If you’re lacking motivation to exercise, you’re definitely not alone. Everyone struggles with exercise motivation from time to time, even the most committed of gym goers!
Don’t beat yourself up. It’s just time to take a new perspective on things, and the motivation will take care of itself.
Let’s get started with some motivation tips, then we’ll discuss the power of routine as well as things that will derail your exercise and fitness goals and how to get back on track…
Try These Gym and Exercise Motivation Tips
If you’re finding that staying motivated with your exercise program is the hardest part of getting fit, you aren’t alone. Most people don’t have sky-high motivation levels. In fact, for many, it’s the opposite.
Each and every day is a fight to get themselves going to the gym and doing what it is they need to do. So how can you overcome this? Why are a select few people naturally motivated to the point it seems like they never even think of skipping a session?
The reason that most people lack motivation is because they haven’t yet found what they enjoy. Let me explain…
The Want-To Factor
When you look at those people who are naturally motivated to exercise and always seem to be fit, they all have one thing in common. It’s that they are exercising because they, deep down inside, desire the feeling they get when they exercise.
They aren’t exercising because it’ll make them look good (at least for the most part), they aren’t exercising because they feel like they need to in order to make someone else happy, and they certainly aren’t exercising because they have a special event coming up.
They are exercising because they get sheer joy from doing so. Now, you might be thinking – what if I don’t get sheer joy from exercise?
After all, most people don’t get this feeling when going to the gym.
The solution to this is to re-evaluate what you are doing for exercise. It’s time to recognise that exercise doesn’t have to take place in a gym. It can be anything that gets your body moving for a continual period of time.
Identifying Your ‘Sheer Joy’ Exercise Form
So how can you pinpoint this? How can you find what type of exercise will make motivation come naturally? A good way to figure this out is to think back to when you were a child. What did you do for fun? What were you always excited to do that you couldn’t wait until you could do it again?
If there is any form of activity that you looked forward to like this, chances are good that is the form of activity that you should be focusing on right now. Try getting back involved in that team sport you miss or those long bike rides you used to take. As you do, see if you don’t find that you are more motivated than ever before.
Understanding Intrinsic Versus Extrinsic Motivation
What this concept illustrates is the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is something that you are doing for you. It’s something bigger than looking good or impressing others.
It’s something that you strongly value with your whole soul. For some people, this could be maintaining a level of fitness that lets them play with their grandkids into their older years. That inner desire could be what motivates them to do any form of exercise they choose.
For others, it’s that sense of joy that we just talked about.
What you don’t want to be using as your sole source of motivation is extrinsic factors. This is the looking good factor, or the ‘I have a high school reunion factor’. These factors are less likely to keep you motivated over the long haul.
While they may work well in the beginning when you first get started and motivation is naturally high, beyond that, they just aren’t going to keep you coming back for more.
So take a good look at your own reason for exercise. Is it an intrinsic motivation? Is the type of exercise you are doing really bringing you joy?
If the answer to these two questions is no, it’s time to make some changes. If you do, you’ll find that you become one of those naturally motivated individuals.
Why Routine Brings Results
Looking to achieve enhanced health and fitness? If so, you need to do away with your bad habits and replace them with ones that are much more conducive to success.
The number one reason why many people don’t reach their end goals is simply because they can’t break those bad habits. Whether it’s eating at night in front of the TV, sitting too long during the day, skipping workouts, or munching when they don’t even realise it, bad habits tend to stick.
It’ll take a high amount of effort on your part to break them, but the good news is that with some smart techniques, it can be done. Let’s go over what you should consider when it comes to breaking those old habits and building new ones.
First, rather than stopping a bad habit, always consider replacing it with a better one. For instance, if you eat chips while watching TV at night, replace that with some low sugar yogurt or raw vegetables.
If you simply avoid eating, your brain’s going to feel very off. If you eat something else, you may still feel different, but it’ll be far more tolerable. Plus, you’ll immediately have built a new habit as you are already in the routine of eating.
Get Into Routine
Speaking of routine, that’s the next point. Be sure that you create routines as often as possible when building a new habit. For instance, if your habit is to exercise daily, try and do so at the same time each day. By doing so, it’ll eventually feel automatic when that time of day rolls around.
If you schedule it for a different time each day, you’ll need to put more conscious effort into getting it done.
Give Yourself Rewards
It’s also a good idea to get into the routine of giving yourself rewards. Set goals for yourself and upon reaching them, give yourself a reward for doing so. These rewards don’t need to be large, but they do need to be important to you.
The one caveat to remember with this is that you should only get the reward if you do actually accomplish what you set out to do. Don’t dish out the reward for ‘effort’ if you failed to reach that end goal.
You must see success in order to qualify for it otherwise it’ll lose its motivational power after so long.
Do It For 21 Days Straight
Finally, try and create a new habit and do it for 21 days straight. This is about the time it will take for it to become ingrained in your mental processing and for you to keep doing it for the long haul.
21 days, or 3 weeks, is when you will need to focus more on making sure that you are doing that habit and after that, you can relax. Your mind and body will know what to do. At that point, you can then begin working on a new habit that you want to form.
Just note that you should avoid starting new habits before that 21 day period is up. If you have too many on the go at once, the chances you see success with any one will be lower.
So keep these points in mind as you try and create new, healthier habits for yourself. The more routine you can make these habits, the easier they are going to be to keep and maintain for the long haul.
Realise that set backs may occur, but the sooner you can get back up and on track again, the less those set-backs are going to impact you.
Are These Things Keeping You From Achieving Your Goals?
Feeling frustrated with your workout program? If you’ve been hitting the gym regularly for three to four weeks now and have yet to see any progress taking place, there’s a good chance you may be on the verge of calling it quits.
‘Why keep going if it’s not paying off?’ – this may be the exact thought that’s crossing your mind. Before you throw in the towel, run through the following checklist of reasons as to why your workout may not be delivering as anticipated.
Your Diet Isn’t Up To Par
he first reason you may not be getting results actually has nothing to do with your workout session at all. The biggest problem for many people is the fact that their diet just isn’t up to par.
If you are hoping to see a transformation taking place, this involves both your diet as well as your exercise. If you aren’t eating right, you simply won’t be burning off the excess body fat that would help you see noticeable results.
Make a few changes to your diet and that should get you on track.
Your Workouts Aren’t Changing
Another big problem for many people is the fact they hit the gym and do the same workout each and every time. So sure, you may never miss a beat in terms of showing up, but if your body isn’t feeling challenged, it’s not going to be changing.
Try and alter something about your workout at the start of every week. This could be your exercise selection, your rep range, the number of sets performed, the rest taken, or the weight lifted.
Just do something that changes to help get your body changing as well.
You’re Utilising Light Weight-High Rep Training
Another big issue for some is that they’re not challenging themselves enough in terms of total weight lifted. This often happens with women who fear getting ‘bulky’ and as such, resort to lifting very light weights.
Pick up a weight that challenges you. If you can easily do 12-15 reps and keep going, this is a strong signal you simply are not doing enough to really give your body the stimulus it needs to improve.
Rest assured that you are not going to get ‘bulky’ from picking up light weights.
You’re Exercising Daily
Sometimes the real problem is exercising too much. Is there such a thing, you might wonder? There is. If you are hitting the gym daily, you aren’t giving your body the chance to recover, growing stronger than it was before.
As such, you won’t see progress. Always try and remind yourself that real progress comes when you are out of the gym, not while you are in it. During your workout, you’re actually making yourself weaker; it’s when you’re out of the gym recovering that you get stronger and see gains.
You’re Not Being Honest With Yourself
Finally, the last reason your workout may not be working is if you aren’t being truly honest with yourself. Are you actually putting in maximum effort?
If you’re simply going through the motions, you won’t be much better off than if you didn’t show up in the first place. To see remarkable results from a workout program, you need to put in the effort. Effort in equals results out. Always remember this.
Be honest with your own self-evaluation and if you feel like you could be giving more, you’ve likely found your solution. So keep these quick tips in mind next time you’re feeling frustrated. Have a good look at whether any of them may be playing a role in your own lack of progress.
MOTIVATION BEFORE EXERCISE:
How To Get Motivated To Exercise
Feeling like you’d rather pass on the gym today? Or, maybe you feel like you just don’t have it in you to say no to that piece of cake that’s been sitting in the fridge for a few days now.
Whatever the case may be, motivation can begin to wane and when it does, don’t be surprised if you find yourself feeling a little like nothing will get you back on track.
Often those who are suffering from floundering motivation see two scenarios: bad and worse. They either give half effort or they give up entirely. Actually regaining their motivation doesn’t seem to even be an option some of the time.
Fortunately, there is one trick that you can use to help regain your motivation instantly. What is this trick?
Think to yourself, what if you couldn’t. Let me explain.
Looking At Exercise Differently
When you think about exercising, do negative thoughts come to mind? Perhaps you imagine pain or discomfort, or, if you are new to exercise, you might imagine embarrassment as you make your way around the gym, not really knowing full well what to do.
Whatever the case may be, think about those who simply cannot exercise. Even if they wanted to, they can’t. This could be due to an injury or a permanent rehabilitation that will prevent them from exercising for the rest of their lives.
Chances are, they would give just about anything to be able to get up and exercise. But here you are, taking that entirely for granted. You don’t think about the fact that you are blessed and lucky to be able to exercise – period – you just think about how you would rather not.
By switching your thought pattern around like this and focusing instead on the fact that you are fortunate enough to be able to exercise, you can re-awaken some inner motivation that you may have never even known you’ve had before.
Looking At Healthy Eating Differently
A similar principle can be applied to sticking with your healthy eating plan. This time, it’s not about whether you can or can’t eat healthy; it’s about whether eating healthy will make a difference.
Right now, you may be in quite good health. Sure, you have 5-10 kilos to lose and may have a little high blood pressure or cholesterol, but there are no major problems at play.
At this point, with a few smart changes to your diet, you could completely transform your life. You could prevent disease and improve your day to day energy levels. You have that power.
But, if you don’t – if you take this power for granted and keep going on the path you are right now, you may not have that power forever.
For instance, keep eating sugar laden foods and in some time, you could be struck with diabetes. Once you have it, you’re never getting rid of it. It’s with you for life. At that point, you won’t be able to eat those cakes, cookies, or pastries that you may love so much, so there simply will be no option.
Likewise, if you keep eating as you are, you might find yourself suffering from a heart attack. Sure, you might survive that, but do you really want it to come to that to get you to realise you need to take action immediately?
Stop taking for granted the fact that you are an able-bodied individual who can make positive changes to their lifestyle. Make those changes today so that you don’t find yourself in a position tomorrow where you can’t.
Read This Before You Choose A Gym Buddy
One of the best tips to help keep you accountable on your workout program and pushing your hardest at all times is to find yourself a good workout partner.
Working out in the company of another person helps to not only ensure that you show up to every session while also making it more enjoyable, but it can also help keep you safe as you move through your protocol, while helping you hit personal bests you otherwise may not reach.
Having someone there to spot you as well as monitor your form helps you prevent injury, while at the same time, can offer that extra push when you need it.
If you are at all competitive and are working out with someone of equal or greater strength, watch how having them there helps you push your limits. This said, you need to know how to choose a workout partner properly. Choose wrong and it could actually just bring you down, meaning less progress.
Let’s go over the main things that you should consider when selecting your workout partner.
Their Skill Level
The first thing to think about is their skill level. If you’ve been exercising for years, it wouldn’t be a good idea to match up with someone who is at a very beginner level, unless you are looking to take someone under your wing and teach them the basics.
Sometimes you may choose to do so, but note that the benefits to you will be negligible. If you want to reap the best results from having this workout partner, you’ll want to train with someone who is at the same level or higher.
As just noted, this helps keep you working as hard as possible, pushing yourself every step of the way. It’s also a good idea to ensure they have a good level of fitness knowledge as well – comparable to what you have.
If they don’t, this too can present a problem and may mean you struggle when doing more advanced workout concepts.
The next thing to assess when looking for a workout partner is their level of commitment. Are they the type to hit the gym, rain or shine, every single day they have planned?
Or are they a little more relaxed with their schedule, skipping the gym when something comes up into their day?
While there’s nothing wrong if they are a little more relaxed, if that is the case, it’s best that both of you are like this. If it’s only them, you are going to find yourself very disappointed by this relationship. If you are a highly motivated individual, find someone that you can count on.
The good news is that if you are highly motivated yourself and your partner does let you down, at least it won’t mean that you skip over the gym entirely.
Their Time Availability
Next up, also consider their time availability. Are they able to workout at a time that’s convenient for you? It’s essential that your schedules match up as best as possible.
If one of you likes working out in the evening and the other is a morning bird, one of you is always going to be going against your natural tendency.
While it’s great if this person is a close friend and someone you enjoy working out with, if they can hardly ever make your sessions, it’s not going to do you much good. Be sure to discuss this before starting to workout together or you’ll only be in for problems down the road.
Their Workout Preference
The next factor to consider is their workout preference. Are they into lifting in the same style you are? For instance, are they focusing on strength gains, lifting as heavy as they can? Or, are they more focused on another goal?
Having similar goals as well as strength levels can really help out, especially when it’s a weight lifting partner you’re looking for. If you are much stronger than them for example and are doing bench together, each time you alternate for sets, you are going to have to unrack or re-rack the weight.
This can get to be very time consuming, not to mention tiring after a while, which can lead to much frustration. When you are both around the same strength level, you avoid this entirely.
So keep these quick tips in mind as you try and find yourself a workout partner. Having a partner will definitely offer many great benefits and probably help you enjoy your workouts more, provided they are chosen correctly.
Don’t be afraid to say no to someone who’s asking you to be their workout partner if you don’t feel it’s a good fit. Your success may very well depend on it.
MOTIVATION DURING EXERCISE:
Mental Tips To Workout When You Don’t Feel Like Working Out
There are always going to be those days in the gym where you simply aren’t feeling it. Perhaps you are tired and the workout is just dragging on or you might have a nagging injury that is making itself heard.
Or, you may just find that your mind won’t focus and instead, you keep thinking about other things that are not gym related. Whatever the case, you may wonder how you’ll make it through this tough workout. When things just aren’t going your way, it helps to have a game plan in place.
Let’s go over four things that you can do to make the most of your time in the gym.
Focus On Form
First, if you are facing a really bad case of fatigue and simply can’t push any harder, it might just be time to stop pushing. Rather than trying to lift heavy and set a new PR, focus on reducing the amount of weight you’re lifting and instead, focus on your form.
Work on strengthening that mind-muscle connection so that when you do finally move into your heavy lifting again the next time, you get more from that session. It’s important to check your form every so often to ensure you aren’t building up any bad habits, so doing it on a day you just aren’t feeling it anyway will ensure that day doesn’t go to waste.
Try Something New
Next, you might consider trying something new entirely. Add in a new exercise and use this day to get the feel of it. You should never lift really heavy when first adding in a new exercise as you first need to familiarise yourself with good form.
It’s important that you do experiment with new exercises from time to time as this is what will keep your body responding and guessing as to what’s coming next. Plus, it also makes the workout that much more interesting, which may in itself help you put forth more effort.
Switch Gears Entirely
Another option is to switch gears entirely. If you really just don’t feel much like strength training or doing your cardio workout, use the day to focus on flexibility instead.
Go over to the ab mats and stretch for 20 minutes. This won’t require too much physical energy thus you can do it in a partially fatigued state and it will still provide great fitness benefits.
The more flexible you are, the easier you can perform all the other exercises you plan to do in your workout routine, so don’t think of this as wasted time.
Remind Yourself Good Things Don’t Come Easily
Finally, if it’s simply a matter of you not feeling so into it, try and remind yourself that good things don’t come easily. There are always going to be those days when you’d just rather not do your workout.
What separates the truly successful individuals from those who aren’t as successful however is how well they push through anyway. If you can keep going and get through the workout, it will only make you mentally stronger.
And that can really come into play during other times when you need that mental tenacity to finish a heavy set or otherwise. Just note that there is a difference between pushing through some fatigue and knowing when you really just need a day off.
If your body is in pain or it’s clear you really shouldn’t be in the gym, learn to listen.
So keep these quick tips in mind. If you aren’t feeling into your workout, don’t let it become a complete waste. See what you can do to make the most of the time so that you can still reap benefits.