I have not been training lately, instead, i've been swimming, riding, walking and body surfing.
You might be tempted to ask; "isn't that
training"? And I would say yes... but i'm talking about intense training - pull ups, push ups, sit ups, squats, Kettlebells, etc.
I've found that constant intense training is not sustainable - boredom, holidays, unrelated injuries and many other things can put me on hold for weeks, which can turn into months. My training seems to follow a pattern of 8 months on/4 months off.
Client motivation as a Personal Trainer is arguably the hardest thing to maintain. I've witnessed people fall of the wagon numerous times, and I don't blame them - fitness for the sake of fitness can get boring, especially if they don't compete in sports or athletics, or if they are not trying to impress a potential new partner (breeding instincts appear to be a great motivator for fitness).
Last year, I started doing circuit training and sneaky workouts, as a way to combat the ensuing tedium that usually occurs after months and months of intense training. But sometimes even that gets... well, boring. And once upon a time, to get back into training, I would plug into some vanity, or angst, or even fear. Nowadays, that stuff doesn't work - so i've been experimenting with new ways to kick off a training season after having a long break.The task:
To become motivated for training after a 3 month hiatus.Methods used:
When i've been lost in the wilderness, i've had to enter a psychological state of 'incremental challenge and reward
'. That is; instead of focusing on getting out of the bush (which may be hours/days away), I focus on an achievable landmark that is only 30 minutes away. And upon reaching the objective there seems to be a feeling of victory - which is evident in the way that team moral stays relatively high given the harsh situation. This technique has kept others and I going, when frustration could easily set in and cause us to panic or blow our cool.
I got to thinking... "what if I apply the 'incremental challenge and reward' principle in other areas of my life"?
And that's exactly what I did. I did a few push ups, and left it at that.... and then a few days later, I did the same thing, and so on. But here's where it gets interesting... each time I did the push ups, I noticed a feeling
inside me coming to life, as if I was rubbing a genie's lamp, or adding kindling to a fire - and it felt good, very good!
That was a few weeks ago, and now I am 80% back into training, the flame is burning again. Which makes me wonder, how did that happen?
If you've been reading this forum, you'll know that I can't resist exploring this and learning how it relates to human biology... so here's my hypothesis and questions;
How is it, that humans seem to require obvious rewards in order to arouse motivation
(Eg breeding, eating, security), yet rewards such as longevity and health through fitness seem to remain elusive... which is ironic as they support the propagation of our species very highly.... or do they?
What makes a human being want to be healthy? Is it the forces of competition (natural selection) for a potential breeding partner? Or is there something else too... something that demands we keep a state of physiological homoeostasis?
It seems that if you change the reward; motivation adjusts accordingly, and can be built upon organically, without the use of excessive psychological persuasion
. In other words; baby steps. Interestingly, this is consistent with mother nature, as in the case of a tree - a tree starts out as a seed, becomes a sapling and grows into maturity, like most things in nature.An observation:
The organic process of building motivation via 'incremental challenge and reward' seems to to be effective and exponential - you can grow motivation by altering the reward at an equilibrium point.Question:
Is motivation for fitness deeply linked to our biological need to compete for mates and resources?An equation:
M = motivation
R = reward
O = output
M = R/O2
Anyone care to draw a graph? Any mathematicians or physicists out there?
Anyway... sorry for the long winded essay, I'm just thinking out aloud and fooling around - don't take it too seriously