Motivate Yourself to Workout


There  are going to be days when you don’t feel motivated to work out. This was true before COVID-19, when we could be together in the gym. We had our barbells and our rowers, our chalk buckets, and our friends cheering us on to finish the Metcon.

But, it’s become even more real for many of us as we work out far from each other in our homes, backyards, and through cell phone screens on Zoom calls. 

Before, you may have felt gym fatigue from over-training. Now, you may just simply lack the motivation to get outside and figure out a 15-minute workout to do on your own after a day of video conference calls, the kids turning your house into their playroom, and trying to get your normal work done from the sofa or the desk you set up in your guest room.

These are nine simple ways you can try to motivate yourself to keep moving forward in your fitness—even when it’s really hard to do so.

1. Call a friend

We all have those one or two people we loved seeing when we got to the gym. They make our workouts better by cheering us on and pushing us to our best times and heaviest weights. Make a commitment to your workout buddy. Give them a call after their work day and see if they want to do a workout with you over Zoom. Or come up with a plan for a workout you can do tomorrow, then call each other to check in to see how you did. Knowing someone expects you—and will text you about it—may be just the motivation you need.

2. book a virtual pt session

By booking a personal training session with a coach, you’re ensuring one-on-one attention and a chance to work on some of your weaknesses (or movements you simply try to avoid). One hour of personal training is a great opportunity to reset, mix things up, and keep you moving forward on the path toward your goals. South Landing is offering virtual PT sessions with coaches during the time that the gym is closed due to the pandemic.

3. put on your workout clothes

It’s a simple trick, but it works so well. Wear your workout clothes out the door into the garage or the backyard (or whatever space you’ve turned into your temporary fitness area) in the morning. Or have your gym clothes out and ready to change into in your bedroom as soon as you clock out of work. If you need an extra push, tell yourself you can’t take a shower until you’ve exercised. Even in quarantine, your partner, roommate, or your dog doesn’t want you stinking up the house.

4. stretch

On days you feel exhausted just thinking about working out, commit to the warm-up or doing some stretching or mobility work. If you’ve signed up for South Landing’s Remote Coaching program, you will receive warmups and cool downs with stretching you can do, even if the rest of the workout doesn’t seem doable for you. We’ve found, however, that if you just get started, you’ll probably finish the whole workout!

5. think of the endorphins

You know the feeling after a particularly brutal workout. Even as you collapse on the ground, you feel an incredible rush. It’s not just a feeling of accomplishment—it’s those post-workout endorphins kicking in. Think about this feeling. You’re not going to experience it sitting on the couch. Get up, grab whatever equipment you’ve got, and get moving. If you don’t have any equipment at home, Coach Billy has put together three easy-to-do, body movement workouts in this blog post about staying fit on the go. You can also find some at-home workouts on our Instagram page.

6. reward yourself

Give yourself a healthy reward to look forward to when you work out and tie it to a goal. For example, if your goal is to work out four days a week, when you complete the fourth day go and make yourself a post-workout smoothie (or, hop over to the Starbucks drive-thru and really treat yourself). If you’ve wanted to complete a certain workout, lift a certain amount of weight, or break a previous record, tell yourself that once you’ve done it you’ll order that pair of No Bull trainers you’ve been wanting or grab a new pair of leggings from Lululemon’s website. 

7. get your home gym ready

If you exercise in the morning, simply sitting out your clothes the night before may be enough. This saves time and acts as a visual reminder of your best intentions. If you normally work out after work or in the evenings, pack your bag when you wake up, even if you know you’re just working out at home. I’ve heard from many people who’ve created temporary gym spaces in their spare rooms, garages, or backyards. Leave what you need there and make sure you can’t avoid it during the day.

8. set a (public) goal

Commit to a workout goal. Then ask a friend, family member, or loved one to hold you accountable. Posting on social media isn’t good enough. For this to work, you have to reach out to someone personally. If our goals are public, you can be sure there will be supporters there encouraging you to keep going until you hit it. This is especially important when many of us are creating new routines and adjusting to a temporary normal. Your goal can be as easy as working out in your backyard three days a week, going on a run at your nearby park every Saturday, or hitting a PR on a workout like a 7-minute AMRAP or burpees or 10 rounds of 10 pushups, 10 air squats, and 10 sit-ups. 

9. track your workouts

…and your successes, too! That is one of key reasons we use Wodify at South Landing. Every time you repeat a movement or a workout, you’ll see your progress. When you’ve PR’d, you’ll even see a gold star. There are other ways out there to track your workouts, including apps for running, cycling, weightlifting, and just about anything else under the sun. If you’ve signed up for personalized programming while the gym is closed, we’ve been using the True Coach app, where you can log results and interact directly with a coach any time you have a question or need to adjust a movement.

We know social distancing and staying at home has been hard on everyone. It’s hard on us, too. We miss all of you—a lot. Try these nine options to keep up with your fitness and we’ll be seeing you back in the gym, ready to tackle even bigger challenges, soon!