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  • Writer's pictureIngri Pauline

Zombie and No-Brainer Workouts

Shock of all shocks, sometimes I do not want to train. While I love working out and getting movement in my day there are day where I’m just not into it. More likely, I missed my workout window and now I don’t want to train because it is “too late” in the day. I’m one of those people who likes to get it done before noon. If my weight training can be done before 7am, even better.

I haven't always been like this, training so early but I found as I got older and had to spend more time delegating my own workday, I need that workout done as soon as possible if I’m going to be working alone. As more of my creative energy goes toward my business, I like doing programming from other coaches and getting it done first thing in the morning. When I was working for someone else, I could take orders all day and go release my beast at the gym in the evening and get super creative. Now I have to slow drip that beast for 12 hours and I’m mentally beat by the end of the day.

But I know I HAVE to move.

I have found there are a couple of good strategies to stick in your back pocket for the days when you are dragging. Ideally you want a workout that doesn’t take too much mental or emotional energy to get psyched for. If you are too scared of the workout, it might take you forever to get in the zone or you might chicken out in any number of ways - not lifting heavy, not moving fast, cutting it early, skipping exercises, glossing over technique.

Another good strategy is to involve cardio and sweat in your workout. Breathing heavy is has a way of turning our minds off. While you don’t have to do 45 min on the elliptical or treadmill, putting in bouts of jump rope, kettle bells swing, burpees, or sprints on any cardio machine will take you a long way in snapping you out of the funk and getting you into the next gear.

Keep in mind the paradoxical fact that if the workout isn’t challenging enough, it will just hurt more. If you need a gentle recovery day, then take one. But if you are just being kind of a wimp, moody or its just a time of day you normally don't workout, then you need to push forward and not pull back. You will feel better when the cobwebs clear.

Classes or training with a buddy

This is the best way to get out of a funk. People always perform better when someone else is watching. Classes work in our favor two fold because we don’t have to come up with the workout of the day and there are people watching and socializing. No one wants to be the person dragging in the back who quits early, so usually you will naturally step it up.

A good training partner is GOLD. They are always there to pump you up, push you and distract you. In turn, you mist do the same. If you are feeling like you don’t really wanna, then call a fit friend and ask if you can crash a workout.


Out lines are a great way to get anything done. These are simple and will depend on how you wat to workout. They can be as simple as ‘4x20 of 4 exercises’ or ‘3 super-sets of 3x12’. You can even get nutty and do ‘50 of X, 100 of Y, 150 of Z.’ That sounds like a crazy hard workout but it is honestly over so quickly. This is one of my go to strategies. Just having one outline in your head at all times, makes programming simple.

XYZ for 28 min

This is a very MetCon zombie workout but you can use it with body building and classic weight lifting movements. Just pick three to five movements and set a timer. You can make it complex (5+ movements) or you can make it simple (<4 movements) and just go. If feels good to work in a circle like that, just going through the motions: lunges, step ups, push ups, lunges, step ups, push ups, lunges, step ups, push ups… for 30 or 40 minutes. That is a GREAT workout and you can definitely turn your brain off. This is not a race for time its just for movement. If you want to do something like this with bouts of cardio in it, thats great.

Something different

Sometimes we need to be woken up. Sometimes training get monotonous. Honestly that is the nature of training and if you can’t handle the repetition, tough luck getting in shape. But I get it, you need to NOT be in the gym, NOT be doing squats or pull ups. Well get out there and do something different. Fitness is literally infinite. No one is required to lift weights (even though I wish everyone would). Get out and cycle, trail run, do yoga, ride a horse, climb a wall, power walk, slack line, try to do as many cartwheels as you can, find a set of stairs and do sets on them.

For me, swimming and cycling sports of freedom. I love the feeling when I get in the zone and just go. Nothing is more zen than that. Find your alternative sports and go for it.

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