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No matter how enthusiastic you are at the start of your training program, you’ll inevitably hit a patch of low motivation sooner or later.

Don’t beat yourself up over it though. Even the most dedicated trainee suffers from low motivation from time to time.

Sometimes, dragging yourself to the gym just feels like an uphill battle. Once you miss a few sessions, it’s all too easy to let your routine slide – so if you value your health, it’s important to sort your motivation out before things go downhill.

Here are a few techniques you can use to get motivated for exercise and stay keen:

Switch Up Your Workouts

The same routine week-in, week-out can get pretty monotonous. Your muscles and joints get into a comfortable groove, and sometimes it can seem like you’re just going the motions. Try changing something – switch from machines to weights, jump on a different cardio machine, change your sets and reps for a session.

Maybe try something a little more unusual, like a kettlebell or vibration plate workout. Not only does switching things up renew your enthusiasm, it can also help you break through a fitness plateau and reach new levels of strength and endurance.

Take A Week Or Two Off

Sometimes, lack of motivation is physiological. When you train hard for weeks on end, you tax your body’s energy reserves, and can sometimes find your fatigue overtaking your fitness.

If you’re getting sick frequently, sleeping a lot, or generally find yourself drained and unmotivated, you might be overtraining. Take a week off – your body will thank you for it, and reward you with renewed energy and vigor when you get back in the gym.

Take a Friend to The Gym

If your routine is starting to feel lonely and monotonous, why not bring a pal? Exercise can actually be fun, you know – bring a friend to the gym lets you relax socially and have a few laughs while you get you get a decent workout in.

Pushing each other in the gym can also be a way to stay motivated – when you’re competing with a mate on time, distance or weight each week, things start getting exciting.

Change your Environment

Sometimes you just need a change of scene.

If you usually jog around a park, hit a different spot, run in the woods, or try some hill sprints.

If you’re a cyclist, take your bike along a different route – maybe somewhere you’ve never been before.

And if you’re in the gym regularly, how about the odd bodyweight workout at home or in the park. The lack of weight won’t kill you for a week or two, and you’ll be surprised at how much fun it is to work out in nature.

Listen To Music

Let’s face it – the music in the gym is never right. Most commercial fitness centres have to cater to a wide clientele – as a result their music is bland and uninspiring.

Load your iPod up with some motivational tunes can really rev up your workouts. Experiment a little, and find the tracks that work for you – it could be heavy metal, pumping electro or passionate indie – but pick whatever gives energy and drive.

Psyche Yourself Up

Sometimes, you just need to get your ‘inner game’ straight.

Make a challenge of it – imagine you’re at the Olympics, and you have to beat your personal best this session. Or imagine you’re stuck under a bus on the bench press and it’s a life-or-death situation.
If the world ended tomorrow, how would you wish you would’ve worked out today?

Drastic measures perhaps, but you might find that some mental gymnastics from time to time can kick you out of a motivational rut.

Track Your Workouts

One of the more interesting results to come out of recent psychological research is the evidence surrounding tracking. Research shows that just by regularly recording performance, people are naturally more motivated to make progress, and they reach their goals quicker.

In the words of management guru Peter Drucker: “what gets measured gets managed”. This very much applies to exercise too.

Make a habit of recording your workouts – sets and reps of weights lifted, and for cardio, distance travelled or time taken. Perhaps set some goals for two to three months down the line, and keep these visible in your records. You can use a notebook or one of the several workout tracking apps available on your smartphone.

You’ll Be Back On The Horse in No Time

Use these motivational tips to get you through a low patch. Remember, motivation naturally waxes and wanes – so don’t be hard on yourself if you aren’t energised for the occasional workout. The methods above will have you raring to go again in a week or two.

Recommended: Use a voucher code MAS5385 to save an extra 5% when shopping for supplements on iHerb.

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