Wherever you are in your fitness journey, you are bound to have a setback on one occasion at the very least. At least once, you will come to question yourself, wonder why you started working out, all over again. If this has not happened to you yet, you are in luck. However, not for long. This drop in willpower or amount of motivation is normal and happens to everyone. The difference between you and the person who benched 315 back in high school is what you do when you feel low and purposeless in regards of both your gym progress and life in general.
In order to prevent becoming a bitter person who gives up on his goals, you have to do the unconventional. “Unconventional”, as in Zercher deadlifts and 2-inch rack pulls? No. “Unconventional”, as in performing things in a manner different from the orthodox methods. Changing it up, in other words. Doing things for a purpose other than the fulfillment of the primary goals, which may for you be strength or hypertrophy. Simply put: have fun, for once.
The “burnout” is a very real and frightening possibility when it comes to anything that we are passionate about. A matchstick burns intensely, but only for a little while. Our purpose is not the same of a matchstick, but we sometimes forget this. We sometimes let our passion resemble a wooden stick that burns hot for a few moments and suddenly extinguishes. If you do not want this to happen, you must act before it is too late.
The causes for what may be happening to you could be many. Monotony of training could be one of them. Exaggeration as well. What about minimalism? The reason is case-dependent and therefore impossible to determine on a general base. The way to fix it is case-dependent as well. Although, there exists a single solution that performs well, regardless of the cause. The solution is the aforementioned “having fun”, coupled with “changing it up”.
Keep in mind, not every change is a good change. Doing pink dumbbell curls may be fun, but of very little use. Training too strictly is boring. Training too fun is useless. Some balance is required. If the efficacy of your training is at 90 % and the fun is at 10 %, increasing the odds for fun by as little as 10 % should be more than enough. Bringing your passion back before you burn out is simpler than many tend to think. Doing this will help you relearn the “why” of your fitness journey.
Why is the “why” important? It is what got you started. This “why” is not why you first joined a gym. It is the reason why you stayed. The reason why a couple of workouts turned into a couple thousands of them. This “why” is the most important thing a lifter has. It is the predecessor of the PR-breaking, winning mindset. As Friedrich Nietzsche once wrote: “He who has a ‘why’ to live can bear almost any ‘how’”. If you relearn the reason, you can overcome the difficulties that come along the way, thus prolonging the journey of yours, until a new episode of a motivation drop occurs. If that ever happens again, you are free to reread.