Training Doesn’t Have to Be Hard
“Your workout is our warm-up!”
“Grip it and rip it!”
“We don’t need machines; we are machines!”
I’m sure you’ve all read or heard one of these quotes or any number of others telling you workouts have to be all out. That you should leave nothing in the tank. That the way to make progress is to put yourself in the pain cave and stay there. Not only have I heard them all, I’ve no doubt said them all too—and meant it at the time.
But it’s not true all of the time. Exercise is a wonderful thing with so many benefits, but we need to be mindful that it puts stress on the body. If you already have a huge amount of stress in your life with work, home life, home-schooling while working from home (no idea how you do this; I’m in awe of those of you who do), constant negative news, and countless other stressors, don’t beat yourself up if the last thing you want to do is a workout that grinds you into the ground.
Just because you’re used to going all in on a workout doesn’t mean that anything less doesn’t count. Doing a workout at 50 percent of what you normally would is still a deposit in your well-being bank. Just doing the warm-up and saying “I’m done” is still doing something.
Many of us struggle to find motivation to train. Often, I’m struggling to find motivation to train. Don’t be too hard on yourself for feeling that way. It’s perfectly normal, and I promise, you’re not alone.
Try reframing why you’re training. The end goal doesn’t have to be a 200/400lb back squat or a sub-6-minute mile. The goal can just be to move. To have some time to yourself. Or to have some time with someone else. Doing some exercise is still a huge positive even if it doesn’t feel like you’re going to die doing it.
If you are struggling with training or have completely given up, here are a couple of suggestions that might help.
Exercise in the morning. I’m not a morning person, so I’m fully with you if the idea of doing this sounds ludicrous but stick with me. We’ve all got a set amount of willpower and it depletes as the day goes on. If you can get your exercise in before you start your day when your willpower is at its strongest, the chances of you doing something are much greater.
Pick easier workouts. If you can’t make it to the gym or would rather do a recovery type workout, a 20-minute walk counts as a workout. Pick up your dusty dumbbells and do Three rounds of 10 Push Press and 10 sit-ups. Working out while watching TV is not only acceptable, but I’d highly encourage it. Move. Pick something you love doing. Forget doing things because you want to be better at them or because they’re your weaknesses. Training should be fun at the best of times—it has to be fun in the no-so-best-of times.