It’s been freezing cold all day and you just got home from work. All you can think about is what you are going to have for dinner and how good its going to be to lie down in your cozy bed. Oh wait… you still have to go training. The inner dialogue begins “I’ll just train tomorrow instead….it’s too cold to leave the house tonight…they won’t even notice I’m not there” and you gradually talk yourself into not going. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there before. Why is it that people struggle to stay motivated to train in winter? Don’t stress because you are not alone. Here are some ways to help you get over that winter training rut.
Set some short term and long term goals
One of the first things your should do is set some short term and long term goals. I talk about this a lot in my posts mainly because I think it’s very important when it comes to Martial Arts training. You should always set goals from the beginning both long term and short term. They need to be S.M.A.R.T; specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. Set yourself some short term goals over the winter to keep on track with your training. They can be things like “I will commit to training 2 days a week over winter” or even something that will span out over the winter period like “I will start boxing over the winter and commit to training 1 boxing class per week”. Here is my challenge to you: at the end of this article set yourself the following: a 2 week goal, a 1 month goal, and a goal to be achieved before the end of winter.
Start Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
If you’ve only ever trained Muay Thai then how about trying a completely different Martial Art. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu? The plus side is that you get to train in a very warm looking uniform and it’s something completely different. Things will definitely feel uncomfortable from the start because like picking up any new skill it will take time and dedication. You will feel like a complete beginner again but that’s the beauty behind Martial Arts, it’s about constant learning and personal growth. Sometimes training a completely different Martial Arts breaks up the monotony of your current training regime and can be just the thing your soul needs to reignite your passion for Martial Arts.
Treat yourself if you’ve achieved a goal. I’m not saying going on a binge drinking bender and a bucket of KFC. I’m talking something more along the lines of doing something for yourself like buying that new pair of shoes you’ve been eying off. In this day and age we are so quick to buy presents and gifts for other people but rarely treat ourselves. You are the most important person in your life so why not spoil yourself every now and then. Buy yourself those new pair of gloves because you committed to training 3 times a week over the winter period.
Make some friends at your Muay Thai gym
You will meet a lot of like minded people when you train Muay Thai. When you train regularly you will end up spending a lot of time with them and get along with some really well. Next time you come into the gym start chatting to people and make some new friends. The good thing about this is that you start forming bonds and keeping each other accountable. Set some days with your training buddy where you both show up together. That way you both train together and develop together. Most importantly you will get that reminder from them “are you coming training tonight?” and also “I didn’t see you at training tonight? Where were you?” Sometimes it’s small things like these messages that will keep you consistent and on track.
Tap into technology
In this day and age there are so many apps and gadgets on the market that are geared towards fitness and Martial Arts. Heart rate monitors, FitBits, Apple Watches and even Hykso boxing punch sensors just to name a few. All these devices are a great way to monitor your progress and it’s the small achievements that will keep you motivated. I bought myself a polar heart rate monitor a year ago and use it to monitor my calorie expenditure during work outs. I have a daily calorie expenditure target I need to meet and can track it very accurately using the heart rate monitor.
Overhaul your diet
We all know that we tend to over indulge over the winter period. The problem with this is that combined with a sedentary lifestyle and very little activity we end up piling on the weight. Rather than waiting for summer to do something, why not overhaul your “diet” in winter. I don’t like the word “diet” because diets are unsustainable. I prefer using the word “lifestyle change” because it’s something you want to be able to maintain for ever. Things like cutting out sugary soft drinks entirely or only having a alcoholic drink once a week are a great way to start.
The good thing with the Australian winter is that it only lasts for 3 months. If you train hard and consistently over the Winter then you will reap the rewards over the Spring and Summer. So many people leave it too late to “get fit” for summer because by the time summer comes around it’s already too late. There is that old saying that summer bodies are built in winter. At the end of the day the weather shouldn’t affect your training habits. Hopefully some of these tips will help you overcome the temptations of staying at home in front of the heater and keep working towards achieving those goals.