Motivation for a Training Slump
Christian Ziegert provides some advice on how to find motivation when suffering a decline in training.
It is not uncommon to hit a slump at some point during your training. You may have been training successfully for weeks or months, only to suddenly find you are struggling to find your motivation.
There can be many reasons for this, from health and recovery issues to boredom. The solution will depend on the cause of the slump, of course. Let us look at some of the most common ways to address a slump, bring back your motivation, and hit your training regime better and stronger than ever!
Look After Your Body Between Workouts
What we do outside of training is as important as what we do during sessions. If you are experiencing a slump, your habits in between workouts could be to blame. Rest and recovery time is a vital part of any training regime: our muscles need time to recover to repair cells and build themselves. Our joints, ligaments, and other parts of our bodies also need sufficient rest time to keep them at their best.
Be sure to give your body sufficient time to rest between sessions, particularly paying attention to different muscle groups to make sure they receive proper rest and recovery time. Treat sore muscles with a foam roller, or Epsom salt baths (or both). Be sure to consult a physiotherapist or other medical professional over any issues or concerns. Only by looking after your body properly will it be able to show up for you in the long term.
Keep Things Interesting
One of the most common reasons people experience a dip in motivation to train is boredom. After all, doing the same thing over and over is bound to get boring. The longer you train, the more likely you are to get bored.
Keep things interesting by mixing up your training regime. Find new types of exercise which will deliver the same results. Try a barre class as part of your strength and flexibility training. Mix up your cardio with hiking or swimming.
You can also think about switching up locations running on the beach is more interesting than on a treadmill or involving others. Having someone to work out with is a great way to make things more interesting, as well as adding an accountability partner.
Bring Your Hormones in Check
If you have experienced a sudden drop in motivation, your hormones could be to blame. Hormones play a critical role in our bodies in many ways, regulating essential processes, and sending messages to different parts of the body. This means that hormone imbalances can affect us in many ways, from playing havoc with our energy levels to hindering recovery time after exercise and therefore impacting our motivation.
Hormones can become imbalanced for a variety of reasons, ranging from lifestyle and stage-of-life changes to serious health conditions. You can arrange to test your hormone levels on verisana.com, with a simple at-home test which will then be professionally analysed to determine if you have any hormone imbalances to be addressed.
Review Your Diet
What you eat is vital to your training: the fuel you give your body needs to contain enough nutrients to support the physical exertion, muscle growth, and recovery which is part of your regime. Vitamins, minerals, and protein are all vital to these processes.
If we fail to supply our bodies with sufficient vitamins and minerals, our bodies struggle to perform their normal processes, and this is even more intense when we put them to the test through a punishing training regime. Protein is also vital, as this is essential for cell repair and growth, so failing to eat enough protein can hinder muscle repair and recovery, as well as generally affect performance.
If you are suffering from a slump, take a critical look at what you are eating: have you changed your diet recently, or slipped into bad habits? Or, perhaps as your training intensifies, you need to step up the vitamins and minerals you are supplying your body.
Set Goals (But Keep Them Realistic)
If you have been training for some time, things may have started to seem a bit same-same. Perhaps you had goals in the past, but you have long since met these and now you do not feel like you are working towards anything in particular.
Setting goals for yourself can be a great way to find your motivation again and encourage you to find your next edge in your training. These could be externally-based goals, such as winning a certain title or competition, or internally-focused ones such as beating your personal best in some respect or developing a new ability.
However, it is also important to keep these goals realistic. There is nothing more demotivating than working towards a goal and consistently failing because it is unachievable. Set goals that are challenging, but doable.
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About the Author
Christian Ziegert is the Managing Director at Verisana which offers preventive health care and laboratory test services. Christian studied at WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management and has graduate accreditation in business administration and management.