How To Stay Motivated to Train in the Sport of Weightlifting

Staying motivated can be very challenging in a sport like weightlifting where you are more or less doing the same thing day in and day out for hours on end for only 6 attempts on the platform every so often.

The assumption is that elite weightlifters wake up fired up, ready to go, 24/7. What many weightlifters, or aspiring weightlifters, don’t realize is that they suffer from the same motivational lapses as the rest. They also have those mornings when the last thing they want to do is roll out of bed. In other words, what you are experiencing is not weird. It’s probably the status quo.

What differentiates the elite from the rest of the pack is that in the face of fatigue, soreness, and lack of motivation they still find a way to make it to the gym and impose their will on the barbell. They are resilient and gritty and are able to push through the mental doldrums of training at a high level.

Here are 6 ways to re-center yourself and reignite your inner drive:

1) Practice discipline – motivation can be a fickle thing. Lapses in motivation are normal and nothing is wrong with you, but having good discipline will allow you to train even when you don’t feel like it. Every athlete, beginner or elite, goes through these motivational gullies. It is what you do to deal with them that will set you apart. Maintaining discipline is where you build resiliency and grit.

2) Watch a couple weightlifting videos of triumph.For a quick motivational jolt, there are fewer things better than watching some of the great moments from our sport. Here’s my favorite:

3) Rest and recover.The accumulated fatigue of training can wear you down physically and emotionally. When you are utterly exhausted, sleep, rest and recovery must become your primary focus. If you get to this point, communication with your coach is very important. Training should be adjusted or scrapped all together if it is concluded that taking the day off is the best solution. Additionally, It’s amazing what a good solid night’s sleep will do for you. It will not only help regenerate your body, but more importantly, provide mental clarity and focus once again.

4) Revisit and take stock of your goals.Often weightlifters get demotivated when they have veered off the path towards their goals. This is very common during the hardest most dreadful phase of training when volume is high, intensity is moderate to heavy at times, and competition time is still very far away.  Sit down with your goals for a few minutes. Make adjustments based on where you stand with your training right now, and where you would like to be moving forward. Reflection and adjusting is a crucial part of re-centering yourself and pushing through adversity.

5) Pick one thing to demolish today.On your way to the gym, pick one thing you are going to focus on, and forget everything else. It could be a particular lift, or exercise, or a specific adjustment to your technique. When you remove distractions, and focus your thoughts and energy on doing one thing spectacularly well, you’ll find that it has the curious side effect of spilling over into the rest of your training.

6) Take Action.One of the easiest ways to sap your motivation is to procrastinate. To wait. To sit around, hoping, wishing. Take action. Action builds momentum and gets you on the path to achieving results, which in turn helps fuel the motivational fire. So do something, anything, immediately and get rolling towards excellence.

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