Lack Of Motivation

One of the good things about training at home is that I can train pretty much whenever I want to. I’m not beholden to anyone or anything. If I wake up at three in the morning and want to lift, I can do that. There’s literally nothing to stop me from doing so. It’s pretty damn awesome.

Unfortunately, the downside is that it becomes easy to procrastinate because you can always do it later.

Because of that, it’s really easy to lose motivation, and that’s something I haven’t had for a couple of weeks now.

I like my program. I like the flexibility it gives me in exercises and how it lets me work more toward improving all of my lifts, but for some reason, I just haven’t wanted to lift since before last week.

This is problematic, to say the least.

Now, I’m going to confess. I didn’t lift Monday at all.

Friday, I tweaked my back a little and it was still tender on Monday. Since Monday is deadlift day, I decided it would be for the best to let the old back rest a bit more.

Besides, I gave the posterior chain a good workout on Friday, which may have been how I tweaked the back in the first place. I should be fine. I may not work everything I’ve trained in deadlifts, but I shouldn’t be too detrained come Monday.

Yet today, I felt like crap. I’m dealing with allergies–a way of life in this part of Georgia, I should tell you–and the associated drainage and didn’t really feel like doing much of anything. I slept like crap last night too, also because of drainage.

In other words, I didn’t feel like lifting anything heavier than a tissue.

But, after getting something to eat and settling down a bit, I decided I needed to lift anyway. I figured I’d just get in the overhead press and maybe do a continental clean and press, just to give the deadlift muscles a little bit of work.

Yet like last week, I got out there and soon I started doing the full workout. Main lift, accessory lifts, strongman lifts, I did it all.

And, truth be told, I feel a bit better for having done it. That’s a good thing.

But I can’t help but notice that the only thing really driving me is habit.

Now, this, too, is a good thing. Habit is what will push you through when you may otherwise stop lifting. When it’s a habit, it’s a key part of you and you can’t live without it…

…until you drop the habit.

The problem is, how long does it really take for me to make something a lasting habit? How long until the habit drops?

Yes, these are real concerns. Partially for my health, mind you, but also because I’ve spent a fair bit of money on equipment and I don’t want to hear my wife griping about me not using any of it.

(If you’re married, you may well know precisely what I mean.)

So, I need to lift.

I’ll be honest, that kind of gives me a bit of motivation all on its own. But it’s not enough.

So that means I’m going to start working on strategies to help keep my compliance high and to help me get much stronger.

One thing I’ll do is keep my eye out for a training partner, someone who will come over and lift and make it so I will have to get up and go out to lift, if for no other reason than to not be a bad host (remember, I’m trying to embrace the Viking archetype).

Assuming I can find someone that fits with me and wants to train–far from a sure thing, let me tell you–then that might do it. Ideally, I’d have a few folks who would come and lift. A brotherhood, of sorts.

But I also need to stack the deck. In case you haven’t noticed, that’s kind of a recurring theme with me. I think that’s normal when you’ve come so close to your health goals, only to fall short and put the weight back on. I don’t want to do that again, so I’m looking to stack the deck in every place I can.

That’s the tricky part.

So far, most of the suggestions I’ve found for motivation include some pretty stupid ones. “Only wash your hair on days you work out,” Buzzfeed suggested. Yeah, because being unable to make yourself train means I’ll totally be able to refrain from conducting basic hygiene as punishment.

Others are things I’ve been doing, like tracking my success. I mean, I’ve only logged pretty much every lift since April. I only stopped recording warmup sets a few weeks ago, for crying out loud. Guess what? That doesn’t work when things are stagnating.

And that is probably part of why I’m less than enthused about lifting. My weights on upper body lifts aren’t really increasing. In fact, to some extent, they feel like they’ve been regressing.

Intellectually, I know that with me maintaining a caloric deficit–a necessity when trying to lose weight–that I am bound to hit a spot where I’m just not going to make the gains I’d like to make. I may even get a bit weaker as I proceed forward.

Couple that with only slight movement on the scale, and it’s easy to become demotivated.

So what do I do?

Well, a good chunk of that is something I got bothered when Joe Rogan brought it up: Discipline.

I make myself go train because it’s what I do. It’s part of who I am these days, and I need to remind myself that. The diet is part of it too, but the training is a big part of who I am and who I will be going forward. It takes a certain amount of discipline to get to that point.

But I need to look for more. Frankly, I’m open to suggestions. I’m not saying I’ll take them, but I’m definitely willing to listen.

In the meantime, I have squat and bench coming up later this week, which means I need to get my head in the game for that. Maybe I’ll figure something out by then.

Author: Tom

Tom is a husband, father, novelist, opinion writer, and former Navy Corpsman currently living in Georgia. He's also someone who has lost almost 60 pounds in a safe, sustainable way, so he knows what he's talking about.

4 thoughts on “Lack Of Motivation”

  1. There’s always the online option. Paying more, and per month, kinda sucks, but it’s an option. Close to it is what I do: record your lifts in semi-public. Posting my work sets to a forum of like-minded folks. One way is Brett McKay’s Strenuous Life community, which has an active physical training element and group.

    One major way I’m working on this is setting a goal. I want to squat 500#. I’m working toward that.

    1. That extra cost is part of the problem with that. Cash is getting tight over the next month or so, which means this is probably a bad time to try the online thing like that.

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