"Ask the Coach" is the column in which Wolfgang Unsöld answers your questions. The book of the same name is available right here on Amazon.
Question: Wolfgang, one generally reads very little about motivation for training. However, everyone needs you. Some days less and some days more. Do you have any tips to increase motivation for training? Philip S
WU: Motivation for training is crucial. The greater your motivation for training, the greater the likelihood that you will improve on all exercises in the training unit and that you will be more successful in training. Nobody needs lame workouts. In addition to classic methods to increase motivation such as goal setting and visualization, there are of course also music and videos. Neuroscientist Frieder Beck, who in addition to his book "Sport makes smart" also gave a lecture at The Strength Summit , impressively explains with real examples what effect certain music or certain video clips have on a certain athlete. One is motivated by the Rocky song "Eye of the Tiger" for training, the next likes to listen to Jay Z on the way to the gym. Everyone has to find out for themselves how and to which music you react. Everyone is conditioned differently. Same game with video clips, one looks at Ronnie Coleman deadlifting 360kg and is then highly motivated to train, the next is a highlight video by Badr Hari . Here, too, the reaction is very person-dependent. Anyone can test it themselves.
From a neurochemical point of view, it is always about increasing hormones and neurotransmitters such as cortisol and dopamine. Boosters are a classic option, but I advise against them, as detailed in my book Ask the Coach . In addition to nootropics, supplements that increase drive, especially neural drive, without overstimulating cortisol and tiring the adrenal glands, the classic mild stimulant is of course coffee.
One of my favorites lately is a Cordyceps & Chaga infused coffee .
Cordyceps – also known as the Chinese caterpillar mushroom, which supports physical and mental energy from the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and is therefore referred to in TCM as the "root of life". Cordyceps sinensis is a mushroom that has been used as a tonic to improve vitality in China and other Asian countries for over 2000 years.
Chaga – is a parasitic fungus that mostly grows on the trunks of old birch trees in the northern regions. Chaga is very popular in Russian folk medicine and has been known since the 16th century. Various extracts from Chaga have been used externally or internally for a long time. In Russian medicine, chaga is used as a tonic and anti-inflammatory.
Coffee – is well-known and well-known as a black, psychotropic, caffeinated drink made from roasted and ground coffee beans, the seeds from the fruit of the coffee plant, and primarily with hot water. Making coffee with cold water, such as cold brew, has become increasingly popular in recent years. Coffee is now grown in over 50 countries around the world. The word coffee can be traced back to the Arabic word qahwa, which means "power", and has long since become part of our everyday vocabulary. There are several legends surrounding the origins of coffee preparation. According to the most well-known legend, the roots of the coffee culture lie in the Ethiopian region of Kaffa. There, a herdsman is said to have noticed atypical behavior of his goats a long time ago. Surprisingly, some of the goats were still wide awake late at night. The shepherd found that the goats ate the berries of a plant. These berries were the fruits of the coffee plant. The annual coffee consumption worldwide is now around 500 trillion cups of coffee. This makes coffee the most traded commodity in the world after oil. And the most popular mild stimulant. The simple rule applies here: 1-2 cups a day are ok. If you need more cups to get through the day, you don't need coffee, you need rest.
A sachet in hot water about 1 hour before training (before 6 p.m.) is a good alternative to coffee from a portafilter or French press. You can get the coffee here .
Good luck with more motivation & more neural drive in training!
If you have a question for the Ask the Coach column, post it in the comments below and with a little luck your question will be selected for an upcoming post or the next Ask the Coach book.