Wednesday – 8 Ways to Overcome Gym Complacency


Hey All!

Today I want to talk about something that has happened to us all, complacency. Satisfaction with the status quo. A lack of motivation to push any further or to continue to improve. We’ve all been there. For most of us, it was our state-of-being before we joined Cap City Strength. Begrudgingly accepting our out-of-shape state as “just how it’s gonna be.”

But then, we found a fire deep down inside, and decided enough was enough, and it was time to make a change. We decided to get fit, get strong, and get happy about our bodies. We started out strong, coming into the gym 2, 3, then 5 days a week. We pushed ourselves to our limit every second that we were in the gym. We cleaned up our diets. And, we started seeing results.

But then, it happened. Complacency struck again. It didn’t happen all at once, it happened gradually. Rather than attacking everyday at the gym like a monster needing vanquishing, we start cheating on our diets more and more frequently, we show up to the gym fewer and fewer days a week, we show up later and later to class, chatting in between our sets or during our workouts transitions from social and motivating to distracting and time-consuming, and we do just enough work to check the to-do boxes off of our programs that day. And then, we start to see our results slow and even slip away entirely.

What happened??? We got comfortable. We got stronger and fitter, so things that once felt impossible got a little easier. And, rather than adjusting accordingly and continuing to push ourselves, we simply settled in and got comfortable again.  So what now? How do you overcome you complacency hump? Here are my tips on how to relight that motivational fire inside of you:

1. Revisit Your Goals

The feeling you get when you’ve accomplish your goals is indescribable. But, your hard work doesn’t end there. As soon as you accomplish a goal, you should be brainstorming a new goal to replace it. It’s hard to motivate yourself to come into the gym when you look at your goal list from day 1 at the gym, and they’re all checked off. I’m in no way belittling the accomplishments that we have all made thus far, I’m simply reminding us all that the sky is the limit. If I had restricted myself to the goals that I had set the first day that I touched a barbell then I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today, let alone be working hard to get even better and stronger. And, don’t forget! You need to set both long term and short term goals to maintain a healthy sense of self-efficacy!

2. Workout Buddy

Sometimes the best motivation is your best gym friend. Having a workout buddy has multiple benefits: you can make each other accountable for showing up to the gym everyday; you can cheer each other on during your workouts; and you can compete against each other in a healthy and uplifting way and push each other further and harder during workouts. Your workout buddy however, shouldn’t be someone that you know will distract you the entire workout with stories and gossip; rather, your workout buddy should be the person that you know will scream for you when you’re struggling with a heavy squat, and they should be the person that pushes you to go heavier and harder. There is nothing wrong with socializing at the gym, it can make it more fun which can help keep your diet on track! But, your workout buddy should be your motivator not your distractor!

3. Push Yourself Out of Your Comfort Zone

Think back to your first day at Cap City Strength, that first workout. It was brutal! You pushed yourself till you were dripping with sweat, gasping for air, and your legs felt like wobbly Bambi legs. Now you’re stronger, fitter, and more experienced. Does that mean that you shouldn’t push yourself anymore? No! Everyday should feel like a hard day. Not because of the difficulty or type of programming handed to you, but because of the effort you put forth in executing your program. Don’t simply take 2 hours to casually stroll through and check the to-do boxes off of your program for the day, push yourself to do you best at every task put in front of you!

4. Keep a Journal

Related to number 3, keep a journal. How do you know you haven’t been pushing yourself? Take a look at your workout journal. If the last 5 times that Coach Sean has asked you to back squat you’ve thrown 65lbs on the bar, maybe it’s time to try out 70lbs. Your journal serves many purposes, not just as a reminder of how far you’ve come from day 1, but also as a reminder to keep working hard to get better.

5. Attack Your Weaknesses

We like to do the things that we’re good at, it’s natural. But if you simply accept the “fact” that you’ll always be bad at your weakness, and all you focus on is your strengths, then your weaknesses will constantly haunt you. You’ll avoid the gym on the days that your weakness is a focus, and slowly but surely your weakness becomes a problem. Rather than looking at your weakness as something to avoid, view it as something to attack and improve upon.

6. Be Consistent

Make the gym a part of your routine. If you only make it into the gym when the stars align (aka when you have the time AND you feel like it), it’s going to be hard to stay motivated. Spend some time on Sunday, lay out your schedule and figure out when the gym is going to work. Make a plan and stick to it. I leave work every day at 5pm, and every day I drive straight to the gym. That’s just what I do. If I know there’s a day that I won’t be able to fit the gym into my evening, you can bet that I already planned on how to fit it into that morning. If the gym becomes as routine as brushing your teeth in the morning, you’ll be less likely to start slacking off down the road.

7. Compete

Now, this can meet a formal competition like Crossfit, Weightlifting, or Powerlifting, OR it can simply mean ‘compete’ with the person next to you. Try out the Cap City Triathlon or the Squat Challenge. Try to get the fastest time in the day’s conditioning workout. Friendly competition can push you to go harder than you thought you were capable of. And, entering into a formal competition can push you to train harder in preparation for that competition than you thought you could.


Don’t make the gym a chore that you dread, make it the highlight of your day that you look forward to. A positive attitude is everything!



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