Motivation to workout at home

I have discovered something amazing… when I am watching someone working really hard on television, my own work rate rises accordingly.

In the past, I have gone to the gym and listened to music, or plugged my ear-phones into a television channel and watched a film or caught up on the soap operas, and that has served the purpose of helping time pass.

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But the last few workouts I have done have happened to coincide with sport on television, and the effect has been astonishing. My work rate has risen, my determination has gone through the roof, I have even found myself ‘shouting’ silently to myself to work harder.

It is in no way comparable to watching a specific workout programme on television. It is not like concentrating on what a Yoga or Pilates instructor is doing and then copying the moves. Quite often the sport I am watching is in no way related to the activity I am doing; this form of motivation is something more visceral, more emotional, more psychological.

motivation to do pilates at home

Motivation by determination of others

I will give two examples: I was watching the Australian Tennis Open while doing a stationary bike ride. During one of the sets, one of the players had his foot treated for an injury. I kept pedalling and watching. If I was to rate my work effort at that point, I was probably cruising along at a steady six out of ten, sweating slightly, breathing a little harder than normal.

The camera panned in on quite possibly the nastiest blister I have ever seen, the physio covered it up and the tennis player ran onto the court. He was visibly hurting like mad, and my reaction was to pedal harder; if He can play through that pain, I can cycle through this pain barrier. My effort level became a throat-burning, heart-thumping, muscle-pumping ten.

djokovic-murray

 Motivation by effort of others

Another time I was watching the cycling world championships. I was doing a Pilates session this time. The cycling was only on in the background and I was watching an instructor on You Tube on my computer screen. She was demonstrating a particularly tough stomach exercise and she was asking for 100 repetitions of a movement. My body began to rebel and shake as I approached 50 reps, but then my attention was caught by the grimace on the faces of the cyclists on the television screen. My own pain subsided as I found myself lost in the cyclists’ efforts. I found myself believing that as long as they kept going, so too could I. 100 reps went by, the race drew to a close, and as the winner crossed the line and relaxed, so did I.

I don’t need that sort of motivation every time I workout; sometimes it is not practical, sometimes music does the trick, sometimes the purity of exercise is enough to engage and motivate me, but just occasionally the Herculean efforts of others gives me an aim and a motivation that helps lift my performance to superhuman heights.

 

(Image credit: trainingfortriathlonswithmike, bbc, velocitywa)

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