When motivation rocks you like a hurricane, you charge into the gym and crush your workout the same way you imagine Rocky would in an epic montage. Then, much like a protein shake after a tough workout, that inner fire disappears when you need it most—like after a stressful client meeting or the nights you give into the siren's call of your couch and Netflix.
Hey, staying motivated can be tough. Even the fittest among us—like the athletes of Team Bodybuilding.com—have their own moments of weakness, but these athletes are fit champions for a reason: They're able to navigate their way out of life's more difficult "I'll go to the gym tomorrow" or "Just one more Friends episode" mind traps.
Just how do these Bodybuilding.com athletes keep themselves motivated day after day, year after year? We recently asked them just that. Let their varied and creative sources of motivation fuel you, as well. Stick to your transformation and crush your fitness goals!
I love my son more than anything. If I were given the choice, I would give up fitness to devote myself 24/7 to him. However, keeping fit is one of the best things I can do for both of us. He depends on me and will do so for a long time to come.
Thus, I want to make sure I have the energy to take care of him and watch him grow up. I want to stay fit and healthy as long as I can for my little man. He is my sun and motivation!
Fitness is important to me for a few reasons:
- It's my daily form of mental and emotional therapy. If I'm having a particularly bad day, I'll hit the gym, feel that euphoria, and bounce right back.
- It appeals to my desire to keep my body running optimally beyond the years I would otherwise start to rust and decay.
I draw limitless motivation from this hierarchy. Here are a few examples:
- If I'm having a particularly bad day, I'll hit the gym, feel that euphoria, and bounce right back.
- If I want to be healthier this month than I was last month, I know I need to avoid fast-food chains and bars.
- If I see my physique slumping a bit in the mirror, I no longer want to party or binge eat.
Above all, you guys—the people whom I want to help—motivate me to always deliver in my purpose and promise.
I find it extremely empowering to know I alone am able to control how my body looks from the work I put forth, both inside and outside the gym. When the results kick in, I'm driven to go further and unlock my potential.
The positive feedback I receive from those on BodySpace and other social media outlets truly pushes me every day. I don't want to let myself down, or those who look to me and my journey for inspiration.
I work out to eat delicious food and to fit into my clothes. Just kidding! Or am I?
Seriously, though, I look forward to working out because I don't bore myself with long cardio sessions. I used to spend 1-2 hours a day on the stair mill, pounding away and counting calories, except that I barely lost any fat. I finally put an end to that hellish regimen, and that alone magically rejuvenated my motivation because I now have more free time (for more food, too!).
For me, fitness is an art. The gym is my canvas, my workouts are the paint, and I get to create something new every session. I push myself to new limits and reap the mental and physical fruits of my labor. There's simply no better feeling!
Exercise is my source of daily strength, energy, and empowerment. I've gone on bouts during which I didn't work out, and it's resulted in my feeling "out of character" and uncomfortable in my own skin. When I resume my regimen again, I feel comfortable and happy. I never want to lose the energy or comfort that comes from working out, and that's what keeps me going in the gym.
I've recently given birth to my little girl and won't be working out for a couple weeks. It's a nice break, but I am definitely antsy about regaining my muscles. The biggest perk is that my focus on optimum nutrition to feed my child will easily carry over when I do start working out again. I'm looking forward to working out for my little one and getting back to my prime!
Working out is the closest I've come to finding a silver bullet in life. It might not totally solve an issue I am having, but it certainly improves my health, my mood, my productivity, and my look. I simply cannot be the best person I can be without working out.
So when my motivation is lacking, I take a step back and reflect on the bigger picture, which is living a long, happy, healthy life with my family.
I have a goal to hike to the Mount Everest base camp in June 2015. This motivates me to increase my training every month, to slowly work myself up to it.
Setting a realistic goal like I have helps me remember that only I can take the first step and change my own body and mind.
My motivation for working out starts with my goals and my love of lifting, fitness, and health. I also look to my family and friends for strength; they are always there for me and are a great source of motivation. Not to mention, I am fortunate to be a part of Team Bodybuilding.com. It's hard not to be motivated when I'm surrounded by some of the most motivational and inspiring people on the planet.
On days I don't feel like getting my butt into the gym, I think about how quickly inconsistency can turn into inaction. There have been times when I've worked my butt off to reach a goal and then ease up on my regimen, only to see my hard work quickly undone. One day of skipping the gym turns into a week. So, at times when I feel like slacking, I evaluate how I'm really feeling and remind myself of this. I still skip days here and there, but I've become more consistent by using this approach.
One fun thing I do is get my kids involved. I'm constantly involving my daughter in my training schedule. For example, when I do HIIT, I run outside while she rides her bike. This way I am also setting an example for her, as well as making our bonding experience more dynamic! She is not a fan of running stadium stairs, but she is good at reminding me not to cheat, and for counting how many laps I have left. She really pushes me. Interestingly enough, she's so familiar with my routine that if I miss a day she will remind me about it—nonstop!
I like to visualize someone else working harder than I am, to get my ego involved. That really makes me shoot up from my bed during my 4 a.m. alarm.
I stay motivated to work out because, when I am on track with training, it translates into being on track in all areas of my life. As a college student, working out can easily be pushed aside by all the school work, but I stay motivated by making training and schoolwork equal priorities. If I can go and lift heavy squats and deadlifts, then lifting up a pen to do schoolwork is nothing.
This year, I have recruited two different training partners, each with a set schedule and a time to meet. This is how I avoid skipping, because someone else is depending on me. The only workout you'll regret is the one you didn't do!
One of my greatest motivations is having a great workout music playlist. I'm a fan of fast-paced pop music to keep my legs moving—yes, sometimes I even catch myself dancing to the beat!
Perhaps the biggest motivator is the people who let me know that I've helped them in some way. It's really about helping people find their own inner motivation and fire. Never discount the effect you have on other people. We can all become examples to others around us. Plus, it's nice knowing that I only get better by doing. So start doing today, knowing that you will be better tomorrow.
I tell myself how good I am going to feel after I am done lifting, and it's true; I always feel great afterward! This makes me want to continue showing up and getting me some "feel good." So be sure to show up and get you some "feel good," as well!
For me, there's just something about pushing yourself in the gym. Only you know when you're giving it 100 percent. Only you know if you have one more rep left in you. The physical results are a nice ego boost, too. Seeing progress is always a great motivator.
If I don't train, I get overly stressed out or anxious about trivial matters. My time in the gym or running lets me catch my breath, and is a nice mental break from everyday responsibilities. Without training, life is way more chaotic than it needs to be. I have a theory that if you don't spend a good chunk of your energy training, then you use that extra energy on anxiety and stress, and wasting so much time overall! Knowing this about myself has kept me very focused and able to not sweat the small stuff.
Losing motivation is the result of small mind games. "Oh, missing one workout isn't going to hurt," we think.
When things go that way, it helps me to think about why I'm training in the first place, why I started this lifestyle, and what my goals are.
Watching some motivation videos lets me light that motivational flame again and gets me going into a workout all pumped up. Don't lose to this mind game and regret it later!
As a mom, being in shape is my secret to maintaining balance. My quality of life is enhanced in all areas when I am consistent. Working out makes me a better mother and wife! I want to be the best person I can be for my family. That's all the motivation I need!
I used to be motivated by the idea of an extremely low body-fat percentage and six-pack abs, but as I've evolved as a person and athlete, my goals and motivations have, too. I work out and eat right for no other reason than to better myself. I want to be the healthiest and best possible version of myself for as long as I possibly can.
The main reason I even started competing was to light a fire under my gym efforts. Being judged on my physique has been my driving force to kill it in the gym for a few years now.
On days I don't feel like working out, I simply remind myself that I'm a competitor. That means I'm surrounded by people looking to outperform me and pass me up when I slack. Like heck I'd let that happen!
I used to be driven by the thought of changing my body, but there comes a point when change can feel like watching a turtle race. I have to dig deeper and give my workouts more meaning than physical change.
For me, I have learned that there is intrinsic value in training. Although I may not look drastically different from one year to the next, I know that my mind, heart, and spirit continue to grow from my prioritization of training.
I think we all start working toward a goal for a reason, so I am constantly reminding myself of that reason, to keeps things in perspective. I also strive to be a good example for others, which has been instilled in me all my life.
I'm an older sister, I was captain of my high school basketball team, and I was a soldier in the U.S. Army. The thought of someone looking up to me to stick with my philosophy and commitment keeps me on the right path.
My motivation comes from three sources:
- My mom, who herself is an amazing and accomplished person.
- My son, because I want to be a dad that my 2-year-old son can look up to.
- My late friend, Jesse Marunde (fallen fellow strongman athlete), who motivates me because I reminisce about the training we used to do and I imagine what he'd be doing now.
And, of course, fast-paced music doesn't hurt!