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It is very hard to generate any momentum physically or mentally for a work out when you feel bored and lethargic.
If you are performing the same work out day in and day out then monotony will kick in – as your body and mind go on to auto pilot.
Granted – you do need a certain amount of repetition in bodybuilding as this does make your muscle mass grow. However if you add some motivational spice into the mix this does make training more fun, worthwhile and it will also prevent you from falling by the way side.
Here are five key strategies to help to keep you sharp and motivated when training at the gym:
#1: Start training at a hardcore gym
While you are in your comfort zone in your local gym, a change of scenery maybe in order so that you re-connect back with your training mojo. A good solution is to invest in a two week pass at a hard core gym where some real meat heads workouts.
Every town and city has this type of gym. It may be out of your way in terms of distance and you might feel a little intimidated to begin with or not!
Nevertheless you will be surprised at how much you will learn in a short space of time, by immersing yourself in a real hard core gym culture. This can be quickly established by feeding off the energy whilst using the new equipment and observing new training techniques that you never knew existed.
In a hardcore gym there is inevitably a huge amount of ‘testosterone’ flying around and this is major catalyst for buzzing and feeding off each other when training.
By seeing some of the amazing physiques that others have will motivate you to push yourself further and harder when training. Before you know it your 2 week pass will become a life time membership because you have rekindled your training vibe and you feel at home in this environment.
#2: Train with the right partner
Choosing the right training partner who is reliable can help with pushing you beyond your normal limits.
A ‘good’ partner should make a ‘good’ spotter. This will help you to pump out more reps than usual when performing heavy lifts.
In addition to pushing you beyond your comfort zone, a good partner will kick your arse when slacking off and/or trying to make excuses for not training. You will need to bounce of each other when training hard and the right partner is there for you throughout the whole spectrum and roller coaster of emotions that are involved with lifting.
#3: Mix up your routine
Even if you have been using a superb work out plan, sooner or later your body will adapt and you do start to become stale.
This scenario regularly occurs and these plateaus in your training regime require a good mix up and change in your routine. For your muscle to continue to grow it needs new training stimuli such as altering the sets, reps, rest intervals, work out splits, tempos and exercises.
For example instead of using dumbbells why not change to kettlebells as they can activate different muscle groups and you can introduce new exercise into your regime – such as kettle bell swings.
Interestingly this small change can activate the posterior kinetic chain and work other muscles besides the ‘mirror muscles’. Your body will appreciate a change in the long run and this is a good approach for smashing through those nasty training plateaus.
#4: Visualise the session before you hit the gym
Before you enter into the gym visualise your pathway through the session instead of mindlessly floating to the next exercise.
Once you practice visualising the session your natural instincts will take over and you will have surprisingly more power on the big lifts.
There is evident to suggest that visualisation can help you to train at or near your peak because your mind and body are in sync with one another.
In addition, visualisation allows you to plan your training in the future and to tweak any weaknesses that have been holding you back in terms of muscle gains.
Many of the top bodybuilders use this technique so that their mind and body are totally immersed within the training environment. This ensures the training session is both productive and smart without any time being wasted aimlessly.
5: Immerse yourself with people would have similar training goals
‘Birds of a feather do flock together!’ Therefore try to immerse yourself with friends who train hard and eat clean, as this positive influence will keep you motivated and on the right pathway towards your training goals.
Try to set the bar high with the friends that you hang around with and be very selective as this will reap its rewards in the long term.
For example a good friend is often a good role model and inadvertently you will copy their positive behaviour. More often than not you will subconsciously use this as a motivational tool and negative dips in your training and eating habits are less prevalent.