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5 Reasons You Are Not Motivated To Exercise


Today I want to tackle the reasons why you might not motivated to train. It’s almost a normal occurrence to go through this stage at some point of your training journey, but understanding what has triggered this lack of motivation could help you back on track.

Training is fun. Being unmotivated is certainly not!

I would lay down a lot of money that everyone, at some point or another, has sacked off training to kick back or put their feet up for the night. I get clients that go through this very thing. It could be just a day. It could be an entire week. It happens.

But if it’s becoming a regular habit to miss your Monday session these could the reasons why. So let’s take a look at five common reasons for your training blues.

1. You don’t have a ‘why’

If you do not have a deep-burning reason to train it’s probably because you have no emotional attachment to the outcome.

Why do you wash your clothes? To promote a cleanly appearance and present a yourself as someone that cares about themselves, right?

But if this didn’t matter in society you might not even bother doing it. It’s the same philosophy with exercise!

For some people, they train because they want to feel healthier – but why do you want to feel healthier? Because you want to see your kids grow up? Or because you are sick of feeling tired all of the time and self-conscious about the way you look?

These are deep-routed why’s.

If you are just doing it because Jane from the office tells you to, there’s no deep burning reason to go. Sit down and figure out what you want and how to get it.

I ALWAYS ask clients why? Why do you want this so badly?

And if they are not enthused about wanting to lose some fat or be healthier it’s usually because the why is not strong enough.

If you are reading this and are not sure what your why is, grab a piece of paper and pen, sit down in a quiet room and really have a think about what you what to achieve and the meaningful reason why. From here you’ll have a better understanding of what it is you want out of exercise and a deep routed desire to actually do it.

2. You don't track your progress

I’ve covered how to track training progress in much greater detail here. But essentially if you have no clue as to your current progression it’s going to be hard to stay motivated because you don’t know if you are getting any closer to what you want.

Have you reduced your waist circumference?

Have you gone from overweight to healthy on the BMI scale?

Have you gotten stronger?

Has your one rep max increased?

Have you dropped a dress size?

Without knowing or quantifying these things you are stabbing in the dark. There’s no previous data to determine if what you are doing is actually working or not.

And if you don’t know this, you might altogether lose motivation.

Ensure you track what you do when you train. Track times, durations, reps, sets, effort and ensure you have a good enough plan to stick it out.

3. You are on the wrong plan

This point leads nicely on from reason number one. You are not sure what you are doing, or you are doing the completely wrong thing for your intended goal.

Tackling a goal in the wrong way is just as bad as tackling a goal you do not want to achieve!

For example, you want to get leaner but you spend your entire time doing crunches. All you are doing is training your abs. You’re not burning calories (which is hard to do through exercise alone but that’s for another day) and you’re barely expending any energy.

Going for a walk will serve you better in this scenario which can save you time and money. You could also do big compound movements that work a load of muscles simultaneously, in the 8-12 rep range with short rest. Couple this with a killer calorie deficit and then your plan is aligned with your goals.

Make sure you educate yourself (or ask someone who is educated in creating a programme) on what is an effective way to train for what you want. You’ll avoid wasting unnecessary time and energy, and actually make progress.

4. You’re under recovering

Super important this and probably where a lot of people fall down.

If you do not eat to fuel your performance and recovery then you are going to drive your motivation face-first into the ground.

A BIG mistake people make when dieting down is they drop calories extremely low and train extremely hard. You do this and it’s nearly impossible to recover from your last session because you lack the energy from the food and the nutrients to help you recover.

How do you expect a car to get you from A to B with next to no fuel?

Your body sure ain’t gonna work efficiently if it is running on bingo fuel!

Ensure that your protein intake is on point (1.5-2 grams of protein per kg of body weight) and that your carbs are fuelling you for your training. The rest will come from fats.

Another aspect to consider is how you’re sleeping. If you do not get good quality sleep then forget about training because your body needs this time to repair all of the stress and damage of your lifestyle and training.

Feeling tired is a potential sign of under-recovery through either sleep, diet, or both combined.

Listen to your body – and respond by looking after it.

5. You may need to take a deload week

If none of above is you then it could be you are training too much!

You may think beasting yourself every day is going to get you to your goals quicker but it really isn't.

Whether you train for cardio or lift weights you need to back-off week every 4-8 weeks depending on experience level and type of training.

Not only will this help you physically but mentally.

This doesn’t mean you need to skip an entire week of exercise either. A good idea is to lower whatever you have been doing down to a 50% intensity level.

So if you have been pushing 100 kilograms on the leg press, knock the weight down to 50-60% so which would put you at around the 50-60 kilogram mark. Train at this weight for your deload phase.

Or if you have been running for an hour for the last 4-6 weeks, drop the duration down to 25-30 minutes. Or just go for a walk instead to really lower the intensity and up your recovery.

The following week you'll be fresher and likely more motivated from a psychological perspective to hit your training even harder than before.

So there we have. Five tips to get you back on the road to awsesomness. Try the above tips and soon you’ll be back - Rocky style in no time!

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