I’m about to say something that is far from mind-blowing: Working out is extremely good for you. Hundreds, if not thousands, of studies have shown how incredible it is for you, both mentally and physically.
We all know this, and yet too many people have a very difficult time working out. They make excuses about being busy, too tired, and more, but it really just comes down to one thing: Lack of Motivation.
Here are 15 tips and techniques to motivate yourself to workout. Although these relate to fitness, they can also be applied to other areas of life (studying, finishing projects, etc).
1. Workout at the Same Time Everyday
Scheduling is important, and working out everyday at the same time can really help keep you in check. For example, I workout everyday around 1-ish pm (basically mid-day). This has always been the best time for me and my schedule, but everyone is different. Pick a solid time and stick to it, although there is one time that seems to work really well…
2. Workout in the Morning
Studies have shown that people have the easiest time sticking to a fitness schedule when it’s in the morning. Not only do you start your day off with a solid workout, but now if something comes up later in the day it doesn’t matter – you already worked out. Like I said above, morning workouts aren’t my thing, but I know tons of people who workout in the morning and love it.
3. Start Small
In Robert Maurer’s book One Small Step Can Change Your Life, he talked about a unique psychological strategy called The Kaizen Way. Here’s the technique: Start extremely small, and work your way up. For example, to help people with flossing, he says focus on only flossing one tooth every day. Obviously, if you’re going to floss one tooth, you might as well floss the rest.
With fitness, focus on something small. 10 Push-ups everyday, or 25 sit-ups every day. Just getting yourself into the groove of constantly working out can really ingrain a solid pattern.
4. It will get easier
This may or may not help you, but for me, I always remind myself that once I get into a pattern it’s hard to stop. For example, working out in the beginning may seem impossible, but remind yourself that after a week or two you’ll look forward to working out, as oppose to dreading it.
5. Start Changing (Literally)
If you just need an extra push, start by just getting ready to workout. Put on sweatpants, your workout shirt, fill up your water bottle, etc. Just by putting on the right clothes and starting there can slowly get you in the right state of mind to start working out.
6. Take a Pre-Workout
Pre-Workout supplements really get you amped up, so if you’re not in the mood to workout, just by taking some can really rev you up. My favorite it Optimum Nutrition’s Pre-Workout, as it has everything you need to be fully energized. If you’re not a fan of pre-workout, coffee or tea also works wonders in just getting you in an upbeat mood.
7. Workout at Home
I’m a huge fan of bodyweight workouts, because not only are they extremely good for you, but they can be done anywhere. In a huge survey, it was found that a huge factor of how much someone works out is how far the gym is from their home. If you need to start somewhere, you can check out my videos of a Home Arm Workout and a Home Ab Workout. It’s also not a bad idea to invest in some Adjustable Dumbbells, as they can greatly improve your home workout.
8. Group vs. Individual
By having a workout group, you can motivate each other to get to the gym. When your feeling down, your friend can pick you up, and vice versa.
Everyone is different, so test and see what works for you. For example, I actually find I’m better off working out alone when I’m weightlifting/strength training, but better in a group when I do Parkour.
9. Mix it Up
If you only did 100 push-ups every day there’s a good chance you would get bored of it. Mixing up your workouts not only will keep it interesting but it’s also better for you because your body is constantly pushing itself and can’t full adapt. Use different machines, try different moves, and make it interesting every time you go into the gym.
10. Personal Training
It’s not a bad idea to buy a personal training package if you really need a huge kick to get going. It’s going to be expensive – fair warning – but as a result it can really motivate you to get to the gym. Not only that, but like I said perviously, a good personal trainer knows how to mix it up to always give you the best workout.
11. Fun Activities
Like I’ve mentioned briefly so far, I do Parkour and Free Running. I’ve been doing it for roughly 5+ years now, and it’s hands down my favorite physical activity to do. The craziest part about Parkour is that not only is it an incredible workout, it’s also extremely fun. Even after years of training, it’s incredible to me that it’s both unbelievably fun and yet such a good workout.
Now maybe Parkour isn’t your thing, but look at various activities to see which ones you might like. I’ve been recently getting into Acro Yoga, and not only is it fun and challenging, your also getting a workout at the same time.
12. Upbeat Music
It’s no surprise that listening to upbeat music can naturally energize you. In case you didn’t know, I’m a DJ and Music Producer, so you can download all my songs for free here: Freccero Soundcloud. Most of my songs are upbeat electronic tracks, so they’re perfect for getting ready for the gym (and crushing your workout!).
13. Put your Money where your Mouth is
There are apps and sites like Pact and stickK where you put down your credit card, and if you don’t accomplish your goal, it will actually charge you. You can select your own plans, as this is an excellent way to really motivate yourself. Money – especially the idea of losing it – can really push yourself to get to the gym and workout.
14. Get Excited
This is a huge one for me personally – I feel like too many people dread going to the gym and hate the thought of it. One great technique is to retrain your thinking and get excited to go to the gym. Train yourself to get pumped up, regardless of how you actually feel. Fake it until you make it can really come into play here, as just by faking that your really excited to workout can get yourself moving. This works well, especially combined with the last tip…
15. What’s your WHY
Last, but definitely not least, what’s your WHY. This is the MOST important technique on this list, so I wanted to save it for last. Various people have different motivations: Life longer, stay healthier, be able to eat what you want, getting ready for a photoshoot, looking better/more attractive, and more. Think of your main motivations and reasons for working out, and focus on them when you don’t feel like going to the gym. Your WHY’s are going to drive your harder than anything else, and they’ll always keep you going.