Gary Mulholland, Les Mills trainer’s tips for winning winter workouts

Winning Winter

At least once a week, every winter, I’ll wake up and look outside and it’s cold, wet or windy. Every time I want to say “Nope, not today, I’m staying in bed”. 

Winter is definitely a harder time of year to stay motivated, to keep the body moving, and to fight the urge to stay in bed. So here’s a few things I do to help me win winter 


Start the week strong 

– It’s a fresh week, and a fresh start. The weekend is in the past, and today is a clean slate. Now is your chance to own the week. 

– Move your body on a Monday, and you’ll find it’s so much easier to move your body other days of the week too! 

– I teach Grit Strength on Monday mornings at 5.30am at Les Mills in Auckland city. My alarm goes off at 4.30am every Monday morning. And it’s not just me there, when I get to the gym, it’s already packed, and when I get to my class it’s full of bright eyed people ready to train. Everyone I see is getting it done, and it’s incredible to see. The cold didn’t stop them. The rain didn’t stop them. The warm bed didn’t stop them. They showed up, they’re starting the week strong, and they’re conquering their week before most people have even woken up 

– A 4.30am alarm isn’t for everyone, but could you make time to move your body next Monday? Before work, after work, on your lunch break, or while the kids are napping? 

– Even if it’s just 15 minutes on the treadmill, a yoga class, boxing class, a short weights routine, or even an online workout, you’re still starting the week strong, you’re giving back to your body, and you’re beginning to create a good habit 



– The less sleep I have, the harder it is to get up in the morning. Waking up later isn’t an option, but going to bed earlier is. Getting more sleep means your body and mind has had more time to rest, and you didn’t stay up all night watching TV, or scrolling social media. Even if I go to sleep just 30 minutes earlier, it makes a world of difference the next day. 



– I stretch every morning, even on rest days. It only takes about 10 minutes for the entire routine, and I do it while I’m watching the morning news. 

– It’s the only time in the day where I am working on improving my posture. The rest of the day is spent ruining my posture again, hunched over laptops and iphones. That little stretch I do in the morning allows me to move without restriction, and it also allows me to check in with my body and better connect to the body. 


Something New

– The best motivation comes from within. If your normal routine is hard to keep motivated for, you might have hit a small plateau. Try adding something new to your training routine. Over the years I’ve added in new sports or new types of training to not only keep me learning, but it also keeps the body guessing and helps to continue personal growth. Yoga, Boxing and Golf are all recent additions, but you don’t have to do a whole new sport, you could just set yourself a new target at the gym like:

– Increase Squat weight by 10% in a month 

– Run 5kms

– Set a number of press ups you’d like to achieve in one month and work at that goal every day

– Or even trying out a different fitness class that your gym offers. 


– So while you may have hit a small plateau with your normal training, seeing the rapid progress on your new goal/skill can help reinvigorate your motivation and in turn give you more energy for your regular routine. And once you hit that goal or target, you’ll be ready to take on a new target and continue the positive cycle. 


Good luck, eat well, train hard and I’ll see you guys out there! 

Follow Gary on his Instagram here.

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