By Coach Nikki Isbell
Something isn’t right. You show up for your workout feeling as if someone has pulled all the wind from your sails. Your body feels heavy, the warm-up alone takes the little energy you have stored in your reserve tank, and as you read the whiteboard the voice in your head whines, “Not that. I’m terrible at those. Why did I even come to the gym today.” Sound familiar? There are many things that can contribute to this internal attack on your fitness plan and I guarantee you are not alone, the struggle is real.
I personally blame the weather. Think back to September when the temperatures were in the high 90’s, and you were inevitably drenched in sweat the second you stepped foot in the box. It was hot, but you showed up, and you left happy. Now here you are in the depths of a Texas winter, cold and raining day after day with no end in sight. Staying motivated is your biggest challenge.
The good news is that winter will end. The sun shines again, and you will be returned to that summer glow, sweat glistening in all its glory. Until then here are some tips to keep you on track through winter.
1. Treat yourself
New workout clothes are fun to sport around the gym. My favorite place to shop is Lululemon. Ladies, a pair of Wonder Unders will make your butt look fabulous and when you look good you feel good. Guys, try on a pair of Core shorts, squats in those bad boys will leave you wondering why you ever owned a pair of BCG’s. If you ball on a budget head over to Target for some spunky sporty tights with a color coordinating tank top.
2. Change your play list
Find music that makes you want to get up and move. If its a particularly rough day turn on “I Will Survive” and belt it out at the top of your lungs. If “Eye of the Tiger” doesn’t make you want to pick up your jump rope for a little double under practice then maybe “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” by Daft Punk will do the trick. Songs like these and “Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson not only have an uplifting beat, they also have a positive message embedded in them that is sure to send you to the gym ready to move (and groove).
3. Identify your goals, attack your resolutions
Sometimes writing down your goals is the best kind of commitment. I mean getting a physical paper journal, not just an app in your smart phone, and hand writing what you want a week from now, a month, even a year. Long-term goals are great (drop 20 pounds by Summer), but be sure to focus on the little goals needed to make that happen. Commit yourself to the number of workouts you plan on doing next week, or how many cheat meals you plan to eat this week. Be specific. Don’t quit if you screw up a day. If you drop your phone on the concrete do you pick it up and throw it back down ten times? No, you pick it up and carry on with your business. Treat your fitness the same way.
4. Social Support
CrossFit Cedar Park is the most amazing community of healthy individuals I’ve ever met. Find an accountability buddy or group. Once you identify that person, let them know your goals and plans, “I plan to meet you at the gym every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 8:30am. If I don’t show up please shame me publicly on facebook!” Okay, maybe not that extreme, but hopefully your accountability buddy will shoot you a text to make sure you aren’t dead when you stand them up. If you are working out alone (remote programming or home workouts), find a coach or another athlete in your same situations that will follow up with you daily. CFCP is full of people waiting to be your Swolemate,
5. New Challenges
Sign up for a competition. Much like a goal, knowing you have a competition to perform in will keep you on track in the gym and your diet on point. The coaches at CFCP have years of competitive experience, if you need help selecting the right one for you please let one of us know. You’re sure to get more than enough competitive tips out of the deal as well. Be on the look out for our in house competition, PROVEN held at CFCP (2/6/15) and the I Do the Impossible Challenge (2/14/14). Also, http://www.rxcompetitions.com/tag/texas/ has a list of local competitions, big and small, scaled and elite.
Advocare Spark is a sugar free energy drink that enhanced mental focus. Loaded with vitamins and minerals it provides an effective source of energy that won’t over stimulate your body. Meaning, its not going to jack you up and then drop you off like so many other energy drinks. Spark contains an effective amount of caffeine to give you the quick boost you’re looking for, B vitamins to enhance your body’s natural ability to produce and sustain its own energy, and amino acids that help increase your mental focus and alertness by supporting your brain’s ability to receive and send messages. www.isbellfit.com
7. Sleep more
Fight fatigue with more sleep. Crazy concept, I know. Cooler temperatures naturally make you want to sleep more, but unfortunately sleep is the first thing to go in our busy lives. With a little time management, and some self-discipline, you can meet your shut-eye needs. Aim for 7-9 hours per night. If you are lucky enough to squeeze in a 30 min nap mid-day, all the better (and lucky you!)
Don’t beat yourself up if you have a rough week, work or kids get the best of you, or you have too many cheat meals. Just get back on track as soon as you can. Often, just going through the motions for a week or two is enough to get you through. Remember, bathing suit season is only 3 months away.
Rest 1 minute
Rest 1 minute
Rest 1 minute
Rest 1 minute
The Tabata interval is 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest for eight intervals.
Tabata score is the least number of reps performed in any of the eight intervals. Unit for the row is “calories.”