Motivation - right now, under lockdown, it's a word on everyone's lips.

Today on Fettle, we’re chatting motivation with Blair Sangster – personal trainer, movement coach, and member of the CaveFit team – about how you can get and stay motivated at home.

Blair Sangster - Cave Fit
Blair Sangster - coach, trainer, and people-person!

Blair loves interacting with and learning from people, helping others reach their fitness goals, and going above and beyond to support his community. We thought he was the perfect person to give us some hints and tips.

Hi Blair! First question - how can we muster up the motivation to move more at home? What do you do to keep moving?

Well, I do really love to move! It’s what I do, but there are days when I’m not motivated. That’s when having a routine can be crucial. Bear in mind, when motivating others, there's always different ways to inspire each individual.

Broadly though, having a plan can solve the problem. If you know what you’re going to do, it takes the guess work out. Then, there are some folk that aren’t motivated, even if they have a plan! For them, I recommend the ‘five minute rule’.

Don’t go in with massive expectations, but commit to doing just five minutes, and 90% of the time, you’ll find yourself doing a lot more than you meant to.

Another great way to start is trying an EMOM (Every Minute On the Minute) in your warm up or during training. Instead of trying to do three sets of 10 squats/10 push ups/10 burpees, do three of each, every minute, for ten minutes. 

What small things can I do to get started?

Little things can make a difference! Having a routine where you’re getting movement in at the same time every day is a good way to summon up motivation. If you can make going for a walk, stretching, or working out a habit, you’ll find it easier to get started.

If you’ve got a morning routine, adding a workout first thing means it’s done – you can tick it off, and carry on with your day.

Group exercise class
Demonstrating correct form in CaveFit's second location, at The Edinburgh Grand Hotel

What do you recommend if I don't have equipment to hand that normally I rely on?

Bodyweight workouts can be a great way to go! My first port of call would be to use tempos in reps. You can try doing Bulgarian split squats, with one leg on the sofa, or just an air squat. Slow down and count to three as you descend, then to three as you come back up. That really starts to burn!

You can also incorporate ‘half’ movements into your workouts. Try doing a push up, for example. When you reach the bottom of the movement, come halfway up, then drop down again, coming all the way back up to complete the exercise fully. 

Backpacks are also a great option. Fill up as many bottles as you can with water, load them into the backpack and try some squats or a jog. 

Can I really make good progress towards my goals from home?

That does largely depend on what your goals are. If you were trying to get as strong as possible, that might be tricky to do at home. But if your goals were weight loss and fat loss, then you have a great opportunity make progress. 

Small changes can lead to big results – and it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You can set small goals – like trying to eat five vegetables, and only having one treat a day. If you take a sustainable approach you’re much more likely to see success in the long run. That’s where routine comes in. 

What's a manageable way to stay committed to my fitness?

Having a plan is always a good place to start. Make it into a wall chart, so you can see it. Being flexible is also a good way to get things done. I ask clients to think about their ‘minimum effective dose’. 

What’s that?

A minimum effective dose is basically how much you need to do to maintain your fitness. That might look like doing 3-4 sessions a week, and it might not matter too much when you do those.

Figuring out your minimum effective dose is something you can then commit to doing, and because it is the ‘smallest’ amount you need to do, you have more flexibility in getting it done. 

Tracking progress is also a big one! If you run the same 5km loop every day, try doing 3km, then have a rest, then do another 3km, and try to go faster. If you run different paths and distances, you’ll challenge yourself in new ways. That’s where you’ll see the progress made. 

How could I make a plan if I don’t know where to start? 

There are great resources out there to start with, but we get overly spoiled for choice sometimes! Reaching out to someone that you like and trust is a great way to go. It builds in a sense of accountability and reassurance.

One piece of advice I’d always give is to figure out your ultimate goal, and then break down how you could start achieving that in the next two weeks. Two weeks gives you a sense of immediacy and purpose. You can achieve a lot more than you think you can. Every day becomes something valuable in helping you reach your goal.

Blair exercising
Blair in action!

Thanks, Blair! If you enjoyed this – tell us! And if you want more great advice on motivation from Blair, you can find him @blair_cavefit on Instagram.

If you just want to say hi, you can mosey over to our Facebook, and Instagram pages, or ping us an email here! Otherwise, check out our post on Online Coaching Success, to help you really nail the digital game.