It can happen to all of us. Anyone who practices fitness can run into a period of lack of motivation. You lie so well on the couch, it is biting cold outside, and then you might have just found a delicious series on Netflix. This is where the famous thought stretches one: “Does it do anything at all if I just skip one day from the training?” One day becomes more, and before you have looked around, maybe two weeks have passed since you last have been down and training.
The reason for the lack of motivation
The lack of motivation to this extent hit me for approx. half a year ago. I had been training for a year and had achieved great results. But suddenly I lost motivation. Why was it at all that I trained? I learned that this was due to one thing: I had no goal and no parameter to measure my success.
When you have the strength training for 1-2 years, you will find that your results come much slower than the first few months. The first few months usually see weekly results, and some (those with a lucky genetics, calorie surplus and a sensible exercise program) will even experience small daily (visible) results in the mirror. But when you have been training for a year, if you are lucky, you will usually only see visible results on a monthly basis. And how likely do you think it is to notice an increase in muscle mass when it only comes on a monthly basis?
Take daily or weekly progress pics
The Progress app helps with progress pics.
An obvious opportunity to avoid the challenge of seeing your own upper body daily and thus not seeing the weekly improvements, is by taking pictures of the upper body (and possibly the legs if you are also interested in it) daily, weekly or monthly. If you choose to take so-called ‘progress pics’, remember that:
Take the pictures in the same light
Ideally, take the pictures from the same angle
Be consistent with either flexing or not flexing
Measure your Success on Weight or Strength Increase
When I came to the realization that I would not be able to obtain the same instant satisfaction from looking myself in the mirror in bare body and seeing my (visible) progress, I realized that I had to measure my success on others, more measurable parameters. Here you have two obvious options
Measure your Progress on Increasing Muscle Mass
If you are more training for appearance than strength (which is probably the case for most young men) and are currently in a bulk phase, weight gain is an obvious parameter to look at. Increasing the body weight tells you something about how much muscle mass you take.