Monday, March 7, 2011

Training Motivation...

Is lack of motivation beating you down?
It happens to us all:

Lack of Motivation.

It is normal to lose motivation from time to time, but if left unchecked for too long lack of motivation can hinder your progress.

Recently, I was hit hard by a bout of "no motivation". But I've got a few tips and tricks which helped me overcome that training funk. I'm sure they'll help you too.

Give Me Back My Damn Motivation! -

There's usually a reason you've lost your motivation. Overtraining, family stress, work stress, illness, bad get the idea.

The first step towards getting your motivation back is to prevent it from slipping away in the first place. Here are a few things you need to do:
  1. Keep a Journal - I feel like nothing helps keep you motivated like keeping track of your goals and progress through the use of a training journal. For many it is almost like you are writing things in stone - it keeps you accountable.
    I resisted this practice for years, but when I finally started keep a journal I noticed I had more motivation and made better progress.
    Stop making excuses and just write it down!
  2. Tell Others - In a similar vein to the journal, telling others about your goals and your training keeps you accountable. It is a big motivator to know that others know about your goals. It is almost as though you don't want to stop training because you don't want let others down - strange, but it works.
  3. Join a Community - Being part of a gym or dojo is a major motivating factor. Being in frequent contact with others who share similar goals and values makes it easier to stay on track. And this doesn't just apply to the real world either. Interacting with others in the virtual world works too.
    I spend a lot of time on martial arts and training forums and blogs. I have found that the more I read and comment on forum posts and blogs the more motivation I have.
Now, all of that is fine and good for keeping you motivated but what happens when (despite your best efforts) you still find yourself lacking the motivation to train?

Well, you guys know I would never let you down! I've got some tips to help you there as well.
  1. Get Some Rest - Sometimes you just need some rest. Spend a few days getting excessive amounts of sleep, down time, and fatty foods. You should be right as rain in no time.
  2. Get Pumped! - Similar to the Robert Hamburger/Real Ultimate Power method of "Getting Pumped Up" - well...not exactly, but sorta.
    You've got to find out what gets you excited about training. Your first step should be to revisit your goals and your progress - sometimes you just need to remind yourself why you're training. If that fails you may need to seek out inspiration from others.
    I've found that watching MMA, Knockdown Karate, San Shou, and BJJ training montagues and highlight reels on Youtube really helps me get into the mood to train (movies like Rocky and Kickboxer help too).
    Reading inspirational quotes from other martial artists helps me out a lot too. Mas Oyama, Bruce Lee, Morihei Ueshiba, and Masaki Hatsumi are some of my favorite "quote generators".
  3. Do Something Else - It is never a bad idea to take some time off of training and just do something else for a week or two. "Absence makes the heart grow fonder" is very true in this case. Taking some time off from your passion will really help you get back that lost motivation.
    In the past I've taken time off to go on a cruise, read some books (like Beowulf and Ben Franklin's Autobiography), and learned to play hacky sack. Once, I even started a crappy blog about martial arts and performance enhancement.
    The point is, do something else for a bit and you'll be itching to get back to training.
So, don't get discouraged if you find yourself lacking the motivation to keep training. Most likely it is a temporary issue and if you follow these tips you'll be back to normal in no time.

I'd like to hear how you guys handle lack of motivation. Let me know in the comments section.

Train Hard,
Josh Skinner


  1. I get this all the's one of my main faults when it comes to getting in shape/training my body for fencing. I'll definitley try and apply as many of these tips as I can, since I DO want to get competitive for fencing and start invollving myself in tournaments, etc. Thanks for the article, as it definitely helps to know that I'm not the only one who faces these sorts of obstacles.

  2. Tempest - You're definately not alone :)! I'm glad you like the post.

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