Staying Motivated Without the Gym

Not having access to a gym or my coach definitely threw me initially. I thrive when I have a structure or framework to work with, but I must admit, I struggle without it. My schedule helps to stay accountable to myself, my work and my training. I was lost without it.

Initially, I found motivation to train, as I had more free time than ever before, but motivation never lasts forever. Normally, wanting to win a fight and knowing that out there, somewhere, my opponent was training to beat me was my main motivation during fight camp. But, what now? With no end in sight to the restrictions on mass entertainment, it may be next year until I step into the ring again.

This is where discipline must take over. When motivation wanes, discipline is needed to ensure consistent training stays a priority, rather than leaving it to the whims of my emotions and feelings. So, I created myself a training schedule, detailing the work I would be doing every day, from the warm up, to the type of shadowboxing, to the focus of my bodyweight workout. I included rest days and allowed for flexibility, but overall, it provided the structure I needed to stay motivated.

As for my work, which I had shifted online, I used a similar tactic. What I’ve always loved about martial arts is how quickly you can see progress. I can get discouraged or bored when I don’t see results, so I created a method of keeping track of my work progress. It was very simple: for every hour of work done, I awarded myself a point. The weekly goal was 30 hours/points. If I met my target, I would reward myself, if I didn’t, no prize. It was a very effective tool for someone like me, who has a competitive mind.

I’ve found motivation the hardest when I don’t know what or why I’m doing something. It allows my mind to come up with excuses as to why I shouldn’t do something. Removing this, by having a schedule, has allowed me to accomplish far more. Motivation is a great starter, but it won’t see you through difficult days, discipline does.

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