It can be tough to get amped to train a body that’s feeling the chill so use these sneaky mental ploys from elite trainer Alex Perris to trick yourself into exercising all winter long.

With winter looming, gone are the days of shirtless workouts. As an avid CrossFitter and bodybuilder, the sun and warm weather were a huge source of exercise motivation.

Everyone wants six-pack abs that look great in bathing suits, but now that dream is over, how do you get motivated to train when all you feel like doing is snuggling up on the couch to watch your favorite shows while binge eating your favorite foods? To help you snap out of it, here are a few tips to help you get through the winter lull.


Relentless variation

Switching up your routine is the smart thing to do year-round but, since most of us are creatures of habit, we all have our favorite style of training and tend to stick with it. Fortunately, the winter is a perfect time to try something new because it’ll add much needed mental stimulation while helping your physique improve.

The body thrives off muscle confusion; in fact, that’s how new muscle is built and fat is burned. Don’t be afraid to force yourself out of your comfort zone.


how to stay fit in winter


For example: now is the perfect time to try kettlebells, Pilates, Olympic lifting, yoga or anything else that may interest you in the slightest way. Even if it’s not directly contributing to your overall goals, sometimes you need to do other things to appreciate what you really like even more.


Cash out your keenness

Supplements can be an inspiration, especially when you can see them working. Seeing them stacked up in your kitchen cabinet acts as a daily reminder of your monetary and physical commitment to exercise.

Having a good pre-workout to hand can give you that energy and mental focus to push yourself out the door to start exercising. If you’re in two minds about doing exercise on a particular day then it’s worth taking the pre-workout and seeing how you feel because there’s an excellent chance you won’t be able to contain yourself for long and will look for something to do.

You can also get kitted out with some new winter training gear that’ll make you keener to put it into action.


Get shivering

If you want to get leaner, now is the perfect time to do it. Research published in Cell Metabolism found that shivering and exercise bouts can convert energy-storing white fat into energy-burning brown fat.

Combining the two can be a little dangerous but if you adjust your clothing to the weather then a little shivering to start off your session can pay dividends, helping you create a bigger energy burn with every step you take, bringing some very warm results.


stay fit in winter


Set goals for June

Your summer physique is forged in the winter. April is far too late to start training towards this goal, so if you want to make noticeable improvements, you need time. Use the winter to start sculpting those changes while everyone else is overeating and stuffing their faces, and that way you’ll develop discipline as you try to achieve your goals.

Make a realistic meal plan that includes cheat meals so you’re not that annoying dude who never has a slice of pizza. It’s all about moderation, so use an 80/20 or even 70/30 clean-eating to non-clean-eating ratio. Another good approach is to have a cheat meal every other day.


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