6 Sure-Fire Motivational Strategies from the World’s Fittest Woman
Camille Leblanc-Bazinet, aka the World’s Fittest Woman, gives her sure-fire strategies for staying motivated and sticking to your program.
Photography by Andrew Neugebauer
Though you may not be a CrossFitter, you may still have heard the name Camille Leblanc-Bazinet. This dynamic wonder-woman handily won the 2014 CrossFit Games, and she is currently in preparation to reclaim her title in only a few short days at the 2016 Games.
But just like you, Leblanc-Bazinet has days when dang it, she simply does not want to go to the gym (and with regular six-hour training days, who can blame her?) Here are her top six strategies for getting motivated and staying there to achieve your goals, whether they are playing soccer with your kids or kicking ass in a competition.
1. Set An Achievable Goal
Goal-setting is a time-tested strategy for motivation, and Leblanc-Bazinet recommends defining a goal that is achievable. “For instance, you might want to run 5K every day, but if you don’t run at all right now that is too big of a goal and you won’t stick with it,” she says. “Instead try to walk a mile without stopping as your first goal, then progress to running part of that mile and so on.” Set a larger goal, such as running a 5K by a certain date, then set a series of smaller weekly goals to help move you forward toward that ultimate goal. “As you accomplish your goals one at a time it is rewarding and helps with motivation,” says Leblanc-Bazinet.
2. Get Out of Your Own Way
Eliminate any roadblocks between yourself and the goal you’re shooting for so you’re less likely to waver in your resolve and motivation. “I know that when I’m done with work, the minute I put my feet in my house it is game over!” says Leblanc-Bazinet. “So if you exercise after work, bring your gym clothes with you and go directly to the gym afterwards so you have no excuse not to go.” She also recommends spending a few hours once or twice a week to meal prep. Having healthy food at the ready eliminates the potential for nutritional failure and makes it that much easier to stick to your plan and see results.
3. Eliminate The Crap
These days there are innumerable distractions that gobble up time and drain your energy, distracting you from your goals. “Reality TV, being on Facebook for 30 minutes, constantly checking your phone — all that stuff is empty and doesn’t bring you anything,” says Leblanc-Bazinet. “During that same 30 minutes you can do your food prep, get in a workout or stretch out for recovery. It is amazing the number of things you can do if you’re not always looking at your phone!” The fewer distractions you have the more you can focus on your purpose, progress and ultimate outcome.
4. Stay Positive
Self-motivation is often the most difficult skill to master, and even Leblanc-Bazinet works on it constantly. “There is a lot of pressure on me to perform well, and I have actually been working on my mental strength this year and have learned how to find happiness and pride with myself,” she says. Her number one suggestion: take a few moments post-workout to reflect on what you accomplished that day and be proud of it, even if it was not exactly what you were hoping to accomplish. “When I feel myself drifting away from that positive feeling, I stop, assess those feelings then redirect my energy back toward being happy,” she says. “That feeling [of pride] will make me want to keep going and to come back tomorrow.”
5. Listen To Your Body
Overtraining can be a huge motivational killer: when you’re overtrained you’re tired, sore, sleepless, grumpy, even depressed. Worst of all, your results come to a standstill. “If you listen to your body — really listen — you’ll know when your system is down and needs a rest,” says Leblanc-Bazinet. This means putting aside any desperate need you may feel to reach a goal quickly and step back to gain some clarity and avoid injury. “Take at least one day a week off from training and another for active recovery,” says Leblanc-Bazinet. “On your days off do some maintenance like stretching and foam rolling, and on your active rest day do something that gets your blood moving at an easy pace like yoga or swimming.” Give your body the time it is asking for to recover you’ll be more energized, experience improved results and reducing your risk for injury.
6. Team Up
Oodles of research indicates that training with a partner is one of the best ways to ensure adherence to a program, a strategy that even the Fittest Woman on Earth uses. “My workouts are hard, and on days when I am not as motivated, I try to get a friend to work out with me,” says Leblanc-Bazinet. “Without a friend there I would maybe go slower or lift less — or even not go at all! But being accountable to someone else makes me go to the gym and push more.” Find a like-minded friend, significant other, or family member who shares your goals and make an appointment to train together on a regular basis. No worries if this partner are not your same fitness level: someone more advanced than you can help you push your limits, while training with someone less advanced can give you an opportunity to be a mentor.