Training hard is more important than following a plan. And if you're losing motivation, it'll be more difficult to train hard. Someone who trains brutally hard with laser-like focus on a very basic plan will get better results than someone who trains at 80% on the best plan designed by man.
The key to training hard is motivation. And the foundation of motivation is looking forward to doing what you have to do. If you start to get bored with your training, there's a good chance that your motivation will fade and your training intensity will erode gradually, without you even noticing it.
What can you do when you're losing training motivation? I have three solutions:
1 – Do the opposite
Look at how you were training, and for a week or two do the opposite in as many ways as possible.
- Were you doing low reps? Do high reps.
- You were using a fast tempo? Use a slow tempo.
- Was lifting more weight your goal? Try focusing on maximizing the mind-muscle connection.
- Long rest intervals? Go with a faster training pace, either with shorter rest periods or by doing supersets or giant sets.
- Are you doing many sets of few exercises? Go with fewer sets of more exercises.
- Whole body training? Go to a body part split.
You get the idea. That change will either rekindle your training motivation by making you enjoy the gym again, or it will make you yearn for the training you were doing.
2 – Read and get excited
Read a lot of training articles or books by people you respect and look for the one training program/methodology that gets you excited. Choose the plan that makes you go, "Hmm, that looks really cool!"
Oddly enough, don't go with the program that sounds the smartest or the most based in science – go with the one that gets you amped up. Even if that program doesn't address your immediate goal directly, it doesn't matter. It's better to train hard even if it's not 100% what you need. Train like a wuss and you'll lose even more motivation.
3 – Do a week of neural charge training
I've written about neural charge training and how it improves CNS recovery and working state.
Often, a loss in motivation can be the result of a fatigued CNS. So replace a normal training week with 3-4 neural charge sessions. If your problem was a nervous system issue, I guarantee that before the week is over you'll have a hard time containing yourself and you'll want to hit the weights hard again.