If you are struggling to find motivation to hit the gym these days, you are NOT ALONE! The much-anticipated summer vacation has come and gone, school is back in session, and the drive to strive for that “summer body” has diminished.
If the end-of-summer slump has you low on motivation to move, here are a few tips on how to find a new FOCUS for your training:
1. New Playlist
Music has the power to move and motivate. But if you’ve been hitting the gym hard all summer long, even some of your favorite workout playlists start to sound played out by now.
Dr. Costas Karageorghis of London’s Brunel University, has spent the past 20 years researching and studying the psychological and performance enhancing effects of music in exercise and sports. Based on his work, he can offer us some pretty insightful intel on workout music choice.
The professor recommends choosing music with a beat per minute (BPM) that matches your heart rate. For example, songs at 80-90 BPM are great for warm up or cool down. His research shows that the “sweet spot” for maximum musical motivation and performance in a workout is between 120 – 140 BPM.
How do you determine the BPM of your favorite workout songs? There are several apps available that do just that. Just type in “BPM detector” in the search bar of the iTunes store or Google Play and check out your options. You can also search Pandora and Spotify for pre-programmed workout playlists by beats per minute.
2. Monthly Movement Challenges or Goals
Weekly or monthly movement challenges are a short enough to keep you interested and narrow your workout focus for a short period of time. If you want to amplify the effects of a monthly movement challenge even further, make it a competition.
If you have a workout partner, or even a small group of friends that you tend to socialize with at the gym, see if they are open to some friendly competition. Research shows that social comparison or competition is more effective on increasing physical activity levels than social support.
In other words, while you look forward to hitting the gym to socialize with your #fitfam, you are more likely to take your workouts up-a-notch if you create a little friendly competition within your group.
3. New Equipment
New gear or exercise equipment can inspire you to move differently and more often.
On your next trip to the gym, take a walk around to seek out machines or accessories that are unfamiliar to you. Ask a trainer or staff member how to use them properly and challenge yourself to integrate new pieces regularly in your workouts.
If you aren’t the type that likes to explore unfamiliar territory in the gym, you can still bring new focus to your workouts by using some of your favorite tools in new ways. Try more sets or reps with a light to medium resistance, or less sets/reps with heavier weight. Both are great options to help you avoid training plateaus and to change your training focus for a short time.
If you are working out in your home gym, be on the lookout for new equipment featuring sample workouts. For example, the PowerWave comes with free access to 20+ workouts via the PowerWave Fitness App (also a free download in the app store). The Axle also has an entire video library of exercises available for free at www.theaxleworkout.com.
4. Change of Scenery
This might require a big step outside your comfort zone, however when your workout motivation is low, it could be a good time to feed your curiosity. Have you ever wondered what’s all the rage at these new cycle studios, hot yoga rooms, or boxing studios?
Exploring new opportunities to get your sweat on doesn’t mean you have to choose one facility or membership over the other. According to the 2017 IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report, about 25% of the members at fitness only clubs belong to more than one facility. Most places allow you experience your first workout for free or at a deep discount and offer short term memberships or “class packs” for purchase.
Whatever you do, don’t lose focus. Simply find a way to change or shift your training focus to keep getting results.