The Tim Ferris Show (https://tim.blog/2020/03/19/lori-gottlieb/).
1) Schedule the workout
I’ve just decided that working out immediately after work is what happens. For me a 6 day workout week works, coz I have no kids or dogs or family to take care of. But anywhere between 2 times a week, to the 6 that we may program for works. Schedule the day and the time you want to work out in advance. Tell the coach which days you plan on: use the chat, and say next week I will do these and these days. The coach can’t decide for you, but will damn sure support you once the decision is made.
2) Prep your gear
Perhaps preparing your workout clothes in advance helps. Have the equipment you need placed out in advance.
3) The next lamp post
10 years ago I was working on my first marathon program, and I did a long run every weekend. The longest was 18km and sometimes it was really hard just to keep going: my trick was just to continue to the next lamp post. That’s about 30 meters. Just 30 meters more. Then the next one was already there, and I’d focus on that one. Nothing else existed, just the next lamp post.
4) A tiny tiny workout:
The program we have contains a LOT. There’s a lot of text and there’s a lot of options. USUALLY I don’t do all of it, and USUALLY the important piece is A) in truecoach. The name of the workout says what the main part is: “Strength Upper Body Pull + Metcon” says that the Pulling strength part is the theme of the day.
If it’s hard to get started or motivated, then promise yourself that you don’t need to do ANYTHING more than just 2 or 3 rounds of the pull-ups. That’s it. Super quick warmup, then go and do whatever your logistics allow: inverted rows, or pull-ups in the park, or Banded Lat Pulldowns. You don’t even have to read the notes about the workout, more than just watch the video for the one movement that is important.
Sometimes after I’ve used that trick-of-the-mind I feel good, and continue with the B) part and sometimes I feel like doing the extra credit also. That’s fine, but having done A) is already a WIN. Listen to Simon Sinek in the Trained Podcast about setting the goal ridiculously low (https://player.fm/series/trained/simon-sinek-finding-your-why).
5) Control Your Environment
Last tip is to control where you workout. If I share the space with others, I might not want to work out there - in that case going outdoors will help. Or to the attic, or to a Pull-up bar in Töölönlahti or Keskuspuisto (?) whichever is closest to you. You’re in charge. Pick your battlefield so that there won’t be overwhelming distractions there.
You don’t have to workout. You don’t even should workout. You get to workout. It’s a f*cking privilege! You live in an awesome, dizzying time of history where we get to use our brains for work, and have material surplus in most any way, and therefore we get to explore our bodies functions recreationally. That is happiness.
7) Workout benefits
I sit all days at work now. In front of the computer. It makes my body quite sore. If I don’t balance that soreness and physical passivity with appropriate stimulus, I know I will start to have aches and pains and that will only escalate. So, okey, maybe you have to workout, because the alternative is the same as if we don’t brush our teeth. If you know what I mean.
Strength work prevents aches and pains.
Conditioning work helps keep energy levels high.
A balance between the two helps us be happy!