Nothing recommended in this post is rocket science, but hot damn these suggestions work wonders.
Listen, I know what it’s like to come home after a long day and not feel an ounce of motivation to workout. You don’t have to plead your case. We are all human, therefore we have all experienced these lethargic feelings at some point.
No one is denying that the workday is draining. Or, maybe it isn’t just the workday. Maybe it’s your kids, significant other, or some other mind draining task or activity.
It’s a struggle to keep our energy levels hovering high enough to keep excited to a purposeful workout at the end of the average day. Dealing with people all day long, staring into computer screens for data entry or extreme boredom in the workplace is enough to deter an individual from pursuing a workout.
A workout is the last thing someone wants to see on their to-do list at the end of a long day.
But, pushing through the urge to lay on the couch has tremendous rewards.
So, without further delay, let’s get into some great little tactics that will get you back on track for accomplishing the daily dose of physical effort…
1) Slam a 24oz glass of ice water.
Pounding a glass of ice water pre-workout takes the least amount of time and resources of the five tactics listed here, yet delivers from multiple angles.
First, slamming that tall glass of unsweetened goodness aids in hydrating your body pre-workout. Hydration is the key to, well, just about everything. Hydration is one of the most overlooked, yet most impactful aspects of basic performance nutrition known to man. Entering into a workout in a dehydrated state is like riding a moped in a 65mph zone. Not good.
If your performance is hindered before you ever lift a weight or head out the door for that run, you’re already selling yourself short.
Second, the sheer chill of the ice water entering your system will wake you up quickly. For the purposes of this article, this is what we are after. Slam it, hydrate, wake up.
Third, some say that ice-cold water burns a small of calories.
2) Brew a coffee.
Coffee is the most widely used stimulant in the world. Don’t believe me? Take a drive by your local Starbucks or Caribou Coffee between 6:30-7:30am in the morning, and observe the parking lot and the drive-thru. I’ve save you the trouble… it’s a zoo. It’s mayhem.
Coffee is a proven performance enhancer. Many believe in using coffee to help stimulate fat loss and improve endurance like qualities. But we don’t need to complicate matters here… for our purposes, we are going to use coffee to wake your ass up for the workout ahead.
Personally, this is my go to tactic for my own training endeavors. A 10oz. cup of coffee from my Keurig roughly 20-30 minutes pre-workout is my sweet spot. If you can swing it, use tactic #1 (slam ice water) and then brew that delicious coffee. Be aware that coffee is a well-known diuretic, so use the ice water to jumpstart the hydration process before you down that cup-o-joe.
Go black with the coffee by the way. I was going to crack a stupid joke right here, but I’ll holster it for later. If you have never enjoyed your coffee black, try grinding your own beans and brewing it that way. Fresh ground coffee is the first step to a true coffee experience and new-found appreciation for the beverage. I’m not a coffee expert, but I know the difference between a stale pre-ground Folgers cup and a nice cup of fresh ground whole bean. Give it a shot.
3) Take a nap.
Power naps save lives.
I could end my commentary there, but that wouldn’t be right. In a world where most people (adults and children included equally) are sleep deprived upon waking in the morning, naps might provide the most bang for your buck overall. Sleep is crucial. We act like exercise and nutrition are the only two influencers of health and wellness (and six-pack abs), but sleep affects us beyond what most of us care to know.
10-20 minutes is the key to greatness. That’s all you need to refresh and recharge. Make sure that you limit your nap to 10-20 minutes. Laying down for a 2 hour marathon session might leave you feeling more sluggish coming out of the nap than it did going into it. Remember the goal is to recharge, not catch up on lost sleep.
It’s also the best way to fall into the trap of “I don’t have enough time to workout” syndrome. Set the alarm loud, lay down, fall asleep, wake up and… show time.
4) Force the warm-up.
This might sound a little aggressive, but just like all of the other suggestions above, it works. Don’t fold on your workout until you lace up your shoes (or take off your shoes preferably) and move through a warm up.
I don’t care how tired you think you are. Get into your workout attire and start foam rolling, mobilizing, stretching and moving. Treat it like you are warming up for the gold medal finals of the Olympics.
You’re going to find out one of two things by warming up:
1) Movement wakes you up and you’re not as tired as you thought you were.
2) You’re body wasn’t lying to you and today is not the day to train.
The problem with this tactic is that it’s largely a judgment call on your part. So, you have to know thyself and be aware of your tendencies. If you have a tendency to be mentally vulnerable when it comes to being consistent with a workout regimen, this may not be the tactic for you. You might find that you end up talking yourself out of the workout regardless of how great the warm up session is. If you are more likely to stick to a training regimen on a regular basis, use it at will.
5) Take a cool shower.
Much like slamming a tall glass of cold water, taking a shower is the next step of motivational water therapy.
A cool shower has been shown to inspire and motivate 8 out of 10 people (on average) to get ever important workout in for the day. It’s a home run for establishing a level of mental alertness and physical readiness that prepares a person for a great workout.
On a side note, I completely fibbed the “8 out of 10 people” statistic above. People love to see stats with regard to fitness advice, so I couldn’t help myself, sorry. However, the cold shower works wonders.
Be aware that this tactic is also the most time-consuming and requires the most motivation to complete… however it also impacts the most of the five tactics listed in this article. Your choice here.
There you have it, five solid simpleton tactics for making sure that you can recover you mind and body for the workout. The workday is draining. It’s hard being a human. Mix and match any of the five pre-workout tactics above and lets cheers to your success.
Cheers to waking your ass up to workout!