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4 Tips for Training When You Don't Feel Like It

Exercise is defined by the Oxford dictionary as "[any] activity requiring physical effort, carried out to sustain or improve health and fitness." Mention the term exercise and most will mentally project an image of someone jogging in a park or on a treadmill, an aerobics class in a studio, or even lifting weights at your local gym.

Yet, how many times have you seen or heard of someone lamenting how they are too tired or unmotivated to exercise? People tend to associate exercise with some form of gruelling pain, a level of discomfort most are unfamiliar with and so they shy away or are extremely reluctant to engage in it.

Exercising is simply an activity, it is the label we associate it with in our heads that is the first thing we need to overcome. In every CrossFit box, all members, beginner to advanced, are referred to as athletes. Why? Because we believe that everyone is an athlete, and thus is training for something. One athlete might want to go to the CrossFit Games, another might just want to get his first pull-up, while another might want to lose weight and avoid chronic disease. Their goals may differ by degree but not by kind. Everyone needs to train hard in order to reach their goal.

Are you one of those who are unmotivated to train? Here are 4 simple yet effective tips that may help you.

1. Find your why (have a goal)

Why do you want to start training? Is it to lose weight? Get fitter? Before any external motivation or dialogue comes, you need to ask yourself why. Why you start is the internal motivator that will guide you on this journey, after which you can start to set more precise goals.

The CrossFit Open 2021 is coming up in February next year - perhaps some of you might want to set a goal to sign up for it and challenge yourself through the five weeks. For others, it might be to lose 2kg by the end of the year. Before you start training, you need to have a clear reason why you are doing it. Once you have that, the next steps come easier.

2. Find a like-minded community

Christmas is coming and with it you will see people going for endless parties, stuffing themselves with food and alcohol until the New Year comes before everyone suddenly becomes inspired to become the epitome of health and fitness. Break out of that endless cycle. Training hard for your goal doesn't mean you can't enjoy the festive season, but it does mean you have to make some sacrifices in other to stay on course. This might be limiting yourself to a couple of beers at a Christmas party because you know you have to train the next day, or having only one serving of dessert because you know you don't need the excess calories.

What will make this much easier is if you have other like-minded people around you who will keep you accountable. These people can be your friends at the box, or even your coaches. They will be more than willing to hold you accountable in your fitness journey.

3. Just start

As the common phrase goes, the hardest part is always the start. The heaviest weight at the gym is the front door or in other cases, the door to your house. Make a pact with your like-minded friends to hit the gym, book a class, and show up. Once you're at the box or the gym, the environment and community will get you going. The faster you start, the faster you will see results.

One great way to psych yourself up is to show up to the gym early and start with your favourite accessory / skill work. Enjoy practising your handstands and want to get better at it? Rock up to the box early and do a few sets of HSPUs while you wait for class to start. Not only does that help warm-up your body for more activity later, but it also helps jumpstart your brain into enjoying the exercise.


Hard Work Pays Off. If you want to reach your goal, you are going to have to work for it. Even Mat Fraser doesn't feel invincible every day and that's okay. Everyone has down days, where you feel sluggish and nothing seems to click. Stay disciplined, the same rule applies - show up and just start. Once you warm-up into the session, it will feel better and by the end of it, you'll be so glad you showed up. In the end, the hard work you put in will pay off and come January when everyone else is scrambling to start their fitness journey, you'll already be ten steps ahead.


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