In March 2020, COVID 19 shuttered every gym across America. It forced gyms like us at Gage Strength Training in West Chester to move operations online, and produce in-home workout routines for our clients to follow.
The problem is that we saw a sharp decline in participation.
The problem wasn’t secluded to gyms like ours in West Chester, PA either.
Studies show that the average weight gained through COVID shutdowns was over 30lb!
Millions of American’s struggled to navigate the in-home workout environment, and the overwhelming reason is simple: Rituals.
Rituals are defined as: a sequence of activities involving gestures, words, actions, or objects, performed in a sequestered place and according to a set sequence.
We have rituals in all areas of life, and those rituals prime our minds to enter the proper state to accomplish a task.
If you look at any professional athlete, or even think back to your days of playing sports you see rituals everywhere.
One example is from My favorite baseball player Nomar Garciaparra. He had a specific set of glove and wristband adjustments and foot movements before stepping up to the plate. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tC34w6FU_rY)
Why rituals work: Our brains are associative. That means that when we see a specific environment, smell or sight, the brain will go back to how it felt the last time those triggers were present.
Just like when we feel warm and fuzzy at the small of Christmas Cookies because that was a warm and loving time with our loved ones as kids.
…Rituals trigger mindsets, and without Rituals we can’t enter the right mindset for a task.
Therein lies the problem.
Throughout COVID, our rituals disappeared.
Many Americans woke up and had nowhere to go. They stayed in their pajamas and didn’t have the typical rituals that got their minds in right frame of mind for certain tasks and this causes what’s called “Task drifting”
When we don’t have set rituals, we drift between tasks and never get fully zoned in.
Rituals that you lost while being stuck at home included: getting dressed for work, and driving to a gym and blasting your favorite tunes to get hyped up. These are rituals that trigger mindsets!
Without those “pre-activity” rituals, you will struggle to fully immerse yourself in a task.
Home workouts failed due to lack of initiation rituals. There was nothing, for most people, to tell them it was time to change mindsets and get to work!
If you struggled to engage in home-workouts, and felt like a lack of motivation here are 3 tips to get workout-ready at home:
1. Set the stage. Do your best to create a “home gym” That you can enter the same way you would enter the gym. When you walk in, initiate the fact this is workout time. Put your phone away, and mentally “unplug” from other tasks
2. “Drive” to the gym: If your usually gym routine required you to drive to the gym, that
Is a powerful ritual! So, get in the car and drive around the block. Blast your favorite music and get yourself in the right mindset. When you get home, walk straight into your workout space and get to work the same way that you would in the gym
3. Dress the part. Get out of your pajamas, and get into your best workout gear. Even getting dressed into what you would wear to a gym is a powerful trigger to get your mind into workout more… Your brain associates those clothes with a hard workout- So just put them on!
…These are samples of rituals to get ready for a workout. Without them, you’ll find yourself and your mind drifting and never getting fully engaged in your workout.
Everyone’s rituals will be different, but everyone has rituals… Define yours, and re-create them to become fully engaged.
PS. If you are totally sick of home workouts and you are looking for a personal trainer in West Chester, PA then click around our website to learn about Gage Strength Training! We will help shake the COVID weight gain, and have you feeling healthier in no time!