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Monday, November 13, 2017

Is Exercising Easy? Nope. Worth It? Absolutely.


Even the buffest, most trim and in shape of people suffer from a sudden loss gym-spiration from time to time, so don’t worry if you’ve found your exercise mojo has dropped faster than a metal bell through deep water. Hitting the gym requires time, effort, dedication, health and a whole host of other variables that need to be in order. If one of these starts to waver then the rest will topple; that’s what makes staying motivated so tough. It is as much a mental battle as it is a physical one.

But no matter how much your get-up-and-go may be depleted, your lack of motivation is not what you should be focussing on; it’s what happens next that matters most. With that in mind, we recently asked members of the Body-Buildin community what they do to stay motivated, whether it be after an injury, trying to break through a wall on their way to a heavier lift or just trying to make it through a tough workout.

Read on to see the amazing tips and tricks they shared with us. Chances are, they’re going to help you fall back in love with all things gym.


1. Keep A Diary, Man

Anyone that has ever created a vision board will know just how motivating it is to see your goals on a daily basis. Well, the same principle goes for seeing how far you’ve come. Hitting the gym in order to build muscle, lose weight or tone up certain areas can be a long, slow and almost invisible process, which is where a diary really comes into its own. You will be able to see just how far you have come in black and white. It could be noting down how far you’re able to run, how much you are able to lift or taking a photo of yourself before every session. Seeing that you are actually improving is a great motivator; it makes you strive to achieve more. Success breeds success, so make sure you see exactly what successes you have had.

2. Write How You Felt

Sticking with the diary-thing for a moment, another great tip that many of the people we spoke to shared was this idea of writing down how you feel after each workout. Make this part of your routine. Why? Because you’ll find in those moments where motivation is somewhat lacking, you’ll have a file of letters you wrote to yourself that detail just how amazing you felt after getting stuck in. It may have been a five-mile run, an interval training session or an hour of just maxing out your strength; whatever it is, by remembering just how amazing you felt after a session you’ll be compelled to hunt that feeling down again.

3. A Gym That Does More

Hitting a gym can become a remarkably tedious process, especially if all they offer is weights room with a few different cardio machines. However, if you find a gym that offers more than just this, you’ll find that you have more reason to go, which is a hugely important factor in boosting your motivation. So, have a look at your local gym’s websites, see which offers what and then look for the ‘sign up here’ page on your chosen one. Having a great gym space is crucial, there’s no denying that. But having a gym that has 24-hour access, classes on offer, a smoothie bar, sauna, kids club, tanning booths and a massage salon is going to really amp up your chances of walking through their doors, and that is half the battle.


4. Trick yourself Into It

That’s right. Trick yourself into going. Now, this may sound totally impossible, but there are in fact ways you can do this and one of the most popular is only washing your hair on days where you have worked out. This is a great way to force yourself into hitting the gym (if you have hair, that is) because it’s that or face the ridicule of your peers for having greasy locks. Another neat little trick on this front is to get changed into your workout gear. Even if you really can’t be bothered to workout, pop on your gear. Trust us, you’ll feel like a knob pretty quick if you have to get changed out of your running gear when you haven’t even been for a run. Trust us on that one. 

5. Group Classes Totally Work

One of the oldest and bestest tricks in the motivation handbook is the group class. You have more reason to go than just yourself. You go because you want to see the other people in the class, and the instructor for that matter. You want to go because you don’t want to have to explain that you were too lazy to turn up last week. But more than anything, you find that your motivation levels pique while you are there because the energy in a group is what keeps pushing you on, even when you feel that niggling urge to quit. No one wants to be that person in a group that quits and leaves early. No one. It’s like the group atmosphere holds you accountable, and that is what will see you achieve so much more than you would if you were just working out on your own. 

6. Use The Buddy-Up System

Find that friend, coworker, family member or gym-acquaintance that has similar goals as you do and then work together to reach those dreams. Being part of a two-person team is a great way to stay motivated and encourage one another to keep pushing. You help each other. You celebrate each other’s successes and help them overcome their moments of weakness. You end up working harder for longer, and you develop another kind of bond. That, and if you do try and skip out on a session, the guilt will start to eat away at you big time; you haven’t just let yourself down, you’ve let your buddy down too. There are only two of you, so if you call it quits one day then they are left on their lonesome. That can be quite the motivating factor to throw into the mix. 


7. Listen To Something

As great as the gym radio may be, it probably isn’t quite to your taste. We are all different. We all go through different moods and that means we all have different music choices that will motivate us better than others at different times. Realise this and use it. Create some playlists on iTunes that will help you get pumped up depending on your moods or find some Spotify workout playlists that will do the same thing while also introducing you to music. It could be hip-hop, heavy metal, electro-punk or classical music; so long as it gets you going you can’t go wrong. Of course, it doesn’t have to be music you listen to. It could be that you pop on an audiobook while you are running, or you could find a podcast that you can’t stop listening too. Either way, if you have something dancing on your brain that makes you want to keep going then your body will follow suit. You’ll also find yourself hitting the gym the next day to see just how the story plays out or hear the next chapter on your podcast.

8. Use Instagram To Boost Ya

We live in a day and age where Instagram rules the roost. A lot of the time it can have a negative impact on your psychology. You are comparing your behind the scenes footage to another person’s highlight reel, which tends to have a detrimental effect. However, you can use it to motivate you too. It could be following a few people that always post gym-selfies, the kind of images that show you what hard work can achieve, or it could be that you use your exercising to post your own photos. It could be your progress you document on Instagram, or you could take a more scenic route on your next run and put up some photos along the way. Either way, there is another element to enjoy.


9. Run Like Your Life Depends On It

If you’re a fan of jumping down the rabbit hole of exercise blogs, then you’ve probably heard of the app Zombies, Run! If you haven’t, though, you need to stop reading this article (as soon as you’ve finished, obviously) and then head to whatever app store you are using, download this genius motivator and then store it on your home screen somewhere. The reason why is simple: nothing is going to make you run harder for longer than the sound of the walking dead groaning in your ear. It could be that you use this on your next cardio day, or it could be that you use it to motivate you while you lift weights - the stronger you are the more zombies you can take down, right? This thing really does work.