What Is The True Secret To Staying Motivated Long-Term?

What is the true secret to staying motivated long-term? Find out what people from our popular message boards think...


TOPIC: What Is The True Secret To Staying Motivated Long-term?

The Question: So many people start a workout and/or diet routine (usually as a New Year's resolution), but then stop a short time after. Why is this? Why do some people stick to it for years when others can't stick to it for months or even weeks, even though they were extremely excited in the beginning.

The only way to truly get the body of your dreams is to stay consistent over many years. What is the secret to staying motivated over the long term?

BONUS QUESTION: What can you do immediately before a workout to be sure you are motivated to lift the most that you can? (For example, listening to Metallica.)

The Winners:

      Prizes:
      The best response will get $50 in credit to use in our online store!


1st Place - da rel Hogan

The true secrets to staying motivated long term.

Get those days when you feel like you're not getting anywhere? The very thought of having to go to the gym makes you think up hundreds of ways to convince yourself not to go. The egg white and protein powder shake makes you carve for something a bit naughtier. You're probably not alone.

Like most things in the world of bodybuilding, motivation is based at an individual level. What works for somebody else doesn't necessarily mean it will work for you. If you need motivation it's up to you to find what will work for you. Most things will work short-term yet you are after the holy grail of motivational tips, you need to find what works long term.

General Motivation Tips

    Progress Record

    You need to record progress to see that your efforts are being rewarded. It will help you long-term to find out what works for you and what doesn't. Record your weight weekly or daily with a weekly average.

    Don't be discouraged when day one you're x pounds and then day two you're x pounds + 4. Body weight fluctuates with food and water. Record your workout and max lifts.

    Not only will you want to beat your old records, it should help identify any plateaus early on.

      Posters & Progression Photos

      There are two types of posters you could try to keep your mind focused. A picture of when you first started along side a current photo. You could also post up a picture of someone you inspire to look like. Secondly you can buy motivation posters that have phrases or poetry to remind you of what you are working toward.

      Every 3 months or so take some photos using the popular bodybuilding poses. These are great poses to show the muscle mass you have and make it easier to notice the small changes in your muscular development.

      Think Positively

      The most important. If you're thinking you can't do it, you probably won't. There are many things you can do to think positive, although perhaps these should be on a separate topic. But overall, you need to keep yourself working in a positive state of mind to keep having positive results.

    Motivation Specifically To Nutrition

      Let Everyone Know You Are Eating Healthy

      May sound obvious but if people know you're not supposed to be eating detrimental, foods then you are less likely to cheat in their company. Any true and respectful person will only encourage you to meet your goals.

      Experiment With Different Foods

      Healthy food doesn't mean dreary tasteless food. There are so many different things you can do to 'spice' things up. You can simply buy low-carb sweeteners, sauces etc... they can completely change the taste of a meal.

      Consistent VS. Inconsistent Diet

      Some people find a fixed consistency plan a better way to say motivated and can stick to the same foods. Others like me need to have the feeling that you're not locked down to a particular diet. So add some change to your diet. Keeping the kitchen cupboards full also helps to add unpredictably to your diet.

      Record Food Eaten

      Using various resources online or a pen and paper it doesn't matter. If you record just some basic values it will get you thinking each time you eat. Am I getting enough protein? Have I eaten too much or too little?

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      Remember we are human and if you have a cheat meal just add it to your daily intake. If I have a cheat meal I make sure I make that visit to the gym. Clears the conscience.

    Motivation Specifically To Workouts

      Listening To Music

      Music you like and enjoy listening too will help keep you focused. Some songs make me fell motivated and unbreakable, the perfect types of songs whilst working hard in the gym. Remember to mix it up once in a while. Listening to the same songs all the time will end up boring and will probably have the reverse effect.

      Having A Training Partner

      Some people love them, others hate them. I'm talking about a training partner. Having a bit of competitiveness and having someone yelling at you to "Lift that last rep" wouldn't do any harm.

      Find Exercises & Body Parts You Love

      Do you have a favorite day? Or a favorite exercise? It really does help when it's that time of the workout.

      Consistent Workout Routine

      Once you devise your workout plan thoroughly it encourages you to stick to it. If you suffer from DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) just factor this in.

    Bonus Question:

    What can you do immediately before a workout to be sure you are motivated to lift the most that you can?

    Pre-workout nutrition will make you feel fuelled up and ready to go. Be prepared.

    Additionally there are some great supplements on the market which is specially for getting bigger pumps and more energy whilst working out.

    Overall, knowledge is needed to understand the basic principles of bodybuilding. Once a person gets over the basic misconceptions of bodybuilding, such as "muscle grows quickly", "gain muscle loss fat", and are still interested and motivated then they will have a good future in bodybuilding. If all else fails, try Bodybuilding.com's Forums especially the "post your pictures" section.

    KNOWLEDGE is power. With KNOWLEDGE comes motivation.


    2nd Place - Audioslave

    10 Tips To Stay Motivated

    The first step in staying motivated is to ask yourself, "why am I doing this?" Once you find out the reason you are dieting and exercising you can build off of that. Basically what you are doing is choosing your goals to stay motivated. So that is your first tip.

    1. Setting Goals

      Everyone's goal is going to vary from person to person. Some people may be dieting and exercising for health, sports, a better body, or strength.

      Do NOT set an unrealistic goal. Setting a goal which is only achievable within years of training will only get you frustrated and make you quit early.

    WHAT'S YOUR GOAL?
    goals Choose Your Goal Below.
    Is Your Goal Not Listed?
    Click Below To Learn More About Goal Setting.

      So whatever your goal is, make sure it is short and simple. Then after reaching your short-term goal, make a more long-term goal. A short-term goal may be going to the gym 3 days per week. A longer-term goal might be increasing your bench press by 50 pounds. Setting these goals is the first tip to becoming involved in a long-term exercise plan.

    2. Create A Fun Exercise Regimen

      There is no need to bore yourself out with the same old routine all the time. Change up your routine whenever necessary. Switch up exercises every week. For cardio, find a sport you enjoy, such as softball or basketball. Maybe you enjoy walking or bike riding. A workout routine needs variety. Instead of using a treadmill or stationary bike, on nice days you can walk or bike ride outside. Whatever it is, make it part of your workout regimen.

    3. Track Your Progress

      Creating a workout log and taking pictures are great ways of tracking your progress. Seeing how you increased your strength and better your body will only make you become more motivated. Doing this will also help you find out what works best for you.

    4. Slowly Work Your Way Up

      Never start an exercise program thinking you are advanced. If you are a beginner, that trains like a beginner. Overtraining will lead to injury, which will stop you from working out temporarily, and possibly permanently. Begin slowly, and in time, add more exercises, and intensity to your workout.

    5. Be Patient

      Results don't come overnight. It will take around a month or two to really start seeing some results. In the long run it will be well worth it. But you must be mentally strong to continue a workout regimen.

    6. Stay Amped

      I know it might seem a little strange but think of exercise as a way of relieving stress and anger. If you can channel your anger into your exercise, then you will feel much better in your daily life because of letting go of all the tension you have stored up.

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    7. Get A Training Partner

      A workout partner is a great way to make sure you exercise. They are also great to make you push harder. If you use them for a weight lifting workout they are great to help with form and for spotting. A relative or close friend would make a good training partner.

    8. Reward Yourself

      If you have followed your diet very strictly then you should treat yourself to a desert, or junk food. If you have reached any of your goals, then you should reward yourself with a gift such as a bathing suit, or smaller (or bigger, depending on your goal) size clothes. Check out some of Bodybuilding.com's clothing here.

    9. Look At Pictures Of Your Ideal Physique

      Look at pictures that will inspire you to workout even harder. If you workout at home put up pictures of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, or whatever physique it is that you admire. This is a great way of motivating yourself to reach that ideal physique you desire.

    10. Remind Yourself

      Constantly remind yourself why you are working out. Whenever you feel like skipping a workout or cheating on your diet remind yourself how you want that body, or that you want to excel in you sport, or be healthier. Think of all of the benefits of exercising. Remember the reasons you started your diet and fitness plan.

      These are my top 10 tips to stay motivated. Sticking to an exercise regimen can be very hard. It can become very tedious after a long period of time. You have to be mentally strong and disciplined to follow a workout routine. But if you follow these 10 tips, then you should stay easily motivated and have a long, healthy time in fitness.

    Bonus Question:

    What can you do immediately before a workout to be sure you are motivated to lift the most that you can?

    This is a good question. A lot of people skip a workout because of lack of motivation. Well, like you stated, music is a great way of motivating yourself before a workout. Something hardcore like Metallica is usually best.

    Personally, I like listening to Rage Against The Machine before I hit the weights. Another way of motivating yourself directly before a workout to make you lift the most you can would be to lie to yourself. Think that you are the biggest man in the gym and that 45lb plates are just peanuts. Remember, weightlifting is as much mental as it is physical. And the last technique to get yourself motivated is to get angry.

    Think of someone you hate, or think of bad memories such as people picking on you. This will build you up with rage, and rage is a great key of getting adrenaline flowing and lifting heavy weights you've never dreamed you could never lift.


    3rd Place - Caspa

    9 Tips To Keeping Motivated Long-Term

    Below are my opinions on how to stay motivated in the gym and out of the gym, long-term. I have listed a total of 9 things that I feel are most important to stay motivated, in no particular order.

    1. Check Out Your Physique In The Mirror With The Best Possible Lighting & Stray Away From Looking In The Mirror With Worse/No Lighting.

      I find that when I see my self in a mirror with good lighting it shows up everything, and I feel good about myself because I like what I see, which makes me more motivated and want to workout more due to the fact I feel all my hard work is paying off and I'm on the right track to getting big and not just wasting my time.

      When on the other hand, I look at myself in a mirror with poor lighting, I feel like I look exactly the same as I did when I just started bodybuilding.

    2. Have A Workout Partner Who Will Push You As Hard As You'll Push Him, Otherwise Don't Have One.

      Having a workout partner to push you as much as you'll push him, considering you're actually going to push him to get his ass to the gym, then that might be the difference to not going the gym or going the gym for that workout.

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      On the other hand if your workout partner doesn't push you to go the gym, then he clearly isn't that eager to go to the gym and will most likely leave you stranded on one more accessions, this has happened to me a fair few times so I'm just speaking from experience.

    3. Try To Workout At A Gym Rather Than At Home.

      I have tried both of these and I find that working out at the gym motivates me more to get there as the gym has a certain buzz that is always going round. The I'm going to get my ass to the gym today lift my ass off and impress some lil' noob, and don't tell me you don't think that, at least sometimes.

    4. Check Out Pictures/Videos Of Your Favorite Bodybuilder(s).

      Doing this makes you feel like you want to be like that guy. You want to be the hero. Hell, who doesn't want to be the hero and get the pretty girl?

    5. Make REALISTIC Goals, STICK TO THEM, Then Make New Ones.

      Make sure the goals you make are realistic to you, not your mate, YOU! If you do this you will find that you will find it easier to stick to them, actual reach them, and all at the same time feel good about yourself and want to push yourself harder towards your next goals.

    6. Have A Good Steady Diet & Stick To It.

      This is an extension of number 5. If you have a good diet for bodybuilding, covering all the protein, carbs and calories that you need, and stick to it. This will make you feel good about yourself and will give you greater gains which will also help in long-term motivation.

    7. Have A Cheat Day In Your Diet.

      Having a cheat day will help you stick to your diet and most likely keep you sane, as you actually get to eat whatever you want for an entire day, and not just nibble here and there every other day which makes you feel crappy.

    8. Change Things Up When You Get Bored.

      I find this one very helpful, for diet and for workouts. If I ever find I'm getting bored of my diet or my workout I'll just change things around and make it more interesting which will make me want to continue with them and stay motivated.

    RELATED POLL
    How Often Do You Have Cheat Days?

    Once A Week.
    Once Every Two Weeks.
    Once A Month.
    Twice A Week.
    Everyday (I have god like genetics).
    Other.

    9. Treat Yourself.

      Once I treated myself to a pair of weight-lifting gloves and straight away I wanted to get my ass down to the gym and use them. This works with everything bodybuilding base. Supplements are a good one to buy to help you stay motivated.

    Bonus Question:

    What can you do immediately before a workout to be sure you are motivated to lift the most that you can?

    I feel what works best for me before a workout to make sure I actually workout, I'll whack on some tunes and get pumped up. I'll also picture myself huge on stage doing a pose-down. You can also picture things that piss you off and make you want to pound the weights taking all your anger out on them.

    STAY CONSISTENT