Updated: Oct 24
Five methods that can help you reclaim your fitness motivation
Welcome to the second instalment of Have You Lost Your Mo-Vo? In this article we will look at another five methods that you can use to rekindle the dwindling fires of fitness motivation.
Whenever you find yourself opting for the couch instead of the gym, a lie in instead of an early morning run, you will be able to use one of the motivational methods below to get inspired and get active.
Enough gab, let’s get on with it . . .
6) Get your kit on!
I owe thanks to a friend for this one. He said to me once, when I was lamenting over my lack of motivational willpower, ‘If ever you don’t feel like exercising here’s some advice that never fails. On those days when you’d rather face the firing squad than the treadmill just slip into your training kit and sit around the house. I give you ten minutes before you’re out the door and on the way to the gym.’
I must confess, when he told me this I could not hide the incredulous expression on my face. But by god it works – and every damn time too. Now I don’t profess to understand the complex science behind this technique, yet it somehow seems to exert a mysterious motivational force that just makes you want to exercise.
So here’s what you do. When you don’t feel like getting a sweat-on, get your kit-on instead and then merrily go about your business as normal; whether that’s doing the dishes, the dusting, or some other type of menial housework. Soon, very soon, the motivational monster will strike and you’ll find yourself itching to get active.
7) Motivation idols
‘Everyone,’ it is true to say, from time to time ‘needs a source of inspiration.’ Even our heroes had their heroes. But it is the ‘acts of others that inspire us to try new things, undertake challenges or simply do better than we thought possible.’
(Grout & Perrin, 2004)
If I were asked to identify the one individual who has provided me with the greatest source of exercise motivational inspiration I would without pause proudly vociferate the name: Bruce Lee. From my earliest memories his immense physicality, blinding athleticism and indomitable pertinacity have never failed to fire my ambition to strive for physical self-betterment. Even now, nearly twenty years on, when motivation starts to dwindle, watching a YouTube video of Bruce Lee competing at a martial arts tournament or a quick glance at a photo of his super chiselled physique are certain to top-up my diminishing stock of motivational fuel.
Now I’m not suggesting that we should subscribe to some perverse idol worshipping mentality where we carry around on our person a picture of our hero, pulling it out to gaze upon when motivation deserts us. Nor should they become a crutch against which we lean in times of despondency. Motivational idols are there to give us that little kick up the backside when we find ourselves reaching for the TV remote instead of the kettlebell.
8) Re-assess progress
We would be wise to cultivate the habit of reassessing our physical/physiological progress periodically throughout the year. This could be merely a matter of stepping on the scales to see if we’ve achieved that body weight target or having a look at how we shape up to those long term training goals we set six months back.
When we receive positive feedback it reinforces our initial decision which motivates us to keep going. But negative feedback, paradoxically, can also be positive. How?
Negative feedback informs us if we need to make adjustments, or it might be telling us that we need to ramp-up our commitment, or increase our work ethic. Either way, reassessing our progress can motivate us to strive for more . . . progress.
9) Create a structure, time-bound training programme
I must admit, if I haven’t got an up and coming training event scribbled somewhere on my calendar, I rarely sit down to create a training programme. The reason why I’ve never bothered to do this is because, quite simply, I’m motivated enough not to need to. Also, I’m quite possibly the most unscientific exercise professional in history.
However, for motivational purposes, a structured, time-bound training programme might be just the thing to help you keep up that ever deteriorating exercise regime. How do you create one then? Simple, access the Hungry4Fitness product page, and there you will be able to acquire either an 8, 10 or 12 week exercise programme and all of the tools to support you in your quest for improved fitness.
10) Change your routine often
Change my routine often! You were clearly running out of ideas at this point. Yes I cannot deny that this method of boosting motivation was, to use an Aesopian metaphor, like picking low hanging fruit. Yet I think you’d be surprised by how few people actually bother to change their exercise routine – maybe you can see your own training folly reflected in that sweeping statement.
I used to work in a gym – in fact I’ve worked in numerous gyms – so I can say with absolute confidence that a sizeable majority of gym goers are stuck in a perpetual groundhog day of repeating the same old routines. (Apparently people rarely change their repertoire of recipes and across any given year most of us won’t deviate from about five to seven different meals. Isn’t that sad!)
What can we take away from this? Something tautological I suppose; such as: humans are habit-addicted primates who abhor change. To break free from our entrenched habits requires enormous effort.
However, there are many methods available to us that can facilitate a smooth transition toward a training regime that can enable us to move beyond the bog we are currently stagnating in. We could, for example, purchase the Hungry4Fitness Book of Circuits Volume 1 or one of our excellent Exercise Programmes. There is, of course, the option of joining an exercise class. Whatever you do make sure it isn’t more of the same!
That concludes the second instalment of Have You Lost Your Mo-Vo? It is my sincere hope that at least one of the methods resonated with you; who knows, maybe even two did. Wouldn’t that be wonderful! I’d very much like to hear what methods of motivation you use to keep on keeping fit. So, if you’ve got a spare mo, email them over to email@example.com and if they’re any good I’ll use them when I write the next ten methods.
For those who didn't catch part one of Have You Lost Your Mo-Vo? follow the link: https://www.hungry4fitness.co.uk/post/lost-your-fitness-mo-vo
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(As we are very interested in user feedback at Hungry4Fitness, I would be very grateful if you could take a few seconds out of your day to leave a comment. Thanks in advance!)
Adam Priest is a former Royal Marines Commando, professional personal trainer, lecturer, boxing and Thai boxing enthusiast