By Naomi Rabon, NW Fitness Team Trainer
We know that motivation is a fickle and fleeting thing. Sometimes it’s there for you, and sometimes it takes a vacation – a very long, long vacation. The point is you aren’t always motivated, so you rely on discipline. But what if you are lacking in motivation and have a temporary lapse in discipline also? Here are a few things you can do to “trick” yourself into staying on track with your fitness routine when motivation and discipline are MIA.
If you aren’t a fan of cardio, but you need to add more cardio into the weekly mix, here are some things you can do:
• Make a cardio/strength training “sandwich” I have done this many times in the past when I didn’t feel like I could tackle a 45-60 min strength-training session followed by 30 minutes of cardio. Do 15 minutes of cardio before your strength-training session, then do 15 minutes of cardio after your strength-training session. While this is not ideal, if you mentally have a hard time with longer durations of cardio, it is better to split it up and get it all in than skip out on it all together.
• Superset cardio with your weight training If you’re trying to build muscle, I would advise against doing this too often, as it is more of a leaning out technique. But if you are either short on time or just can’t stand the thought of running outside or being on a treadmill for 30 minutes, superset or triset 30 seconds of a cardio exercise in with your weights. For example, do chest presses, chest flyes, then 30 seconds of jumping jacks. Or leg presses supersetted with 30 seconds of kettlebell swings. Some of Nicole’s most intense leg workouts, in my opinion, are her plyometric superset leg workouts and cardio acceleration workouts. These are great examples of how to trick yourself into incorporating more cardio.
• Incorporate exercises that get your heart rate up Pushups, pullups, step-ups, squats, push-presses, etc. are all exercises that target specific muscles, but they also make your heart rate skyrocket! If you’re looking for an additional cardio aspect (which also adds quite a bit of intensity to your workout), make sure you choose exercises that elevate your heart rate over exercises that may not raise it as much, such as doing an exercises standing or bent-over instead of seated.
DO YOUR LEAST FAVORITE FIRST
Abs are my least favorite muscle group to train. I have found two ways of tricking myself onto making sure my abs get worked 1-2x’s per week:
1. Do your least favorite muscle group first, then you can reward yourself by working out your favorite muscle group after you’ve gotten the “hard stuff” out of the way. For example, if you aren’t a fan of working legs, but love working shoulders, do a 30-minute leg workout first, then “reward” yourself with 20-30 minutes of shoulders.
2. Superset your least favorite muscle group with your favorite muscle group. I have supersetted legs with abs by doing one leg exercise supersetted with one ab exercise the entire workout. When following Nicole’s Transformation Challenges, I will always do the ab exercises first (which are typically scheduled at the end of a workout) in order to make sure I don’t skip out on the abs at the end. I won’t allow myself move on to the main workout until I finish all of the abs exercises.
SHORT ON TIME
Tell yourself you only have to workout for 30 minutes, then you can be done. Just get in the car and drive. Then stop when you get to the gym. You can be thinking the entire time how much you don’t feel like going, as long as you drive there, walk in the door and do SOMETHING for 30 minutes. It can be cardio, it can be a machine circuit, it can be abs, or stretching. It doesn’t matter, as long as you make yourself go to the gym when you don’t feel like it. What usually happens is I’ll hop on the stair climber for 10 minutes, then start lifting some weights, and before I know it 45-50 minutes has gone by and I got a full workout it. More often than not, about 5-10 minutes into a workout you might start feeling great and get your workout mojo back. Some of my best workouts have been on days when I didn’t feel like going to the gym.
ABOUT NAOMI RABON
One of the trainers on Nicole’s elite NW Fitness Training Team, Naomi is a certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She is a NPC Figure competitor who has been involved in the health and fitness industry for over 12 years.