Whether people know me well or are merely causal acquaintances, one thing quickly becomes apparent: I have a deep and unflagging love of resistance training.
This is strength training using a variety of weights and exercises to target specific muscle groups.
As a result, when conversation turns to exercise, people invariably *turn* to me & lament a lack of resistance training motivation.
"I want to--I just can't seem to get myself to start." is the typical refrain.
I can't pretend to relate to this.
There are myriad things I've started & stopped (or do only because I "have" to, as with cardio) but not resistance training. I picked up the iron twenty years ago and haven't looked back since.
Yet, since I'm so frequently asked how I maintain my resistance training mojo, I've begun to wonder that myself.
Ive challenged myself to identify *what* keeps me happily motivated twenty years later and hopefully twenty years in the future.
Here's what I realized as I reflected upon my love affair with resistance training.
Four tips for finding & maintaining resistance training mojo:
- Plan. Plan. Plan. These days I'm an intuitive exerciser---I was not when I started. Whether you're a pen & paper planner or an app-user—plan your workout. Get specific; sets, reps, rest periods etc. Next step? Create a Plan A & Plan B for each training session. Whether you're training at home, playground, or gym, plan what you'll do if machines are unavailable etc. Planning sets you up for success & provides you far less opportunity for excuses.
- More muscle = higher metabolism. Of course I'm not saying we *shouldnt* do cardio, but this DEFINITELY motivates me to resistance train (I had a client who hung this as a sign in her home!). I'm not willing to watch what I eat as I age. I'm not willing to limit my portions & shift from mindful eating to calorie counting as I age. I'm *very* motivated to resistance train by the higher metabolism it provides.
- It’s fast. I am not training for competition. My competition is LIFE. My workouts are short (some of this is from pre-planning, some is they need to fit into my life) and focused. Twenty minutes. I can always find (& motivate for) twenty minutes in my day especially when the pay-off is lower stress and higher metabolism. Nothing would derail *my* mojo faster than an hours-long training session.
- It empowers me. When I finish cardio—I feel depleted. When I finish resistance training, I feel empowered. I feel strong. I'm reminded I AM MY OWN SUPERHERO. Weight training helped me find my voice. It gave me the confidence to demand to be heard & know I'm worthy of taking up *space* in the world. Who wouldn't want to make time for something when it feels that amazing & extends into all realms of life?
• What's your best tip for finding or maintaining resistance training mojo?