Updated: Feb 4, 2019
One thing we have been discussing around the gym recently is the idea that we don't have to be serious all of the time. As coaches and as gym members there can be a tendency to put too much pressure and seriousness in to the work we do in the weight room, resulting in a lot of "resting bitch faces" and general sense of tension. This kind of environment is something that makes coming in to the gym less enjoyable and therefore harder to do when the motivation is low.
As a strength coach, I am very aware of the impact I can have on someone's health. We can get people stronger, fitter and feeling better than ever, but if we're not careful we can also hurt people. So for me, I know when it's time to be serious, but it's also become an art as to when it is time to bring in a bit of light-hearted fun to break things up.
Lately I have made a conscious effort to be more energetic and inject a bit more fun in to my work. So far so good, however I'm not sure everyone appreciates my incredible jokes whilst they're holding a plank...
I believe the key here is to be able to compartmentalise and be disciplined enough that when it's time to do the work, you do it, and when it's time to relax, you do that too. Smiling or having a chat between sets doesn't always mean someone isn't working hard, it more often than not shows that they enjoy what they're doing, and when you enjoy something you are far more likely to keep on doing it!
So my challenge to you, especially if you're new and everything seems really hard, is to find new ways to enjoy the process. Train with a friend, reflect on your progress, think of at least 5 terrible dad jokes and let us know about them.
Whatever it is, just remember that the key to making long-term progress is to enjoy the process.