16 TIPS FOR WORKING OUT WHEN YOU HAVE ZERO MOTIVATION
To help, we asked members of the BuzzFeed Community and Brick CrossFit head coach Erica Giovinazzo, MS, RD, for their best tips on how to get pumped on days when you’re just not feeling it. Here’s what they said:
- •Just put on the clothes.“Once I’m dressed I have a hard time talking myself out of going.” —gwynp2
- •Write down how you feel after every workout so you can read it on days you’re lacking motivation.“I keep a little notebook that I write in after every good workout. Things like ‘You always feel better when you’re done’ or ‘You never regret forcing yourself to do it.’ I then flip through it on the days when I need an extra push, and it helps me to remember my post-workout high.” —emilym434ea6ae3
- •Tell yourself you only have to work out for 10 minutes, then if you really want to, you can stop.“Ninety-nine percent of the time, after 10 minutes, I’ll be pumped up and want to keep going. There are those days, though, that I can’t do a minute longer and call it a day and go home… and those days, I still feel good about having done something, because 10 minutes is better than zero!” —Colleen Suratt, Facebook
- •Check out old pictures of yourself to remind yourself what you’re capable of.—Lee Lee Elfassy, Facebook
- •Watch sport brand commercials to get in the mood.—Justyna Broclawik, Facebook
- •Or music videos of your favorite inspirational performers.“I watch old school Britney Spears music videos, circa ‘Oops!…I Did it Again’ and ‘I’m a Slave 4 U.’ The music pumps me up and Fitney is a motivation to us all. Brit’s abs don’t quit, so neither will I.” —Tatum Murray, Facebook
- •Do a completely new routine.If you get to the gym and are still feeling sluggish, Giovinazzo says breaking your routine is the key to getting your energy up. If you normally head straight for the bikes, do some body weight exercises. Try some cardio if you’re a lifter. You get the picture.
- •Make a new playlist to reinvigorate your workout.“If I’ve been using the same workout playlist for too long, making a new one completely from scratch is an easy way to get me excited for my workout that day. I always go harder the first day of a new playlist.” —Anna Lindahl
- •And when you get to the gym, blast the most epic pump-up song you have.Music = everything sometimes. “You can see it in my classes. You put on the right song and everyone is like, ah, I got this!” says Giovinazzo. Personally, she’s a fan of Eye of the Tiger — but you can’t overuse it, or it loses its power, she warns.
- •Bet money on it.“I use the GymPact app and every time I miss going to the gym, I lose $10. I usually don’t even have $1 so the fear of an overdraft motivates me.” —alexv4cda03300
- •Tell everyone that you’re going to the gym.“Then it’s just embarrassing if you don’t.” —thatbluefish
- •Drag a friend with you.Preferably someone who’s just as into fitness as you are so they can motivate you when you’re not feeling it yourself, says Giovinazzo. It’s a lot harder to drag your feet when you have someone else there keeping you accountable.
- •Look at more motivating alternatives than #fitspo.“I go on Instagram to look at epic nature pictures. I tell myself there’s no way I can hike all those mountains and kayak all those rivers if I’m out of shape!” —maggiem429600597
- •If you have to stop at home between work and the gym, at least leave your phone or some other essential in the car.“Then, I know I have to at least go back out into my car and if I do that then I’ll just drive to the gym.” —Jackie Baird, Facebook
- •Drop in on a class instead.“If you find that you don’t feel like doing anything, it’s so much easier to listen to somebody and do what they tell you to do,” says Giovinazzo.
- •And finally, remind yourself why you’re doing this. And then do it.“I tell myself: ‘This is my time. This is my time to get out all the anger, anxiety, grief, sadness, extra energy that I have and no one can take this time from me.’ Suddenly going to the gym is more a privilege than a chore.” —Alexis Aschkenase, Facebook