I realize most of my posts have equally effective counterpoints. I use technology, I shun technology. Neon shoes are cool, neon shoes are trendy. Work outside in nature, gym workouts rock. Push your boundaries to new limits, relax your boundaries for a reward.
Yes, another tactic I use to invigorate a workout is by checking-out early. If I reach a milestone that I set for myself during the workout ahead of the clock, I collect my reward and call it a day. My favorite piece of equipment for employing this technique is the rowing machine (the oft-shunned ugly step-sister of gym equipment). Usually, I’ll sit down on the rowing machine with the expectations of doing a 45-minute session. At the 15-minute mark I see that I’ve rowed 3,000-meters. Doing some quick math (ah the things we’ll do to pass the time), I challenge myself to keep that pace for the rest of the workout – 9,000-meters in 45-minutes. Challenge accepted.
I’ve successfully motivated myself to do the next 1,000-meters in 5-minutes, the next 3K in 15-minutes, etc. Any way that I cut, I can give myself little challenges within the workout. Here’s the kicker: If I succeed and hit my goal of 9,000-meters BEFORE the 45-minutes is up – I’m done. Hallelujah! Why not reward yourself for pushing hard and staying engaged in your effort?
You could have relaxed after that first 3K, finished the 45-minutes routine covering just 7,000-meters, and gone home having satisfied your gym obligation for the day. Nobody would know you skimped on your pace, or crawled through the last 2K. But how much more satisfied will you feel by hitting that 9,000 mark at 44:30? Collect your reward (30-seconds of freedom!), put a smile on your face, and wipe the sweat off the equipment. Even a 30-second reprieve in your workout, is enough to make you feel like you accomplished something. Be proud of your effort, you deserve it.