Rekindling Motivation: Getting back to the Gym with these Steps

Rekindling Motivation

It really isn't too difficult to get back in to shape - if you want it.

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I'm getting tired of the same old routine I've been doing for two years. What can I do to get back the motivation to train that I once had?

It sounds as if you have a good old-fashioned case of boredom. If the mind has lost interest in lifting, that's a surefire recipe for reduced muscle growth and even stagnation. The answer is to vary your routine so you can get those natural juices flowing again to push you on to victory in your training and competitions.

There are many different ways to vary your workout. You can change the number and type of exercises. You can do three exercises for a bodypart on some days and two or four on others. At the same time you can raise or lower the number of sets per exercise so the total number of sets remains constant, or you can have high-volume and low-volume days.

Modifying the weights and the number of repetitions per set is another option. You can also vary the type of exercises by doing only compound movements with free weights for a while, then switching to machines or isolation movements. Or try concentrating on presses one day and cables the next. Variations in arm and leg positioning can stimulate growth as well.

Experiment with your routine to see which variations work best for you. There is no reason to stick with a group of exercises just because you got some results. Maybe something else will be even more effective. If not, go back to the first workout, or try something different. Just be sure to give yourself three months on a new system before you change your training regimen again. Natural bodybuilding is a slow process, so it takes a while for your body to produce visible results from the stimulation of a new routine. If you switch routines too quickly, you will never know what works and what doesn't.

Variety is the spice of life, and there are so many variations in weight training that you should never become bored with your routine. So seek out new options, and explore the possibilities. You'll grow more and have more fun to boot!

How important is it to set goals?

Goal setting can make all the difference between success and failure in bodybuilding-especially for the natural athlete. There's an old saying that it's not enough to want something-you have to plan for it. Truer words were never spoken. A nebulous desire doesn't include enough detail to charge your mind with energy and will. You need a specific target-something you can see clearly in your mind. Setting goals is the means to this end.

It is important to establish short-, medium- and long-range goals for your exercise program. It's fine to have the long-term objective of competing in the Olympia, but if you're just starting out in bodybuilding, the achievement of that goal may be so far in the future that it winds up depressing you instead of providing inspiration. While it's true that a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step, you need to focus on fulfilling each of those steps in turn rather than spending all your time dreaming about the thrill of victory as they hand you the trophy at the O. Always keep that long-range goal in the back of your mind, however, so you can tap into it when the need arises. Just don't dwell on it to the exclusion of your short-and medium-range objectives.

If your goals are realistic and you approach the task at hand with determination-while providing your body with sound nutrition, of course-you will accomplish what you set out to do. Don't let anything get in your way!

Approach this challenge as you would any other that confronts you in life. Commit yourself to achieving your goals, and in time you will make them reality. And remember to pat yourself on the back when you accomplish a short- or medium-range objective. Sure, you haven't reached your ultimate goal yet, but let yourself feel the satisfaction and pride that comes with goal achievement. These positive feelings and the self-confidence that they produce will speed you on your way to meeting that long-term objective.

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