Everyone goes through a stage of not wanting to train or has experienced some level of fatigue. The following tips will get you fired back up.
1. Force your muscles to learn something new
Take a break from gym/cardio routine you’ve been doing for the last 6 months and try a class for a week or two where you don’t have to think for an hour. It doesn’t matter what kind of class it is, but chances are you’ll feel a different kind of sore in the morning. Hey, you might even surprise yourself and enjoy it.
2. Train the stuff you hate to train
We all have muscular weaknesses. You may not even know that you have a weakness until you go through an evaluation either by yourself or by someone else. Sometimes we have these weaknesses based on genetics, but in most instances we develop these weaknesses ourselves by continuously focusing on the same body parts and exercises for extended periods of time. Weaknesses and imbalances can, and most likely, will, lead to injuries down the road. Work with your local coach or trainer to identify your weaknesses and start allocating more time on them. Stay tuned for our story on weakness training.
3. Use some new tools for the job
Adding an external stimulus to your normal routines can cause a change in momentum, movement, or tension to add variation to a simple exercise. These stimuli can include chains and/or resistance bands. When you add chains to an exercise, as the weights are lowered to the ground, the resistance is decreased, and as they are raised, the weight increases. This added stimulus will also cause the bar to move differently than without it, causing stabilizers, neutralizers, agonists and antagonists to work in a different way that has proven benefits. Resistance bands can help maintain the eccentric or downward movement of the exercise because the movement needs to be stabilized throughout the motion being executed. These additions also help powerlifters increase their maximal lifts. Check out this chest workout video for something called “the crazy bell press”
4. Stop wasting time undoing your hard work
Exercising is all about progressive overload on your muscles for them to repair themselves, increasing in size to be able to endure the next stressor they will be put up against. A typical gym session should never really last much more than an hour for the average individual. If you find yourself in the gym 2 hours at a time, 6 or 7 days a week, there’s a problem with the quality of your workout. You don’t need 4 different exercises for each muscle group every time you hit the weights. You want to be able to strive through the workout and not just survive. This is where quality is much more important that quantity. When the quality of your workout decreases, so will other things – your form, your drive, your progress. Maintain your form, focus on making the most out of each repetition, each set and each day.
5. Turn down the intensity a couple notches
Rest is one of the most important keys to taking your training to the next level. High-level athletes will have a “de-load week” incorporated into their training. When you exercise, you are breaking down your body, if you continue to break down your body without giving it the proper time to recover and heal, you will never truly reach your maximum potential and you can put yourself at a higher risk for injury. This rest should not only be included during the week of normal and high intensity exercise, but should also be included as an entire week of low intensity exercise to allow your body to reset and begin the next phase of your gains.