Happy Monday. I hope you enjoyed last week’s post because this week is all about getting down to business. One of the biggest things I see people struggle with and come to me for advice for is maintaining consistency in their workouts – and honestly, I embrace the repetitive questions – they reveal what people both need and want most, and are a part of the inspiration that causes me to continue creating the SUPP UP. guides.
Let’s get started.
Just to clear things up, this isn’t a post about workout motivation. I’m not going to tell you to encourage or motivate yourself by “rewarding” your flabby lips with your favourite Krispy Kreme donut after each workout.
This is all about discipline. Discipline sticks around long after motivation has fizzled out, and is the real magic that separates the men from the boys (or the women from the girls) when it comes to really achieving the fitness goals you want. A lot like the die-hard proverbial sports fan – season in and season out, it’s still there.
You want your workouts to be fuelled by discipline. Ironically, over the years I’ve found these to be intertwined. Ultimately you’re motivated to workout for a certain reason (the best reason always being for your own self, first), and then discipline kicks in, when you workout with enough consistency and repetition.
Discipline is what keeps things going when you feel like you’re not making the progress that you want, because your ass may just be too impatient to wait for the results.
It’s what causes you to see things through and trust the process while making sure you’re responding to your body when it tells you what it needs – not when your mind tells you the convenience it wants.
I once read about a self-proclaimed “fitness guru,” who was selling information to the masses, stating they’d “tried more than 100 workouts in 2 years” in an attempt to validate their expertise. This is the definition of impatience – it encourages lack of responsibility to yourself. I shook my head in disdain and laughter for 10 minutes because it would take at least 6+ years to see the results of that many workout plans. You couldn’t trust their “expertise” as far as you could spit. I usually don’t have a bone to pick with people, but this took the cake and it’s things like these that encourage people to not take their fitness goals seriously.
There’s no magic formula for discipline. I can’t teach you the mental mettle so many develop over the years when it comes to working out. I can however, give you one small piece of advice that’ll help you follow through with maintaining your workout consistency, ensuring you don’t fall off the wagon as easily.
No matter your workout split, you need rest days. But rest days don’t have to mean just lying around like a freshly plucked potato on your couch. Your brain starts to reset itself, adjusting to the newfound lack of activity you usually do on your non-rest days. If you’re finding you lack the discipline to pick back up steam once you’ve had a good recovery day, now would be a good time to start adding some form of activity into your rest days.
It doesn’t have to be a full workout. I usually throw in 10-20 minutes of rowing on some rest days, or maybe a light swim. The key here is to not do anything that taxes your CNS too much. Doing something quick and light like this will train your brain to think of working out or exercise as a daily requirement – like eating, or breathing.
Get the body used to doing some form of exercise everyday, while not doing a taxing workout, but simply a relaxing, slow-paced, short activity on your rest days, and you’ll “trick” your brain into looking to do something active on a daily basis. We live in a time of convenience technology and TV series, so this is imperative.
I should also mention that for the seasoned lifters among us, this will not apply to you – you’ve taxed your CNS enough in the gym and have put in the dedication to be called “seasoned” in the first place. Take your rest days and take them with pride – your nerves need all the help they can get.
But if you’re part of the under-an-hour 3 sets of 10 crowd, or a beginner meaning your workouts are going to be pretty light, you’ve got to learn discipline before you can start graduating to bigger, more intense workouts. A strong foundation builds a strong house.
This is the perfect way to do it.
So if you’ve got 3, 4, or 5 good workout days, take the 4, 3, or 2 rest days you have and give your body a light as hell form of exercise to work with. Like I said earlier, this can be an easy row, a jog, stationary bike, or even a walk.
Just keep moving until you reach that point where disciplined workouts, become second nature habits.
And keep it simple, stupid.
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Drop by next week for yet another great post to add to your workout and nutrition arsenal.
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