Everybody knows the Insanity Workout is hard. It’s billed as such, says it right on the box, warns you that this is an extreme workout, and that it shouldn’t be jumped into lightly. At first people revel in this intensity, love with a masochistic thrill how brutal it is. They recount war stories about each workout, compare just how bruised and sore they are. The more punishment they receive the more they feel they’re earning a whole new body, and as such they come to almost crave that intensity, that burn, the sting of sweat running into their eyes as they lie on the floor, panting for breath. But that only lasts for a couple of weeks before that love for pain becomes resentment, complaints, a struggle to keep going, and then they quit. Why? Why the change of heart? Why does that intensity at first thrill and then kill? Why is the Insanity Workout such hard work?
The reason people quit is because they rely on motivation. They think motivation will see them through, the desire to lose weight, to get back into those pants, to look good, to feel good, to be healthier and more energetic. They feel nothing but extreme motivation when they begin, and inevitability that motivation dries up a few weeks in and they quit. You can’t win at the Insanity Workout if you rely on motivation. Why? Because motivation dries up. It happens to everybody, all the time. From the biggest, baddest body builders to the complete novice, motivation is an inconstant and random source of drive.
So how do the long term people keep at it? What makes that body builder get up in the morning, aching and sore and tired and burned out, to hit those killer weights one more time? What keeps those slim and slender beach models from having just one cookie, how could one cookie hurt? It’s called work ethic, and it’s very different from motivation.
Work ethic is what you display when you do what you don’t want to do, but what you know will be good for you in the long run. Work ethic is having pride in your determination, in knowing that your body and mind are weak, but your discipline is strong. Work ethic is what happens when you do what needs to be done, day in and day out, until a few years down the road you look like a movie star. Work ethic is what pushes you to do your best every time, even when you want to lie down and give up.
How do you develop work ethic? You cut yourself no slack. You don’t give yourself an option. Whether you’re tired, hung over, hungry or bored, whether you’re depressed or sad or furious or distracted, you do your workout, you press play. You don’t have ‘cheat’ days, you don’t eat cookies, pizzas, beers. You don’t think in terms of ‘starting again fresh on Monday’, give yourself the option of sliding for a little bit because you’re human. You simply draw that line in the sand, and say ‘I will workout every damn day for the next three months, and that’s all there is to it.’ Do that, and you’ll finish P90X, or the Insanity Workout, or anything. Despite weeks of low motivation. Despite times when you give up.
Work ethic. It’s what separates the wannabes from the pro’s.