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Training for a Trip

With fall upon us now and as we look to the holiday season approaching, we might need to arm ourselves with an added means of fitness motivation as this year winds down…

As a fitness professional, one of the most important things to teach clients is how to remain motivated for workouts. All motivation begins with a vision. In the case for fitness motivation the most effective tool I know is to envision a trip. My very first recommendation as a trainer is to tell customers to plan a trip and use it for motivation at the fitness studio.

To use the trip as a fitness lever, you have to imagine what it would be like to get there and to live your best life for a few days in an exotic or remote place for a vacation or an adventure. I always keep events like this on my calendar. Sometimes, you have to just book it. Take the leap to put it on the calendar, and then just do the planning to make it happen. The biggest part of the planning has to be your fitness regime, though.

You have to take the action for a vacation just like you do for your job.

If you live a fitness lifestyle, then you probably already know this, but if not, you will learn that the planning for let’s say a yoga retreat, or a hike, or just a few good days at the beach is one of the most motivating reasons that there is for working out. Make every rep and every posture all about the way you will perform on that trip, or about how you will look on that trip! It’s the thought of how well you will perform, or how good you will look, or both, that keeps you engaged at a high level with your workouts. It’s the anticipation of the event that forces you to go above and beyond what your mind and body will usually allow.

When you train you have to see yourself at the top of that mountain you wish to hike, or laying out on that pristine beach somewhere! Plan your vacations with the purpose of “getting in shape” for the trip at the top of your mind. When you envision yourself on the vacation while you train you will experience better focus on your sets. You will connect your mind with your body on every posture too. When I’m feeling not so motivated at the studio, then I will remind myself that I am in training for a trip, and then I imagine myself at the top of the mountain I am planning to hike and in that moment my focus and determination to do a good set or posture skyrockets.

If I go to a beach, then I will usually find a mountain to hike that’s close by, or spend my mornings running on the beach. If I’m in place like Tulum, then I try to hit a different yoga place every day. Right now, I’m in training to climb Aconcogua with four others on the HOTWORX climbing team. I’ve seen videos and photos of that summit and I can see all of us standing there on top of that mountain for the moment of bliss while taking selfies and congratulating each other. It’s an incredible motivator. When I’m getting ready for a ski trip, I envision actually skiing certain runs on the mountain. When I take a beach trip, I’m focused on trimming the waistline to look better on that beach. When there is always a trip coming up, then the motivation can remain high and less possibility of an unhealthy, out of shape phase in your life.

It’s the desire to be “ready” for a trip that consumes my thinking while I train and it motivates me for every rep or posture that I do. My best advice as a trainer is this…

Train for a trip! 👊🔥

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Stephen P. Smith, MA
CEO and Creator of HOTWORX, Author, Former National Collegiate Bodybuilding Champion and Arena Football Player, Certified Professional Trainer


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