The days get shorter, the sweaters come out, and the motivation wanes.
I get it.
The winter months are arguably the biggest suck on motivation that regular gym goers face at any single point in time.
Whether it is due to the shorter days, the fact that we aren’t going to remove our shirt in public for a few months, or the increased rate of illness, it doesn’t really matter – winter is a time when making it to the gym for regular training can become a major challenge.
Which is unfortunate, because slacking off in the winter is a surefire way to increase the amount of work we need to put into our training to prepare ourselves for the summer months.
Not to mention we can actually see significant reductions in strength, and even health, as a result of our winter-induced lack of exercise.
With this in mind, it becomes absolutely imperative to our continued progress that we maintain a high degree of effort throughout the entire duration of winter, ensuring that we receive our gains year round.
Which is why we’re here to help…
By following the tips outlined in this article you can keep making progress throughout the coldest time of the year, leading to constant progression coupled with significant increases in both muscle strength and muscle growth.
Start Supplementing Smartly
Now you may be thinking that your supplement routine is already well up to scratch, but it’s important to state that I am not talking about your typical muscle building supplements like whey protein and creatine.
During the winter months, the amount of sunlight that we see on a day to day basis drops drastically, in which we receive less and less Vitamin D as a result.
Vitamin D is an important nutrient that plays a number of different roles within the body, many of which are integral to our ability to produce energy and maintain optimal cognitive function. With this in mind, the deficiency of Vitamin D has been shown to lead to mental and physical fatigue, feelings of lethargy and excessive tiredness, and has even been shown to impact our ability to produce muscle strength and power.
Through a combination of these factors, it becomes apparent as to why a lack of sunlight can limit our progress – in which it will actually make us less likely to go to the gym, and if we do actually make it, our workouts are likely to be less effective than normal.
But fortunately for us, these issues are easily avoided – by simply supplementing with Vitamin D we can avoid any unnecessary deficiency, increasing both our motivation and physical function as a result.
And as an added bonus, Vitamin D actually plays an important role in the production of testosterone, suggesting that its supplementation may also lead to an increase in testosterone production, and will, therefore, have some additional benefits for our training progress.
Start Implementing a Full Body Training Program
Both body part splits and upper body/lower body training routines provide an excellent way to increase muscle size, promote fat loss, and develop muscle strength – but they do have a bit of a downfall.
They are very time intensive.
These types of programs are traditionally very high in volume which – despite being fantastic for promoting muscle growth – in itself results in very lengthy training sessions. Additionally, these sorts of programs typically require us to be at the gym four, five, or even six days per week.
The result is a fairly large time weekly commitment to even complete our training program (particularly considering the days are becoming shorter, so to speak).
But, we do have another option that requires a much smaller weekly time commitment – full body training programs.
Full body training programs revolve around hitting every key muscle group in the entire body in a single session, two to three sessions per week. While this may sound like an unrealistic task, it can be achieved by focusing on large compound movements and keeping session volume relatively low.
Interestingly, because we are now hitting these muscle groups with a much greater training frequency (in which they are getting trained more than once per week), we will still see significant increases in both strength and muscle growth – making full body training a seriously good option for those looking to see consistent progress with only two or three training sessions per week.
And as an added bonus, not only does this type of training require a smaller time commitment (making it much easier to stick too), but by starting a new style of training, motivation is likely to increase even further.
Eat More Garlic
The winter months are a time when illness runs rampant. Whether it be the common cold or something more serious (influenza anyone?), sickness and disease are a surefire way to derail your progress.
With this in mind, an extremely simple way to avoid illness during the winter months is to consume more garlic.
Garlic contains a compound known as Allicin, which is known to kill the harmful bacteria that can lead to a host of diseases and illnesses – including the common cold. By consuming more garlic, we can greatly reduce our likelihood of getting sick, ensuring that we can keep training hard throughout winters entire duration.
Another great feature of garlic is that it can increase your libido. So besides the workouts in the gym, your girlfriend will benefit from this awesome supplement as well.
Set Yourself a Training Goal
While many of us started getting into the gym regularly as a way to get in better shape, as time goes on it tends to become routine. And while there is nothing wrong with this, routine-based training doesn’t really drive motivation up to any great degree.
Taking this into consideration, setting yourself a training related goal at the start of winter is a fantastic way to increase your training dedication by giving you something to work towards.
This goal could be strength-based, performance-based, physique based, or even conditioning based – it doesn’t really matter – as long as it gives you a solid target to train for then it will cause a huge spike in motivation.
Winter is traditionally the most challenging time of year to maintain motivation and keep making progress with our training – but it doesn’t have to be.
By ensuring we make some smart dietary and supplement choices, we can keep our energy levels high while simultaneously staving off sensations of physical and mental fatigue AND reducing our likelihood of developing an illness. This will ensure we can train throughout all of the winter completely uninterrupted.
Additionally, by making some slight changes to our training routine and setting targeted training goals, we can cause a huge increase in motivation while also reducing the amount of time we physically need to commit to the gym – further improving dedication to our training.
Seriously, there is no reason you shouldn’t be able to keep your gains coming all winter long.