Motivation can be a fickle friend. It’s there until it isn’t, and then you’re left wondering how you can possibly drag yourself along to keep going. If you find your motivation to work out waxes and wanes constantly, or if you find yourself in a particularly stubborn slump, here are our five tips to avoid burnout when it comes to your workouts.
- Understand that’s it’s not always about avoiding the slump. Sometimes you just need to name it and recognize its presence in the room. If you can acknowledge the burnout settling in, you might be able to lessen some of the effects. The more honest you can be with yourself and how you’re feeling, the smoother it can be navigate your way through it. A daily journal or log can be really helpful with this.
- Recognize the difference between motivation and discipline. The truth is, even the most committed and passionate elite athletes don’t always want to practice or train. Reconnect to your “why.” Discipline will always be more reliable than motivation.
- Focus on the areas you have control over outside the gym. Go to sleep half an hour early, prepare for tomorrow’s meals while making dinner, or take an extra ten minutes to stretch. You might just be lagging in the gym because your recovery has dipped a bit. Sharpening the focus on these areas can make the difference.
- Make sure you’re hitting those low-intensity steady-state (LISS) workouts regularly. This could mean a longer duration row, jog, or bike, or any low-impact exercise you can do at a conversational pace for 30 to 60 minutes. This is a great way to push the mental reset button while also aiding in recovery and increasing your aerobic capacity for when you do return to those higher intensity workouts.
- Remember, you don’t have to work out. You get to work out. Reframing exercise from a chore to something you have the privilege and health to do can go a long way in re-energizing yourself.