What to do when at-home motivation to workout is at an all time low.
Everything you love about training at the gym is non-existent – the accountability, coaching, space, equipment… and the thought of jumping around your living room only to receive complaints from angry neighbours makes you want to stick pins in your eyes.
So how is it that some people seem to be more active than ever, according to your Instagram feed? Just where do they find the motivation?
Same storm, different boats
Maybe it’s not as black and white as that. I read an interesting post on Facebook recently. You’ll have heard the phrase ‘we’re all in the same boat’ being said a lot lately. Maybe even said it yourself. And of course, our intentions are good but this post reminded me that everyone is facing different struggles, and while we all might be weathering the same storm, we’re most certainly in different boats.
Some of us are off work and enjoying having plenty of time to train outdoors in the sunshine. Others may be struggling to find space in their homes to breathe, never mind work out.
So during this storm to rival all storms, it’s important to be kind to ourselves. If you’re feeling constantly wracked with guilt about failing to work out, I’d encourage you to take some time to discover why it is you want to work out at home, while your gym is closed. Take a few moments to really think about it and keep asking yourself why until you’ve found the fundamental answer. And ask yourself whether that reason is enough to continue the pursuit of home workouts.
Do hard things
At WODprep, we have a phrase we use a lot; DO HARD THINGS. For many people during this pandemic, I’d argue that things are hard enough, and if trying to work out from home is causing you more stress and frustration than is necessary right now, perhaps you make a decision to not make your fitness a priority for a month or so…
If that’s the case, I would still encourage you to make an effort to move a little each day. Take a walk outside if you can, spend 10 minutes stretching, or run around with the kids. Clean your floors, cut the grass! Why 10 minutes? Because 10 minutes is a very small commitment to make, and let’s face it, once started, you’re probably going to do more (but don’t tell yourself that!). And hey, if you don’t, then 10 minutes is definitely better than no minutes.
Accept that life is far from normal right now, and give yourself a break. If you’re training for health and longevity, 2 or 3 months of sub-optimal exercising is a drop in the ocean of lifelong fitness.
Wait, I started writing this article to share some at-home motivation… and all I’ve done so far is talk you out of your workout!
The secret to at-home motivation…
Wasn’t I meant to be sharing some secret tips to give you that magic motivation you’ve been seeking? If you’re still reading and you really want to be the person that feels motivated to workout from home, I do have some tips to share. They’re more practical than magical, but in my experience, have a much better effect than any inspirational quote.
James Clear, author of Atomic Habits has this to say about motivation;
“Motivation is often the result of action, not the cause of it. Getting started, even in very small ways, is a form of active inspiration that naturally produces momentum.”
So this is interesting. Here we are hunting for the motivation to get off the couch, not realising that if we just took those first few steps, for those first few days, maybe motivation will follow us.
Getting Started – 10 Ways To Kick Off Your Home Workout Routine
- Have a reason. Why is it important to you to train just now? Maybe you know it improves your mood. Leaves you feeling more energised afterwards. Perhaps it helps you stay on track with your nutrition. Whatever the underlying reason, write it down. Having a defined reason behind the actions you want to take will be the very first step towards making at-home motivation happen.
- Write a plan. I count myself lucky that our coach programs workouts that are planned and progressive. Doing random WODs every day might be fun for some, but for others, something with more structure will help you stay on track and give you measurable results. Need programming personalized for you? WODprep can help.
- Book a virtual class. It’s a quick and easy step to take when you’re in the mindset of taking action, and it has the bonus of holding you accountable when you feel less in the mood later.
- Actually show up to the class. I tried doing our gym’s workout in my own time once, and never again. I put it off all day, I definitely didn’t stick to the rest times and I missed having a coach telling us what to do! Even if you think a Zoom class might not be for you, I’d urge you to give it a try. It’s way less awkward than you imagine.
- If your gym doesn’t do online classes, now could be the perfect time to take a virtual tour round the boxes of the world! This could be the only chance you have to visit a CrossFit box in any corner of the earth.
- Find an accountability partner. Ask someone else from your gym to help you stay on track, book into classes together or hook up on Zoom to do the workout in your own time.
- This is a small step but has always worked for me – lay your workout clothes out the night before. The act of choosing your workout clothes and getting them set out cements your at-home motivation to train the next day.
- If training first thing in the morning, set your alarm out of reach from your bed. Another small but effective step, because we all know that taking that first step out of bed is the absolute worst part of the whole morning routine. Yet once you’re clear of bed, the rest gets a little easier. No snoozing!
- If training later in the day, try to schedule it in the same time each day you plan to train, so that it becomes routine. Even set a reminder on your phone if it helps not to let it drag on all day.
- Make it fun again. If you’re still struggling, why not try something different? Follow a running program, take up Pilates, enroll in a hand balancing course… there are a million ways to stay active and healthy during lockdown, and if you value your mental health, make sure you enjoy it too! Fitness should be fun, and leave you feeling better – not beat up!
Which of these tips are you going to implement today? Let me know in the comments!
Resources to help you work out from home:
- 48 Free Home Workouts (PDF)
- CrossFit Home Workouts With No Equipment? 💡 All you need is a backpack! 🎒 (YouTube video)
- Training CrossFit at Home: How to work with what you’ve got and not lose all your gains (blog post)
- Free Guides for Handstand Push-ups, Handstand Walk, and Double Unders
- Apply for WODprep 1 on 1 Coaching