Regardless of whether you train three times a week, four times a week or even seven times a week, what exactly are you training for?
At first it seems like a pretty stupid question, but when you delve in a bit deeper it starts to bring other questions to the surface. Those of us that do train in the gym spend hours and hours every week moving weight around but for some it can be rare that all this training is put into practice. At the start you may have wanted to lose weight, tone up or get stronger, but if this was some time ago or if these goals were already achieved your training is now directed to a goal which is stale or no longer applicable.
Not having a goal is not something to take lightly. Sure you might really enjoy going to the gym and just working out. It may reduce stress, be a social place to meet like-minded people or even some time where you just switch off from everyday life. Without having something to aim for however, the fun times will pass.
In all aspects of life, things get monotonous. I myself go through phases of spending hours and hours getting my meals ready, washing my car, mowing the lawn, anything. But with time these things just start to feel more like a task rather than something to look forward too and the gym is no different. As much as you may love just being in the gym now, there will come a time where you’re just ‘not feeling it’ and you will be dreading the thought of going! It’s very much cyclic in nature. You love it for a while, hate it for a while, and then you’re back to loving it again.
You start to head into very dangerous territory however when these low periods of motivation start to become longer then the periods where you’re driven and loving it. A day lost here can turn into a week which can all too easily turn into a year.
There is one thing however that you can do that can drastically reduce the risk of this happening and keep those loving periods as long as possible. This is as simple as putting all this “training” to practice and applying it to achieve something you want to do. It might be getting stronger at a particular lift, looking great naked, getting a MVP status for a game, or if your like me you could use the strength you’re gaining to learn some new and cool skills.
No matter what your goal it’s important that your training is directed towards achieving that said goal. There would be no point in putting effort into running marathons if your goal is to pull 500 pounds. When your overall training is directed towards realising goals, your time in the gym doesn’t get a chance to become stale because it’s always allowing you to get better and better at that skill or helping you achieve that goal with every day that passes.
Because of this it’s important that your training reflects some sort of goal. Don’t follow a program just because someone said its the best. Ensure it suits your need’s, your wants and your desires. If it doesn’t help you achieve your goals then why in the name of god would you put yourself through the torture of doing it?!?
The skills I’m aiming for is the free-standing hand-stand, the planch and a killer L-sit. There is definitely still work to be done, but the strength work i’m doing in the background is helping me to achieve it and so, has been something that I’ve been thoroughly enjoying for 4 months straight now!
Make sure your training in the gym reflects a goal you want to achieve. Don’t follow a program just because your friend is doing it or Men’s Health said it was this years killer workout. Review your goals and make sure your moving towards them. When you do that, you have a long and loving relationship with the gymnasium ahead of you!