WORKING OUT FROM HOME: LOCKDOWN EDITION 2
By Guest Writer Arby Keheli, Top London Personal Trainer
From what I have seen there has been common reactions to this quarantine period in regard to training. Some people’s motivation has dipped, and some people have discovered a newfound fire to really devote this period to their fitness. Unfortunately, like fable of Icarus sometimes pushing the limits a little too far may cause you to crash and burn and a lot of people who initially had motivation to train are finding themselves burnt out. If you are reading this article the chances are that you are someone who is health conscious and trying to get fitter, stronger and healthier; therefore, would have dealt with this along the way.
Personally, I’ve dealt with both ends of the spectrum as controversial as that sounds from a “fitness professional”. There will always be peaks and troughs in your motivation to train. Throughout the years I have been able to devise some simple strategies that have allowed me to stay consistent and motivated.
Consistency is the unsung hero to all training progression. People who inspire you within the fitness world are usually people who have been at it for years; putting in the unseen graft to obtain the physique, strength and or skill that you are searching for. A wise man once said “You only tend to notice the petals on the flower but disregard the journey from a seed” – Arby Keheli 😉
Method 1 – Goals:
What is your reason to train? Why do you intentionally put yourself through a process of discomfort? What rewards are you trying to reap? One of the most powerful motivators is having a goal. Most people who train tend to think they have one however in reality people are often very vague with what they want. I want to get more toned, I want to get stronger, I want to be bigger; does that sound familiar?
Goals must be made specific, tangible and have a time frame in order to make them serious motivators otherwise you can become lost in the pursuit. I want to lose 5% body fat in 3 months, I want to increase my squat by 5kg in 3 months, I want to put on 5 lbs of muscle in 3 months. These are the goals that will fuel a fire to push through discomfort and keep you progressing forward.
Now, get a piece of paper and a pen. I want you to:
- Write down your goal – Treat this as a statement of intent.
- Write down the metric you will use to measure that goal – For example body fat percentage, weight change in KG, visually through imagery etc.
- Set yourself a time frame – months, weeks, years. This element must be realistic depending on the goal that you have set. Don’t give yourself too much to do in too short of a space of time.
Method 2 – Organisation:
Now that you have established what your goals is, we need to understand how to get there. Like any journey you will never get to your destination if you don’t plan your route. Organisation is key.
“Fail to prepare, prepare to fail” This statement couldn’t be truer especially when it comes to managing your training in the pursuit of a goal. I would highly recommend taking some time during the end of the week to organise your diary for the next. This is something I have been doing years.
Creating a weekly schedule allows you to manage all other commitments in your life; work, family etc. Setting out specific times each day to train around your non-negotiable commitments will ensure that you stay consistent with your training.
Another reason I like to create a schedule is it acts as a visual aid that will provide and element of accountability. Being held accountable is a very powerful motivator. Making this schedule is an affirmation of intention and will increase your likelihood of committing to it.
Method 3 – Resting:
What does rest have anything to do with motivation? Simply put, rest keeps you fresh. When you are fresh you will be more motivated to train. Everything you do uses energy and training takes a big chunk of that energy. Consistently expending energy without the opportunity to recharge that rest provides will burn you out. If you have ever experienced a burnt-out state, you will know your motivation to do anything let alone train will greatly suffer. The body is very efficient and wants to limit cost where it can.
Stress (training) + Rest = Progress. Rest is a very important component to training and is often overlooked at all levels of ability. If you take rest out of that equation the end product is more likely to be regression. This isn’t me giving you a free pass to chill out all the time. To change your body you need to give it a reason. But when you are caught up in training regularly it’s hard to step away, I even used to become anxious if I took a break. We need to change our mindsets and understand the necessity and value of allowing the body to rest.
The amount of rest you will need between workouts will depend on a few factors including:
- Your experience – If you are very new to training, I would suggest resting more frequently. I have been training for years and will usually follow 3 days of training to every rest day.
- Intensity – your level of output will dictate the energy cost. Higher the output during training the more rest you will need.
- The amount of energy you are expending elsewhere – if you for example have a very demanding work schedule and have various other commitments you will want to rest a little more between session.
Method 4 – Mapping your progression:
Your journey isn’t just A to B there are stages between. Documenting micro-progression is a celebration of the small victories. One of the most common causes of loss of motivation is that people don’t see progress.
Consistently taking measurements at various stages of your fitness journey and mapping your progression in these areas can be a great tool to keep you motivated to continue. People are often blissfully unaware of how far they’ve come when standing in their own shoes. Seeing a comparison of a progress photo or logging a decrease in weight from when you started is indisputable evidence of progression and should be celebrated no matter how small.
I will leave you with the immortal words of Dory “just keep swimming.”