Yesterday, I ZERO desire to workout. I'm talking fatigue + No Focus = "Al! Pity party for one, your table is ready!"
Yep, I have those days too. No focus, no energy and absolutely no motivation to move. Most of the time I can get on top of them with the right approach. I'm guessing you'd like to know what you too can do to start a workout when you have zero drive to move.
The first rep. That's all you need to do. Pretty brilliant right?
Its one of the best ways to start a low motivation workout and here's why. Objects in motion tend to stay in motion, if they're at rest, well, the whole stay in motion thing tends to not happen. That's why, much like the first cut being the deepest, the first rep tends to be the hardest.
At this point, minimum effective dose is the way to go. Matt Schifferle from the Red Delta Project calls it "intuitive training." Meaning, let your body and energy level REALISTICALLY dictate what you do. If you've only got 50 miles worth of gas, don't think you're going on a 100 mile drive.
Here's a simple template you can use to get started on off days from the neck up:
Squat: two leg variations work best on low mental mojo days.
Push: A standard pushup
Pull: Doing two arm band or suspension rows are great options.
Aim for: 3 sets, 8-12 reps, rest for :45-:90 between sets then call it a day.
You want to keep the movements as simple as possible which is why I like two leg + two arm exercises on days like this. If you've got low energy, trying to coordinate really complex movements isn't the best way to go. I'll even forgo single arm movements out of a split stance because, while they're simple movements, its still requires a higher level of coordination and brain juice.
Trust, me, I've tried to push the rain back into the clouds trying to do complex compound movements enough times on these kinds of days to know this strategy never ends well. My energy levels can't sustain good form, and I end up feeling more frustrated than fit when I'm done. Learn from my fitness foibles people.
Now that you've got a template to work from, here's what you do:
THE FIRST REP. Usually, the first rep leads to the 10th one for a set. The body is funny like that. Just start by getting it in motion, and it will keep moving for you. If you just can't get yourself to do the first rep, then take the first step of a 5:00 minute walk. Very rarely will this not turn into 15:00+ minutes once you get going.
Don't want to workout and a walk just isn't going to happen? Then try stretching for a few minutes. If that doesn't work, then take 10 minutes for some food prep the next day. You can even spend part of this time mapping out what your next workout will be to make it that much easier to get it started.
The goal on days like this is to simply accomplish SOMETHING positive. Just take a simple positive action toward your goal so you can clear the cobb webs between the ears, feel accomplished and get both the mind and body ready to go the next day.
Much like the rhythm, the funk is going to get you at some point. If you've got a strategy in place to manage it, it’s a lot easier to stay consistent with your weekly movement habit!