Boxing Blog

    Not Motivated? Why Not? (And what you can do about it!)

    Hey Team,

    Somehow it’s a big ‘Welcome to October’ blog.  I have to admit I have quite literally no idea where this year has gone – but at the same time the Summer Slam Challenge only started 6-short-days ago (that’s right, not even a week) and I am 100% certain I have been following the challenge rules for at least 100000 days.  Or maybe it is 6.  Who really knows at this point?

    What I do know is the classes were awesome (and awesomely busy) last week – cheers to Tracey for putting together the boxing plans (though I have to say, that Wednesday class was ‘excessive’!) and, as always, thanks to the team at BoxProgramming.Com for the Funky Fit plans…I managed a mix of both over the past week (3x box, 2x funky) and pretty much loved all of it.

    Today’s blog has been inspired by a couple of things.  Firstly, I have had a couple of membership cancellations recently by people who “just aren’t getting to the gym”.  Secondly, I have had some moments in the past couple of days when I had to get to the gym to do stuff that – quite honestly – I didn’t want to do.  So…here goes.

    Once upon a time whenever I got the “I don’t have time” or the “I’m just feeling tired” today reasons for either non-attendance or ‘less than optimal’ effort in a session, I would fall back to a bit of, well, tough love.  You know, the ‘how about you get over to the shops and buy a bag of cement’ type tough love.  My assumption – based on my own head of course – would always be that the person in question just didn’t ‘REALLY WANT’ what they had told me they wanted.  When the gym first opened I would probably have been pretty openly a bit dismissive of their attitude…over time, I probably (well, let’s go with maybe!) became a little more OUTWARDLY supportive but my internal conversation remained the same.  But I like to think that over time I have become a little better at figuring out the type of things that REALLY get people ‘motivated’.

    Let me come back to that.

    What happens from time to time is that we get a client who comes to the gym, goes through the ‘Health Check’ process, maybe does a trial membership and makes the decision to join the gym.  Which is good.  But then 3-4 months passes, they hardly ever come in to train and eventually they get in touch to cancel because either their ‘circumstances have changed’ or “they don’t have time” or “work is too busy” or whatever other non-specific reason they have.  I think everyone knows that none of those things are ‘REAL’.  What is real is that their ‘motivation’ has dropped to the point where they simply cannot find a way to do the thing that they came to the gym to do (nominally:  lose a couple of kegs, get a bit fitter, look ‘more toned’ in their board shorts/bathers).  But why?

    Because they don’t feel like they can ‘DO IT’.  Having had a small taste of the sessions and watching everyone else get through the classes, they feel inadequate.  And feeling like a beginner is NOT motivating.  Feeling like everyone else can do it…but you can’t?  That is not very motivating.  What is motivating?  Feeling like YOU CAN do it!

    Why else aren’t they motivated?

    Well, reason number #2 is because they feel as if they have ‘lost control’…they feel that the decision to train has been taken away from them.  And they feel ‘guilty’ for missing sessions and get down on themselves because of it.  It is a complicated situation.  The big advantage of coming to R1 and participating in a group session is that you DON’T have to think…but the negative about this is the negative self talk when things become ‘hard’…after all, you “didn’t sign-up for this”.  I often see this same emotion even in long-term members (and in myself!) when the session appears particularly tough when you read the white board – you just get that “60 calories on the rower?  Oh man….” kind of look in your eyes…

    Why else?

    Well, I’m going to go with reason number#3 is ‘they feel isolated/alone’.  This most commonly happens when two people plan to come to the gym together…but only one of them is holding up their end of the bargain.  There is this great plan of how two people – friends, partners, whatever – are going to work together, achieve their goals together…next minute, it’s 2-minutes before the session is about to start and one of them is in the gym, checking their phone…the other is ‘somewhere else’, sending a ‘sorry but…’ text.  It just sucks the life (and the motivation) out of the session.

    The challenge is – of course exactly what to do about it!  I’m going to deal with this part in ‘reverse order’!

    Feeling Isolated??

    Now at Round 1 we are super lucky because we have a really (really) supportive member community.  If you are feeling isolated, it really is a matter of reaching out during your next session – and you don’t need to share the story of your life, you simply need to say ‘Hello’.  Most people train at a pretty similar time of day – say ‘Hello’.  Before long you will find yourself in the same ‘group’ every day…you will find yourself suffering alongside the same people every day.  You will find you become connected.  Unsure where to start?  Start with one of the trainers – ask them to message you and remind you to get to the gym tomorrow…now, I admit, all of this does need you to take a step forward and engage with others, but if you can walk into the gym, you can 100% do this.

    Lost Control??

    This is all in the way you look at things.  I know, I know.  To redrive the previous example, 60x calories on the rower sucks whichever way you look at it.  Or does it?  I know my head can get pretty negative about things some days – but I get through it in a pretty simple way.  First, if I see something I don’t like, I look for something I DO like.  From there, I re-case the negative from a “It’s only 4-minutes” type of perspective…and hey presto…I have control.  Not everything in the gym is going to be sunshine and rainbows and ‘your personal favourite’ exercise.  But worse case, it IS going to all be over in 45 minutes…

    Can’t do it? 

    This is the worst one.  You just “can’t do it”.  It kind of sucks because for the entire session you feel like you are worse than everyone else.  And me or one of the other trainers telling you to ‘go at your own pace’ only reinforces that feeling…so you need to focus on what you can do.  YOU.  And you need to focus on what you can do now that you couldn’t do YESTERDAY.  I have often said that our gym’s greatest strength is it’s greatest weakness…we constantly (EVERY SINGLE DAY) vary the sessions we do – and not just a little bit.  For those people out there who have been training at Round 1 for 10-years, that’s awesome.  For someone who has been at the gym for 10-days, it seems like every day is another confusing hodge-podge of random exercises (it’s not by the way).  Feeling confused, feeling ‘stupid’, feeling like everyone else can do it…those feelings will pass.  Just focus on the little things – the things you can do.  If you are at the bags, get your hands up, get your feet right.  If you are doing push-ups, get your chest to the ground.  Do them PROPERLY.  Do things WELL.  If you don’t get through everything on the white board, well, SO WHAT?  That will come…after all, you are just getting started!

    Just going back through it again, if you are struggling with motivation, it probably comes down to one of THREE (3) pretty simple things:

    You feel like you just can’t do it.

    You feel like you have ‘lost control’ of your decision to train.

    You feel isolated/that you are in by yourself.

    Have a think about what is REALLY holding you back/preventing your progress.  Have a think about what influence you can have on it…and if you need help, reach out and ask for it!

    See you in the gym,



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