Hey athletes! I was asked to participate in the #WorkForIt #EASPartner campaign, sponsored by EAS Sports Nutrition at Walgreens. Although I have been compensated, all opinions are my own.
There’s no question about it, the workouts we do on 12 Minute Athlete are tough.
It’s much easier to make up excuses to skip a workout and sit in the couch instead—and that’s what a lot of people do.
But not us. We are athletes, and we push through it, no matter what.
We sweat. We struggle. We work hard.
But that doesn’t mean we always look forward to our workouts. Sometimes, even we want to join the couch potatoes and do anything but train hard.
On days like those, we all need a little extra motivation. In partnership with the #WorkForIt #EASPartner campaign, here are 5 ways to get through a tough workout:
Beat Your Best
In my mind, there’s nothing less motivating than to work out just to lose weight or to look good. Sure, these can be nice side effects of working out, and there’s no question that we all want to feel confident in our own bodies.
But it’s so much more inspiring to work towards a fitness or skill-related goal.
Working to beat your own PRs or work up to a new skill can motivate you to work out much harder than you ever would have before, because you’re working towards a goal that you’re actually excited about.
Before each workout, I highly recommend making a plan ahead of time of what you want to accomplish that day. That way you won’t end up wasting time on anything you weren’t planning on working on, and you can stay focused on your goals easier.
It doesn’t have to be complicated or overwhelming—even just a simple list can help to keep you on track.
Here’s an example of my workout pre-planning:
- Warm up
- Handstand walking
- Post-workout stretching/splits
You can also set a timer for any skill work you’re going to be doing, that way you know ahead of time that it’s only a short amount of time and it’ll be over with before you know it.
Keep a Workout Journal
Keeping some sort of workout journal is one of the best ways to stay motivated and remind yourself that you are making progress, even when you feel like you’re not.
You can keep a physical journal, have a note on your phone, or use Evernote like I do—whatever is easiest for you.
Again, this doesn’t have to be very complicated. You can keep it in the same place as you pre-plan your workouts, and just make a couple of notes for that day of your reps and how you felt.
Here’s an example of the notes I keep based on the same workout as above:
- Warm up
- Handstands – pretty good! 3 one minute wall holds + freestanding practice
- Handstand walking – not bad, fell a couple of times
- HIIT/boxing – felt pretty good today! Strong, pushed through each interval
- Bridges/walkovers – not bad. Need to work on shoulder flexibility
- Post-workout stretching/splits
Plan Your Post-Workout Meal
When I know my workout is going to be really tough, I get extra motivated to plan my post-workout meal.
At home, my absolute favorite post-workout meal lately is a protein shake with EAS AdvantEDGE Milk Chocolate Powder or EAS AdvantEDGE Creamy Vanilla Powder, because it satisfies my sweet tooth and helps me recover faster at the same time. Blend it together with frozen banana and some peanut butter and it tastes exactly like a milkshake.
On days when I’m in a hurry, I absolutely love grabbing an EAS AdvantEDGE Ready to Drink Milk Chocolate shake (the Creamy Vanilla is great too!). They taste awesome and are super convenient—I just stick one in my bag or stop by a Walgreens after my workout and chug away.
Both options are super affordable too—with the current Walgreens promotions you can get two EAS AdvantEdge Ready to Drink Milk Chocolate or Creamy Vanilla 4 packs for just $11, and the EAS AdvantEdge Creamy Vanilla 1.7lb
Powder for just $19.99 now through September 24th. And most Sunday papers right now have a coupon to help you save $2 on any 1 EAS powder and $1 on any 1 EAS shake.
Remember, food is fuel, and giving your body proper nutrition after a tough workout is super important for recovery. Plus, knowing you’re going to be rewarded post-workout with a delicious snack or meal can make you that much more motivated to work hard!
Blast Some Awesome Music
I probably don’t have to tell you guys that having some good music on during your workout helps to get you pumped up and ready to crush it.
Have you ever tried working out in silence? It’s extremely disconcerting.
Personally, I don’t really like hearing my own huffing and puffing during my workout, and music undoubtedly helps mask that.
Plus, putting on something energizing actually helps you forget about your tiredness, or lack of motivation, or whatever you’re feeling that day. My favorites tend to be rap or electronic music—or really anything with a good beat. But of course put on whatever gets you moving.
Work For It!
There are always going to be days when you don’t feel like working out.
Yet if you work out to beat your PRs (rather than working out only for looks), plan your workout ahead of time, keep a workout journal, have a tasty, muscle-building meal to look forward to after your workout, and make sure to always play good music during your workout, you’ll be much more likely to keep working hard towards your goals.
You’ve got this.
“Just remember, you can do anything you set your mind to, but it takes action, perseverance, and facing your fears.” – Gillian Anderson