Where's my motivation gone?

CrossFitters by nature are usually the motivated dudes annoying everyone in the office. They don’t bin off the gym for a lunch break in the sunshine. They don’t forget their gym kit and they organise their social life around their training sessions. 


So what happens if the CrossFit dudes have somewhat lost their motivation and are struggling to find their mojo? Is it possible to kick start it? 


Obviously at the moment there is a lot of change and uncertainty in the world. Covid-19 has pretty much turned life upside down and it’s taking most of us a bit of time to readjust. Some people are better at adapting than others and some have work and family challenges which make it more complicated. 


Everyone I speak to is finding it hard to maintain a consistent amount of motivation. Some days it’s good and some days it has just vanished. And this is unusual and uncomfortable for many of us. We live our lives by a finely tuned regime, governed by work, training and family requirements. So now that has changed, we need to find our new normal. Our “Quarantine Regime”. 

This lack of routine can also lead to anxiety. A ‘free-styling’ approach to life is not how most human beings flourish. CrossFitters in particular, respond well to the rigid modular formula of WODs. We like to be timed, organised, measured. This approach ticks a lot of boxes. Please don’t take that away?! Many CrossFit boxes are offering online group classes which are a brilliant way of keeping in touch with everyone. But they lack the ‘measurable’ aspect of Crossfit as each person has different kit available to them. Space is an issue for some, neighbours, uneven flooring blah blah blah. 


We’ve become accustomed to pushing forwards with our weightlifting PB’s, beating so and so on the metabolic WODs, being accountable to others for our achievements, so it’s no surprise that we are feeling a little bit lost at the moment.


I want you to think back to the time that you first started CrossFit. When everything was new and you were the master of absolutely nothing. You couldn’t try and achieve all your goals at once. They had to be broken down into smaller, manageable chunks. Sometimes, the biggest achievement was having the guts to just walk through the door for a class. 


Maybe you started following some CrossFit Athletes on social media and found them to be inspiring and motivating? 


Let’s do the same thing again.


work out what time of day is the best for you to train at now. Take into account the obvious things like work, food, netflix etc. And then stick to this time every day, no iff’s no but’s. Routine is key.


Decide what aspect of your training you want to focus on, taking into account what equipment you have available at home. This might simply be to improve your cardio, flexibility, running, burpees, double unders etc. And then get a plan for how you are going to work on these. This could be anything from getting an online training program, asking your CF coach to plan a few things for you or spending 5 mins doing it before an online class. Focus on one thing only. Once you have achieved what you set out to, move onto a new objective.


Have a social media cleanse. Only follow those people who you like and you find uplifting. Stop watching somebody who irritates you. What benefit is this? You don’t have to find people who are international athletes (although most of them are amazing). Maybe you need to follow a local person from your gym who has a great attitude?


J.F.D.I (just fucking do it). The most effective way to get motivation, is just to take a step forward. There’s not going to be a huge moment when at last, motivation appears out of nowhere. It has to be created. Taking one step, even if it’s a small step, towards your goal will create motivation. And then it snowballs. Get up in the morning and put your gym gear on. Find some thumb tape and get ready for some lifting. Line up your protein shake for after your training. Just do something.


Be accountable. Maybe you need to tell someone what you are planning to do. Maybe you just need to write it on a piece of paper and stick it on the fridge. If you want to get something done, it needs to matter if you don’t do it. Have a chat with your housemate/ partner/ coach/ friend. Certainly verbalising a plan seems to make it more likely to happen


What’s your why? I have heard this discussed many times by coaches. it also comes up a lot when researching motivation. Some people have amazing backgrounds with incredible reasons as to why they get up and push themselves every day. Some of us just do Crossfit because we like it. The system, the people, the place, it all fits with our sense of self and belonging. Thats why we do it, ‘cos we like it! So why are we going to try and keep going during lockdown? For me, it’s because I have worked hard at CrossFit for the last two years and I don’t want to let myself down. It’s my mental sanctuary. I like working out and having an hour all to myself. That might be selfish, but I always feel better for doing it. So if you are struggling to get yourself motivated, instead of thinking “What’s my why?”, maybe think of “what happens if I don’t?”. You’ve probably practised this answer many, many times when people tell you “you should stop CrossFit, it’s a bit extreme, maybe you should do yoga?”


It’s all about finding your new normal. Figure out what your most effective daily routine is going to be - and then stick to it. If you are finding something particularly demotivating (like watching the news), then consider not doing it. If watching the CrossFit Games gets you fired up for a training session, do some more of that. Maybe this is the time to invest in that pair of running trainers, new shorts, weightlifting belt. After all, it’s a known fact that new gym kit adds an extra 10% to all your olympic lifts. 


Good Luck : You’ve got this!

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Written by Gabby Lamplugh @barbie_does_crossfit