So You Don’t Feel Like Lifting Today, Now What?

More than lifting weights consistently for almost 12 years now, I believe that writing is the most challenging thing I have ever had to do in my life. There’s the obvious writer’s block but also the fact that English is not my primary language (French is). Heck, 5 years ago I couldn’t even write a grocery list.

Yet here I am, cranking out 5 blog posts every single week since September while I’ve been writing the new 5×5 book (more about that soon), updating the StrongLifts Facebook Fan page daily, migrating/managing the SL Community, coaching private clients, lifting 4x/week, having a life, ETC.

My secret? I don’t wait until I feel in the mood or motivated to write. I just do it. There are specific days and times I dedicate to writing. And when those days and times come, I write. That’s how I get things done. I know no writer’s block.

This is obviously a method that I discovered through years of weight training. I quickly learned that if I would wait until I was in the mood for lifting, I wouldn’t be lifting often. Frankly, I often don’t really feel like lifting. Long work day, didn’t eat right, didn’t get enough sleep, sick, or right now -6°C in my home gym…

But I go anyway and that’s why I’ve so far increased my total by 187lb in 2010.

I remember when I started lifting with my mentor more than a decade ago. I was lazy, undisciplined, the sleep-until-noon kind. And I often didn’t feel like going to the gym while my mentor always seemed motivated. I didn’t get it.

Until one day at the end of our training, when I said “I’m glad we’re done lifting, didn’t feel like it,” and he replied “I didn’t feel like it either, good you didn’t say anything“. That’s when I finally realized that he wasn’t different from me, he also had his bad days. The difference: he just shut up and did it.

Frankly, I could write a book about all the training mistakes I made the past 11 years. But if there’s one thing I did right it’s consistency. Only 3 times had I breaks from lifting longer than 1 month, first time when I got kicked out of the gym I trained 5y, 2nd time when I broke my right thumb ski-ing, 3rd time when I travelled around Spain 7 weeks. Other than that, I’ve trained +45 weeks/year because I train whether I’m sick, tired, sore, not in the mood, even injured.

Truth is, you’ll NEVER be able to train in optimal conditions. More important: the risk is too high that 1 missed workout turns into 2 missed ones – before you know it that’s 1 week missed and the beginning of the end. The real secret is consistency, and you can’t achieve that if you’re skipping workouts all the time. There is always going to be a reason to skip workout, always.

Stop waiting to be in the mood to lift. Start lifting and GET in the mood.