8 Motivation Secrets To Crush A Hard Workout!
When you've got an intense workout planned but your body won't wake up, you're not cursed to struggle through. Use these tips to be ready for anything!
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Let's be frank: Committing to consistent training, prepping your meals, picking out a smart program—those are actually the easy parts of getting fit! The hard part always has been, and always will be, getting and staying motivated for the hard training itself.
Being ready to crush every workout, from heavy lifting to HIIT, isn't some genetic gift. It's a skill that the best of the best cultivate over time—and you can, too! Here's how a group of elite Cellucor athletes get fired up to train at their very best whenever and wherever they need to.
See the workout long before it begins
The level of intensity that training demands isn't normal, so you'd be crazy to count on normal life to prepare you for it. You need to start preparing your mind for a tough workout as early as you can—at least 30-45 minutes before training. Don't wait until you're staring at a weight.
"Long before you even start your workout, get your mind right," recommends personal trainer Alex Silver-Fagan. "While you're in the car, on the subway, or walking up to the gym, visualize what you're about to do, why you're about to do it, and how you want to feel when you're done."
You have two choices of how to train: "because I have to" and "because I want to." Which one sounds like more fun? "Chances are, you want to feel like a rock star, so make it happen," she says.
Take your pre-workout at the right time
We've all seen that person in the locker room chugging their pre-workout as they fiddle with the lock and prepare to walk out into the gym. Here's what's wrong with that: The caffeine and other performance enhancers in your pre-workout don't turn on like a light switch. They need time to work their magic!
Instead of a minute or two before you touch the iron, try taking your pre-workout 30-45 minutes before training. If you can sip your pre-workout while you're visualizing the workout to come, you'll be even better prepared.
"If you're feeling a little down, taking your pre-workout and giving yourself some time to feel it working is key," Silver-Fagan says. "Cellucor C4 never ceases to get me pumped and ready to crush my training session."
Watch a video right before you lift
Looking for something to do in the locker room at that final moment when you used to take your pre-workout? Dial up this video on your phone and ride the wave into your warm-up. Enough said!
Crush Your Workout Jen Jewell & Calum von Moger Gym Motivation
Watch the video - 1:01
Have one concrete goal for every workout
Ideally, each workout you do builds on the successes of your last session. But that only works if you've got successes to build on. You don't have to nail every rep, every time, but you should try to improve something or impress yourself in at least one memorable way during each workout.
Here are a few examples:
- Making just a little progress on a difficult movement goal (pull-up, handstand, full-ROM push-ups)
- Doing 8 reps with your previous 6-rep weight on a big compound movement
- A little less rest than last time between sets
- A deeper, better squat than last time
- Rock-solid posture during the grueling last set of lunges or burpees
"Know what you want to accomplish before you start," Silver-Fagan says. When you set a goal for each specific workout, you'll be giving that workout a higher purpose. Suddenly, everything you're doing matters a little more!
Give yourself permission to go off the wall...a little
A physique like fitness model and personal trainer Jen Jewell's is built largely through consistency: consistent training with effective movements, consistent nutrition, and consistent living, period. But she also knows how to mix her workouts up just enough to keep herself excited to train every day.
"I stay motivated by not falling victim to 'routine' by switching up certain exercises for each muscle group," she suggests. "Include new exercises into your workout each week. Even just switching from a dumbbell to a kettlebell can do the trick."
Wondering how to make this work while you're on a specific program? Here are two possibilities:
- Devote the last 15 minutes of your workout to doing whatever you want and trying new things.
- Swap out one movement in each workout with something similar, but different. Lying leg curl? Try a stability-ball curl! Dumbbell lunges? Try front-racked barbell lunges!
Partner up with someone who will push you
Here's a secret: Everything on this list is easier to achieve with a like-minded workout partner. It's easier to get excited, nail those pre-workout rituals, and translate it all into results!
"Working out with a friend or group of friends is the perfect motivation to crush your workout and keep it fun at the same time," Silver-Fagan explains. As an added benefit, that friend can help spot you during your lifts, giving you the security you may need to meet that workout-specific goal.
Know your numbers
There's something magical about tracking what you do in the gym. After a few weeks of doing it, you start to feel like you're somehow held accountable to the numbers themselves. You see how incremental and hard-won progress is, and all of a sudden you wouldn't dream of letting it lapse. It's hard to explain, but boy is it effective.
"Progress tracking is a must," Silver-Fagan says. "Keeping track of how you're progressing is a perfect way to keep your motivation alive while also realizing and crushing new goals throughout your journey."
How you track doesn't matter, as long as you find a practice you can stick with. Your notes can be handwritten, on your phone, or in BodySpace. Just be sure to track religiously, and you'll never look back.
Add a little something on the intense days
Jen Jewell is a believer in keeping her caffeine intake predictable: a cup of coffee in the morning, then C4 Ripped before her afternoon training session. But sometimes, she knows that her workout will be more demanding than usual, and she could benefit from a little something extra.
More caffeine? No thanks. As many athletes have discovered, the performance benefits taper off quickly beyond the recommended doses.
Instead, Jewell pairs her pre-workout with some branched-chain amino acids during her workout. BCAAs before and during a workout can help delay exhaustion and cut down on post-workout muscle soreness. If you're still sore from your last workout, it'll be that much harder to get in the right mindset for your next workout, right?
Having an option like this in your back pocket can make all the difference. Add a scoop, and toast to results!