5 Ways to Increase Motivation for the Gym

As someone who’s been in a gym setting for close to 10 years, I know that sometimes the motivation just isn’t there. Whether you are just starting out, or if you’re a veteran to the gym there will be times when motivation is lacking. The key is to not just accept this and stay home for the day. I mean half the battle is just showing up, once you’re there it’s not as hard to get in the groove.

There are many ways that people can increase their motivation, some you may already do and just don’t realize it. I’m going to explore a couple of these methods that will get you itching to head to the gym.


Everyone knows that music can affect your mood, either in a positive or negative way. When we want to be sad we throw on something depressing, or when we want to shake our booty on the dance floor, we try” to play something with a good beat. The gym is no different.

If you’ve been to a gym before, you’ve probably noticed everyone wrapped up in headphones listening to music. Who knows what they’re listening to, but whatever it may be is probably helping them stay motivated.

So, use some music to get your motivational juices flowing. One way I use this is by sitting down, and creating a playlist specifically for that workout. If I need to be motivated to go into the gym and just wreck shop, I’ll tailor a playlist around that and throw it on in the house while I’m getting ready for the gym. I mean who can’t get pumped up with some ACDC blaring in their face?

The point is to take music and use it to psychologically alter your motivation and mood.

New Clothes

I must be honest I’ve had a lot of the same workout clothes for quite some time now. But, if one thing is for certain, every time that I’ve gotten a new set of clothes for the gym I can’t wait to wear them. So if you need to go out shopping, find a nice outfit that really makes you feel good and swole. I can promise that you’ll actually look forward to the gym.

If you work out early in the morning, set the outfit out and have it ready for the morning. You’ll almost wake up excited to throw your new shirt on and go flaunt it.

I’ve also had the same success when I get a new gym gadget or piece of equipment. I treated myself one year and got myself a really nice lifting belt, and all I could think about was getting up the next day and breaking it in. There’s just something motivating when there is something different or new about your normal routine.

Shoes are good as well. Having a workout in new shoes is always a nice feeling. Plus, you get to show off something shiny to your gym friends.

Change It Up

One thing that may lower your motivation is monotony. As humans we tend to get bored or fed up when we do the same thing over and over again. Because of this, sometimes the slightest change can bring about a new and exciting stimulus, especially at the gym. You may keep your goals the same, but you can always switch things up for a week or two. For example if you go to the gym and do the same thing everyday, why not add in some variation? Let’s say you always back squat, well why not switch to learning the front squat for a while? This is stimulating because you’re learning a new skill, and also getting to do something different from your normal everyday routine.

You may have lost motivation from lack of progress in the gym. For the ones who follow the same workout day in and day out, at some point you’re going to stop getting results from that stimulus. You’ve either got to switch it up or make it harder. You could hire a coach, or just do your own research, but find a way to set up something different. If you only work on getting jacked, then maybe it is time to stop and switch to more of a strength focus.

Buddy System

Being self-motivating can be hard sometimes, but you don’t have to be alone. You can outsource some motivation by getting a gym buddy. If you find the right person this can benefit you both tremendously. You will have someone who not only can spot you and motivate you, but they’ll also hold you accountable. There’s nothing more motivating than your friend texting you or calling you and turning your excuse into wasted breath.

Having a friend to workout with is nice especially if you receive energy and motivation from other people. Some people feed off of that social interaction and it can help them find what they need to get in the gym.

Be wary however, do not pick a gym partner who is going to bring you down or make you do stupid things. Gym partners are best when they’re around the same fitness level as you and understand that while some socializing is okay, that you didn’t come to hangout. I’ve seen people lose progress at the gym by having a bad lifting partner and een get injured. That kind of person may create motivation for you to get to the gym, but when you get there it’s all talky and not lifty. Or they try to make you do something ridiculous that could end up causing an injury.

Track Your Progress

Yes, the mirror and the scale are nice to look at when looking for progress. But, sometimes you may not even notice the little changes that happen over time. Most people look at the big and fast results like rapid weight loss for affirmation as to being successful. However, if you would track your little progresses like waist size, cholesterol, strength, or any other factor besides weight and looks; you would be surprised to see a lot changes.

These mini successes can lead to a lot of motivation for an individual. I’ve always seen motivation as something that can grow inside of you slowly, and then be released when you finally notice what you’ve stockpiled. I don’t regularly track myself with photos often, especially when powerlifting. I did however, take a picture from years ago when I thought I was a bodybuilder and compared it to myself now and wow was that motivating. You see all these changes that you didn’t even realize. For example, I’m bigger, stronger, and heavier than before and somehow look better. That very motivating and I wasn’t even tracking it to take notice of it all this time.

Point is that your own successes can be your biggest motivator when striving to get better. Look at how far you’ve come and know that if you could do that, then your for sure can get better.

Now Go Do it!

Hopefully this article was interesting, but it is only going to be useful if you go out and use it. Start tomorrow, go shopping for a new gym fit, and call up a buddy for a workout. See where that takes you motivation wise. Heck, just reading about motivation in this article may subconsciously motivate you!

Originally published at cntsystems.net on August 13, 2018.



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