Imagine waking up to the sound of the loud screech of an alarm clock. You look over and the display reads 6:15 am. That alarm has been set for one reason and one reason only... for you to wake up and hit the gym. Instinctively you hit the snooze button and return to dreamland. This vicious cycle continues until you've given up working out that day.
Over the last few days, weeks, or months you've been struggling with your motivation to hit the gym. I've faced (and still face) this issue every now and then. Here are 10 tips I use to maximize my motivation.
1. Keep And Display All Your Old Pictures
It's a known fact that humans respond quickly to visual stimulation. If you see a red light you stop on a dime (unless you're adventurous). When you see the golden arches you know McDonald's is on the horizon. When you see the "swoosh" your mind immediately shifts to Nike. Images always trigger responses. Keeping and displaying your old photographs will give you that extra kick needed to attack the gym!
2. Look At The Transformations Of Others
An inspirational story is always good to get the juices flowing. Bodybuilding.com is chock full of people who have achieved the dream. Everyone from teens, housewives, businessmen, and retirees crowd the Transformation of the Week/Month.
Reading the story of someone who has lost 100 lbs of fat and can now play with their grandkids moves the soul (and provides some motivation to reach your goals). Seeing someone go from the kid who got pushed around to the kid nobody wants to touch is inspiring as well. Use the transformations as fuel to hit the gym!
3. Buy Clothes At Your Target Size
I don't know about you but I hate wasting my money. Putting money into something makes me much more likely to engage myself. I'm a firm believer in getting what you pay for. Go ahead and purchase some clothes a size down (or up) and put them in the front of the closet.
Spend a good bit (around $200 or so). The first week you may not be able to get those pants past your knees. The second week you should see those pants starting to creep up. The third week even further. Eventually, they'll snap onto your new firm and trim body. Oh yeah, throw the receipt away so you won't tempt yourself to give up.
4. Chart Your Strength Gains
This tip caught me by surprise. When I began to really work out it was purely for the look. I didn't care if I was lifting 90 lb dumbbells or 45's as long as I looked better. One of the trainers in my gym asked me to do a fitness assessment out of the blue one day and I agreed.
To my surprise my bench press max had jumped from 220 lbs to 330 lbs in a year. It was a pleasant surprise. Since I felt stronger I began pushing even harder in the gym. Imagine how good you'll feel by tracking your progress from the start.
5. Contact People You've Lost Contact With
We all enjoy admiration (some more than others). People who haven't seen you in a while will be taken by surprise. Believe me they'll stand there with jaws dropped in utter shock. They'll ask for your advice. They'll praise your new shape. Most of all they'll praise you for what you've done. Praise makes us feel good and want to push it to even higher levels in the gym.
6. Bring Others Along For The Ride
Inspire someone else to join the gym. They welcome your advice and encouragement with open arms! Allow them into your routine. Show them the ropes. Push them towards their goals. Their progress and enthusiasm is contagious and will infect you as well. Few feelings can rival the enthusiasm of a newcomer realizing results.
7. Shout Your Story From The Mountaintops
Never shy away from the opportunity to tell others what you have done. People love a feel good story. Those who have yet to pull one off treat body transformations like miracles. When you tell your story start from the beginning and recall all those emotions that drove you.
- Remember being angry?
- Remember being fed up?
- Remember making that change for good?
As you tell your story a wave of energy and excitement will overtake your body. Bring that tidal wave to the floor.
8. Keep Your Workout Routine Fresh
Boredom equals death. If you're bored with a relationship the train is going to stop at the next station. If you're bored with a game you stop playing. If you're bored with your workout routine you'll slog through it.
Vary your rep schemes, exercises, and break timing to add variety and spice. Try burnouts, strip sets, cable machines, dumbbells, weighted chins, and isometrics to spice it up. Breaking the monotony makes the gym fun. Keep it fresh and you'll be excited as a result.
9. Get Aggressive With Goals
Grown tired of 2-3 lbs a week of weight loss? Challenge yourself one week and go for 5. Tighten up your diet and put your all into your sessions. Explode through every rep. Add 30 minutes to your cardio. Eat super clean. Enjoy the results of your aggressive week. Aggressive goals are great when managed properly. Sprinkling in a frenetic week is always good to get the pistons firing.
10. Work Around People With Top Physiques
Being around top-notch bodies provides a challenge. Seeing a well-built person provides true inspiration. These people are walking knowledge bases as well and they are MORE THAN HAPPY to share with you. Being around people who are better makes you rise to the occasion.