Fitness & Training, Workout at home

Exercise: 10 Tips to Stay Motivated at All Costs

In the course of any athlete’s career, motivation can stall after the initial enthusiasm. How can you overcome moments of doubt and turn them into assets to strengthen your determination and remain motivated, constantly ready to push your limits to achieve your goals?

Mental Preparation and Sports Rituals

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Motivation is first and foremost a question of mindset. If you are putting off training, look for the barriers, conscious or otherwise, that may be causing your reluctance or apprehension:

  • A lack of perspective or poorly defined objectives, which can manifest itself as boredom, a loss of confidence acquired in the early days or a drop in interest in your sport. In this case, taking stock of the reasons why you train can be enough to give you a new vision and a new desire to excel.
  • Organisational difficulties. If your sessions are not planned regularly enough, it is hard for them to take their place among your daily activities. If you integrate physical activity into your usual schedule, you won’t have to worry about this. You can establish a routine: your stuff will be ready, and you’ll already know which workout you’ll try out during the next session.
  • The feeling of not making any progress or the difficulty of passing a milestone: by opening up to other training techniques, you can get around the issue that is causing concern and approach the challenge more calmly. The barriers might then disappear on their own.

These 3 mental preparation techniques, used by coaches of great athletes, can help you:

  • Practice self-talk: talk to each other during the workout and motivate each other with positive mantras or encouraging phrases. You can also get a coach or practice together to put things in perspective and motivate each other.
  • Project yourself in a situation of success and anticipate the satisfaction you will get once you have achieved your objectives: when you’ve mastered a technical move, crossed the finish line, won a match, surpassed a level, etc. This will give you a boost and help you to improve your performance.
  • Remember that you are the sole master of your decisions and verbalise their consequences: “Tonight I am not training, so it will take me longer to reach my goal”. Sometimes just saying it can be enough to change your mind.

Create Change to Regain Your Desire to Workout

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A lack of motivation can also come from a desire for change. On days when you hesitate, change some habits, for example:

  • Try out a new activity for a session: kickboxing, new circuit training that you see as a challenge, running in the countryside instead of in a gym, a new group class, etc.
  • Prepare a stimulating playlist to work out to: adapt the speed of the songs you choose to the heart rate you are working at. Your body will start moving without you even thinking about it!
  • Change your schedule and habits: maybe it’s the fact that you go out after dark in winter that puts you off? Training at home is a way of avoiding any false excuses when it’s not exercising that’s demotivating you, but other factors that make your sessions less attractive.

Effort Means Reward

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Set up a reward system to increase your motivation. This will make it easier for your brain to associate physical activity with pleasure, which will be naturally reinforced with each session, thanks to the endorphins released during exercise. Here are a few ways to put this strategy into practice:

  • Some applications, such as Running Heroes or WeWard, offer rewards: discounts, money, vouchers, etc. The more you do, the more you are rewarded.
  • Get an activity tracker: seeing your performance’s progress will encourage you to keep working at it. The satisfaction of a consistent graph is a powerful driver for some athletes. Every session is a chance to celebrate your successes of the day.
  • Does training feel lonely and unchallenging? Share your performance with your friends and join a community of athletes on social networks or a coaching application. Are you disappointing your audience?

Bonus tip: Sometimes, especially in the case of intensive training, a drop in motivation is a signal from the body that a break is needed. Get some fresh air, sleep, relax and stretch, and give your muscles and nervous system a rest: you’ll come out of it feeling fit and ready to resume your sport in better condition.

Check out our Fitness & Training page for more advice.