The goal for all of us, regardless of what it is we do, is to have more good days than bad. There will be times when we’re riding high and there will be other times when it seems as if nothing is going our way. In amongst all of that, is our training. Our will to be better will be tested on occasion and the excitement and fulfillment of going to the gym will be lost on us. Whether you’re a professional bodybuilder, a hungry amateur or just starting out, you will find that there are days when you just don’t feel like training and an acute aversion to all things bodybuilding related settles in your mindset. When this occurs, you have two choices: succumb to that overwhelming feeling and plop yourself down on the couch or man/woman up and fight through it. I like the latter option and here are a few strategies you can use to help you find the strength to avoid doing what you really don’t want to do.
When you’re feeling like banging the weights is the last thing you want to do, stop and take a few minutes to reflect on what it was that drew you to this sport. Was it something you instinctively knew you always wanted to do? Did you sort of stumble into it by virtue of the people you surrounded yourself with or did a switch go off in you somewhere the first time you felt the pump? Thinking back to the days when you couldn’t wait for the next training session to arrive and all of the excitement of what could be for you in this sport will quickly remind you of why you love torturing yourself daily and why making muscle is a mainstay in your life. Once you’ve revisited those memories, the lack of motivation will quickly subside and you’ll be packing your gym bag for yet another great workout.
Seek Extrinsic Motivation
No one can make you train every day. Either you have that mindset, will power and determination to change your body or you don’t. When you do have this approach in order and you’re still feeling that aversion to training, perhaps you need to seek outside motivating factors that get you excited about the upcoming workouts. Maybe you watch some videos of the competitors currently getting ready for the spring shows, maybe you decide to switch gyms for a while and reap the benefits of a great training atmosphere or maybe something like buying a new pair of Super Shift gym shoes is what you need to get fired up. Extrinsic motivation is different for all of us and can come in many different forms. The key is to be able to draw upon it at a moment’s notice so that you can quickly flush those negative thoughts away and get yourself to the gym.
See the Bigger Picture
One of the strongest assets you can possess, when speaking of the mentality needed to be successful in this sport, is your ability to see the bigger picture and what lies ahead for you. Knowing that if you just stick with the plan, break through those training plateaus and barriers, ignore the naysayers and keep focusing on what you’re trying to achieve, you will find the inner strength to keep pushing. When you close your eyes, you should be able to see yourself in the winner’s circle. You need to able to envision the path ahead and all of the victories you will accumulate along the way and when you can do this, you will experience intensity levels within your workouts that you didn’t even know existed. This extremely powerful enlightenment of self-awareness will be more than enough for you to fight the urge not to train and pick up right where you left off the day before.
The longer you are in this game, the better the chances are that you’ve experienced this acute aversion to training. It happens, it’s normal and it’s what you do next that matters most. When you think you have nothing left in the tank and you start to wonder what the point in all of this is, pause, collect your thoughts, find your Heydays and remember that you’re a bodybuilder and this is what we do!
Author: Dana Bushell
AST Sports Science sponsored athlete/writer, sponsored by Schiek Sports Inc.