By Steve Shaw
Have you lost all motivation to train?
Do you dread heading to the gym? Maybe you spend half the day looking for excuses to put off today’s training?
Losing your motivation is not fun. I know, that’s an understatement. You really want to gain muscle. You really want to get ripped. But it’s difficult and time consuming.
You are reading this article because you want to get motivated. I’m going to try and help. But ultimately, it’s up to you to make the suggested changes. How bad do you want this?
It’s not good enough just to want it. You have to change your lifestyle completely. You can’t simply add weight training and healthy eating to your current lifestyle, and expect to stay motivated.
You have to make the jump completely to the bodybuilding lifestyle. You have to sell out. You have to become a bodybuilder. This may involve tossing aside many of your old, distracting habits.
Maybe you’re up late, drinking and partying. Maybe running is your passion, leaving you too tired to lift. Or possibly you’re a video game addict, and lose track of time.
It’s time to sell-out to bodybuilding. It’s time to draw the line in the sand. What do you want more, the bodybuilding lifestyle, or your current lifestyle? Make your workouts and meals the pillars of your day, and force everything else to revolve around them.
Sleep is a vastly under-rated aspect of health. You need to get enough sleep. Proper rest leaves you feeling better and more motivated. Allow yourself the chance to get 10 hours of sleep each night. Force yourself to go to bed.
We tend to adopt the habits of our friends. If you have a hard time staying motivated, find some friends that have the iron bug. These friends don’t have to be from a local gym. The Muscle and Strength Forums are packed with highly motivated, and encouraging individuals. Spend time with like-minded people each day.
Images are powerful. Surround yourself with some motivating images. Get some bodybuilding wallpaper for your computer. Purchase bodybuilding DVDs. Get a subscription to your favorite bodybuilding magazine.
Stop forcing yourself to eat bodybuilding meals that you hate. Find something new, tasty, and healthy. A bodybuilding diet doesn’t have to be bland. Try new food combinations, and don’t underestimate the power of onions, jalapenos, salsa, hot sauce and garlic. They can turn a bland meal into something fulfilling. Stop chocking down bland cans of tuna!
If you have lost the motivation to train, you may be over-training. Natural bodybuilding training sessions should not be like running a marathon. Shorten your routine to under an hour, and find ways to keep yourself moving from set to set. To much rest between sets can be distracting. Force your mind to stay focused.
Are you performing a routine because it’s popular, but deep down inside you hate it? Make a change! Don’t follow a routine just because so and so uses it, and he happens to be huge. There are literally a thousand ways to train. Experiment, and find a way to train that you enjoy.
Tired of the music at the gym? Is new rock, country or pop rock melting your brain? Get an inexpensive MP3 player, load it up with 100 motivating and energized songs, and hit the gym. Listening to music we enjoy elevates heart rate, and gets the blood pumping through your system.
Confusion can lead to depression. And when it comes to bodybuilding training, diet, nutrition and supplementation, it’s easy to find yourself confused. There are nearly endless possible training splits, training techniques, and diet approaches. If you are confused, walk away from the chaos. Stick to the basics, and integrate then into your bodybuilding lifestyle. Trust that they work.
This may seem trite, or old school, but living with a negative or sarcastic mindset can drain you. Find ways to be positive, and encourage others. Forum trolls might enjoy ripping on each other, but you should avoid it. It’s not good for the soul. Remove yourself from these environments, and start focusing on encouraging other lifters.
Spend some time each week reading about the physique transformations of others. Seeing that it can be done will keep you motivated and focused.
Set short term and long term goals. Reward yourself when these goals are met. And make the rewards worthwhile. Perhaps you’re a video game or movie addict. Reward yourself for hitting your goal weight by spending an entire day vegging out in front of the tube, doing what you enjoy. Or perhaps you’re an ice cream-a-holic. Reward yourself for hitting a 250 pound bench press by eating a big bowl of your favorite flavor.
Attend a local bodybuilding competition. Watching great physiques on stage is a very motivating experience. Seeing those that have achieved what you aim to achieve will help you focus.
Find a highly motivated training partner that won’t allow you to slack off. Knowing that someone is meeting you at the gym, and relying upon you helps keep you motivated and in line.
Motivation, Motivation, Motivation!
There are literally hundreds of ways to stay motivated. But, the bottom line will always be this: if the bodybuilding lifestyle doesn’t become your lifestyle, it will always remain a hobby.
You need to make changes to your life; changes that allow you to succeed.