Whether you’re new to exercising or have been armed with an arsenal of equipment and training plans for years, a common denominator for every person is that we all struggle with motivation. Of course, it’s a fleeting feeling and you’ll be back smashing out reps before you know it.
But, if you’re wanting to hit a hard reset and get your workout groove back, there are a few simple hacks, tweaks and changes you can make to your day-to-day routine that will get you back on track. Follow our tips below and you’ll be back to yourself in no time.
Write It All Down
If you’re struggling with accountability, writing down your objectives — whether that’s hitting a certain goal weight, finishing a workout faster than before or hitting a PR with a certain lift — can be instrumental in getting your groove back. And research backs this up. A 270-person Dominican University study found that participants were 42% more likely to achieve their goals after writing them down.
Learn a New Skill
If your workouts or training sessions are beginning to feel a little stale, take yourself back to school and learn a new skill. For example, learning a handstand push-up (HSPU) with our expert-led foundations series which you can find here.
Phone a Friend
Can’t face a session on your own? Recruit a friend to sweat through it with you. Current government guidelines stipulate that you can meet one person for outdoor exercise at a distance of two metres. Alternatively, link up with them over a video call and sweat through a workout together. A University of Aberdeen study proved this, finding that those worked out with a partner exercised more than those who didn’t.
Refresh Your Feeds
It’s no secret that we’ve been spending more time on social media this past year. Broadly, it’s a useful tool for staying in touch with loved ones. But, by re-calibrating your ‘following’ list — from unfollowing unhelpful accounts to joining newer, inspirational feeds — you can find new workouts, interesting recipes and fresh ways of exercising.
Work Towards a Goal
If self-improvement is on your mind, perhaps shift your focus to working towards a specific goal. Whether you’re looking to increase distance on your runs, bookmark more time for exercise each week or just wake up earlier for a morning stroll, assigning yourself objectives is a failsafe way of keeping yourself accountable.
Reframe the Task
If you’re desperate to switch pace, try approaching a task in a new way. Instead of thinking about how difficult a run or the reps during a workout will feel, think of both the short-term and long-term benefits of regular exercise. The strategy is based on some science too, with a 2008 McGill University and University of Massachusetts study finding that ‘reframing’ tasks as something you want to do — rather than have to do — makes you up to 24% more likely o achieve it and succeed. We like those odds.
Build a New Playlist
Ready to remix your routine? Press play on a study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, which found that listening to high-tempo music was transformative in the perception of difficulty during exercise. “Listening to high-tempo music while exercising resulted in the highest heart rate and lowest perceived exertion compared with not listening to music,” said study author Professor Luca P. Ardigò.
Similarly, a 24-person Samford University study found that 12 participants who listened to music — compared to 12 who didn’t — during a bench press were able to grind through more reps than those who didn’t.
Change Your Environment
With spring and summer almost here, it’s the perfect time to emerge from workout hibernation and break new ground on your new workout turf. Take your mat to the park, for example, or hit your local track for some speed-focused runs. Not only will the fresh air encourage you to spend more time outdoors, you’ll also be exploring your local area and, crucially, associating exercise with a varied routine, rather than a two metre-square space.