I can’t count how many emails I get that look like this:
“Vince, I have a hard time staying motivated while I work out in the gym. I can’t seem to stay focused and often feel like I’m wasting my time and not getting the best workout in. What is the best bodybuilding supplement I should be taking or do you have any advice to fix this”
I understand how frustrating it can be to feel like you’re spending time in the gym, instead of investing time in the gym. It’s a deflating feeling and can leave you with that depressing lump in your throat.
I have gone through short-term slumps where I just can’t get into it and it’s a crappy feeling especially when you’re not looking or feeling your best.
Here are some tips on how to crash through these quitting points!
1. Buddy Up.
Schedule your workouts with a workout partner who has similar goals as yourself and who inspires you and motivates you to work harder. A good workout partner will push you slightly beyond your limits and keep the flow of the workout going by avoiding chitter-chatter. The best workout partners can give you feedback on your technique, arrive to the gym on time and ensure you give each set 100% effort.
2. Treat Yourself To an iPod.
If you already have an iPod, stock up on some brand new music that gets you fired up. I’m not afraid to admit that I might be too reliant on my own iPod but I don’t mind because it ensures I get an intense workout each time. Music gets you into a rythym and flow earlier on to carry you to the end of your workout. Popping on some ear phones also tells other members to leave you alone and blocks out back ground noise that can be distracting.
3. Have A Clean Pre-Workout Meal
When I’m training for size, I’ll have a 2:1 ratio of carbs to protein about 90-minutes away from my workout. It might be eggs and oatmeal or pasta and tuna or cottage cheese and fruit. Those are some of my favorite pre-workout meals. Ingesting a clean and energy-boosting meal enforces the tone and healthy mindset I live by and gets me ready to push my body knowing that it’s fueled properly.
4. Bring Your Program To The Gym
Even if you have a great memory and plan ahead, bring the printable workout sheets of your program to the gym. You should know exactly which exercises, reps and sets and weights you’ll be doing before you arrive to the gym. Seeing the entire plan layed out on paper creates less chance of cutting your workout short. While others are standing around trying to figure out which body part they should train, you wont’ waste a second in the gym and be motivated by knowing you’re working towards your goals.
5. Know Your Goals
Going to the gym to “feel healthy” is great goal but having more specific goals is far more motivating. What is the one specific goal you’re working towards right now? Perhaps it’s too look buff for a upcoming vacation? A business presentation? A wedding? A competition? Whatever the case, by focusing on your goal, you’ll train harder and see results sooner so that you’ll be able to continue to focus more.
6. Wear A Stop Watch
One of the biggest mistakes is not keeping your workout honest. When I ran track, everything was measured with a stop watch so all of our progress was honest. If you’re not tracking your rest periods then it’s easy to lose momentum and focus. It can also lead to chitter chatter with other gym members that pulls you out of your zone.
7. Have An Espresso
I won’t lie, some of my best workouts have come after “a shot” or a big black cup of coffee one hour prior to training. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system by blocking adenosine, a neurotransmitter that normally causes a calming effect in the body and prevents you from feeling pain. You’ll find your heart rate increase, pupils dilate and your muscles will feel tighter. It also helps release glucose into your blood stream for extra energy. Voila… want to make that a double espresso?
They’re many more pro’s and con’s to using caffeine before a workout which we will not discuss today. I find that 200 mg gives me the “caffeine buzz” and I’m a 205 pound male. A single espresso has about 100 mg; a 6 oz of drip coffee has about 115-175 mg and a brewed coffee has about 80-135 mg (all these numbers depend on the strength of the roast) to give you an idea of how to experiment.
8. Now It’s Your Turn…
Post your favorite tip or tick that you’ve used to have your best muscle building workout ever. Feel free to elaborate on what I’ve already posted.
Vince Del Monte
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