By Cavino Johnson Athletic Xtreme
When The Motivation Tank Hits “E”
We’ve all had those moments. Sometimes, they last a couple hours or a day, a couple of days or a week, even a month. What moments? Those moments where you just don’t have the motivation. Where you seem to just get, well– bored.
As I am typing this, I recall how I promised all of you that I will always be honest with you. No frills. No gimmicks. Just real. I, myself, recently hit that point of a lack of motivation. Damn. I’m not sure what it is. I’ve been training and have been a trainer for a decade and I never get used to that feeling. It actually bothers me to my core. The gym doesn’t sound like a sanctuary. It seems to be a chore. ”Healthier” eating seems like a bother. I just feel like sitting on the couch and eating cakes. And, I have.
For the last 3 or 4 days, I have not gone to the gym. I have loaded myself with work and have watched, at least, 8 movies on DVD. I’ve strayed from the healthy eating on more than a few occasions and I have been lazy.
It has been glorious.
Yes, you read that right. It HAS been awesome. My body has enjoyed the time off. My mind has been able to process thoughts with more clarity and decisions have been made with no hesitation. See, I live a hectic life, as I am sure many of you do, also. I am a husband, a father, a trainer, a business owner, a life coach, a son and brother. I volunteer at church. I attend my kids’ sporting events. I cook 90% of my family’s meals. This is 7 days a week. Fitting my own training into any given day can be stressful all on its own.
Now, don’t get it twisted. I’m not done training. I haven’t lost my love for it. I haven’t lost my passion. But, I did find a time to take a break. I did find it necessary to temporarily remove something to focus on getting other things to get in line. i don’t mind chaos… I just need it to be controlled. So, going down my list of priorities, I re-shuffled a few things, removed some and chose a couple things that can be put down for a day or so. Training fell into that category. Just temporarily.
What I find, for me, anyway, is that I have a need to sit still, sometimes, and reset. I have to take the time to remember why I do what I do. I’m not doing any shows this year, but that doesn’t mean I am not going to be doing one. Every training session is geared for winning. So, if I walk into the gym and my head isn’t there, well, I won’t train. It’s as simple as that. So, when that feeling comes on more than one consecutive occasion, then I know it’s time to reset and restore. So, what do I do, while restoring and resetting?
First, I rest as often as I feel like it. No, I won’t help my friends move furniture. No, I won’t put together the dual bunk beds that my wife surprised me with. No, I won’t cut the grass. I’m resting. That’s what it means. All other “chores”, though, cooking, kids, etc., still happen. I’m resting. I’m not stupid. During this restoration period, I download new (or old) music to my iPod, I watch “manly” movies, I play video games… I completely rest. It’s important. I have soreness nearly every day of every year for the last decade. While I’m taking my break, every thing heals and relaxes. No soreness. I still stay on my supplements. Multi-Vitamins, MassFX Black, German Creatine, Lean FX… and for a little boost, a scoop or 2 of Supersize. Tonight, I return to the gym… 4 off days back-to-back is enough. I feel great. I feel… like myself.
In the past, I’ve done other things to reset. Below is a list of things you can try to relight the fire:
1) Visit Another Gym –
Sometimes, a change of scenery is just what you need. New equipment that maybe your current facility doesn’t have, new people… just a whole new atmosphere. If you are anything like me, you go to your gym and find yourself talking to people. People want to ask you questions. People want to tell you about their weekend, show you pictures of their new puppy or their new car. I don’t like to be a complete ass, so I entertain, some of the time. Visiting a different facility, you can pull your hat down low, put the ear buds in and dominate the training session with no disturbances. Besides, you’re the new kid and most of the people are kinda eye-balling you, you know, just to see who you are. Show them… then disappear.
2) Switch Up Your Training Program –
It gets a bad rep from those who oppose it, but when I really want a good mix, I will Crossfit. Yep. I said it. I will take a few crossfit classes. No, I won’t try to beat to beat Captain CrossFit’s record WOD time. I don’t care to. I won’t kip. Ever. But, I will do the Olys and the Plyo thats Rx’d… that’s that CrossFit slang, right? I don’t know… But, the sessions boosts my mental and metabolism and it can be fun. You don’t have to do CrossFit, though. One could simply try a new method of training. Trust me when I say the internet has a plethora of new age training fads.
3) Find A Training Partner –
It could be that you need some outside motivation. You may need someone to call you a punk and tell you have to lift that heavy ass weight or else they will rat you out on Facebook or Instagram, telling everyone you went out like a buster. Or you may need someone to help you get that weight up, hurling catchy meme phrases at you, yelling the over-used “BEAST MODE” phrase while you push that 400 pound chest press. Hopefully, they are ready to spot that rep and not too caught up in being your hype man.
4) Buy New Training Gear –
It could be something as simple as a new pair of wrist wraps or lifting belt. It could be a new gym bag or a new pair of shoes… There are plenty trendy t-shirts with cool motivational phrases on them that could boost moral. I have a thing for shoes and a certain brand t-shirt… put them both together and I’m ready to go hard!
5) That Approach –
A little different than having a full-time training partner, you could just go out on a limb and ask one of the bigger guys if you can work in with them. I know. That’s pushing it. Do it in a way that they believe you admire their training tenacity and could really use a little motivation. If you do this, let me know how it goes. YOLO.
6) Train WIth Your Boo Thang –
If you are one of the fortunate ones that have a “Swole Mate”, get a training session in with them. Have some fun with it but get the work done. Something about a little admiration staring at your lats as you do pulldowns or pull ups, or someone touching those biceps as you curl, curl and curl. Remember that article I wrote about boosting testosterone? Put it to the test, right now.
Well, there it is in all its honesty. I got bored. I allowed myself to be lazy and it was the best decision I could make. With all this said, I just want you to know that time off could increase your gains. Balance is key. Keep it fresh. Keep it crazy. I’ve got legs training. See you guys and gals later.