We’ve all had days where we don’t want to go to the gym, you just can’t seem to get motivated to workout.
Even some of the most successful bodybuilders have discussed on their YouTube channels some of their strategies for motivating themselves. If a career in bodybuilding and a ton of sponsorships isn’t always enough to motivate someone to go to the gym then it makes sense that someone doing this on the side just to improve their physique would also feel unmotivated at times.
Whether you’ve had a long day at work or you are feeling tired it’s very common to want to skip the gym. Having said that, frequently missing workouts will impact your progress and will lead to further skipped workouts.
People generally don’t quit the gym outright – they start by missing a few workouts here and there and before they know it they haven’t been to the gym in over a month.
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Obviously you want to avoid falling into this trap and continue to make progress – so we’ve put together a list of tips on how to keep yourself motivated and going to the gym day in and day out.
8 Proven Ways To Get Motivated To Workout
These are our favorite and most proven ways increase your motivational levels for your workout.
Try them all or try a couple of them. We’re sure they’ll help you stay on schedule.
1 – Set Specific Goals for Yourself
This is probably the most important tip we can give you for boosting your motivation to go to the gym.
Unfortunately most people go to the gym with the vague goal of “getting in shape” or “building muscle” but they don’t know specifically what they want. As a result, they often sleepwalk through their workouts and are rarely focused on boosting their performance week after week.
Psychologically, if you don’t have a specific goal it can be difficult to motivate yourself to work hard because you simply don’t know what you are working towards!
Instead of going to the gym with the goal of “losing weight” replace it with a specific body fat percentage you want to reach and give a target date for that goal. When you make that shift you will find yourself working much harder and taking the necessary steps to achieving that target physique.
Having said that, your goals don’t need to be about fat loss. If you want to gain muscle make it your goal to gain x amount of muscle by a certain date. It will motivate you to track your workout progress, weigh yourself each week and take progress pictures – all crucial parts of a successful transformation program.
Think often about your goal and picture the way you will look and feel when you achieve it. This will motivate you to not only go to the gym but to power through those difficult workouts.
2 – Say You are Going for a Quick Workout
Going to the gym for a long, gruelling 90 minute workout can be tough to digest some days, particularly when you are tired or have a lot of other things on your plate.
It’s easy to talk yourself out of that proposition so what we recommend is to instead tell yourself you are only going for a quick workout. When you are feeling tired just tell yourself you are only going to do 10 minutes of cardio instead of the usual 30.
Once you get to the gym you will often find that you are able to go above that 10 minute mark and do your usual complete workout. You won’t be able to do this every time, of course, but even going to the gym for 10 minutes of cardio is better than nothing.
Remember, by getting yourself into the gym you are already ahead of the vast majority of the population.
3 – Workout with a Partner
This is a great tip for people who are creative at finding excuses for themselves not to go to the gym. With nobody to be accountable to, it’s easy to come up with some half-ass excuse and skip your workout.
However, if you have someone you normally go with explaining it to them is a lot more difficult. Your partner will detect when you are bullshitting and call you out on it. It helps if the person is just as motivated as you are. A lot of people turn down this idea because they don’t like working out with someone else.
After all, each person is unique and responds to exercises in different ways. In that case, you can still have a workout partner but each of you can do your own exercises.
The important thing is that you both go at the same time to hold each other accountable.
4 – Picture How You Will Feel After Going
This one always works for us.
I always say to myself that I have never regretted going to the gym. Never in my life have I gone to the gym and done a workout (no matter how bad it turned out to be) and thought to myself I wish I hadn’t gone.
That’s pretty powerful stuff.
Even the worst workout is better than not going and when all is said and done you will still be proud of yourself for going.
To take this one step further, you can also think about how you will feel if you don’t go. You’ll likely have to make up the workout on another day and you will feel guilty when you are back at home.
Your progress will suffer and you will have missed an opportunity to get one step closer to your goals.
5 – Reward Yourself
This one might sound silly but rewarding yourself can actually be a powerful motivator. For example, having a small treat after your workout or doing something that you normally wouldn’t allow yourself to do. Or even taking an Uber home instead of walking.
Anything to give yourself that extra motivation to do it. We do caution you not to use this tactic too often as it can sap your motivation to ever go to the gym unless you are getting something in return.
Having said that, it’s a good trick to get you to go to the gym when in a pinch.
6 – Listen to Music
We’ve all seen that video of Zyzz sitting in a car in the gym parking lot. They put on some music and you can see how pumped up he is getting. When the song finally hits the drop he jumps out of the car and runs into the gym.
We’re not saying you need to do this every time, but it just goes to show what a powerful motivator music can be. Put on some music that gets you pumped up and crank it.
Just be careful you don’t accidentally put on some Coldplay which will just put you to sleep. It also doesn’t hurt to load up some music onto your phone and listen while at the gym.
Again, music selection is key here!
7 – Try new supplements
I don’t know about you but everytime I buy a new pre-workout or a new flavor of protein powder I get more excited than my 5 year old niece on her birthday.
Trying new stuff has always helped me get my motivational levels back up.
8 – Put on your Workout Gear
This might sound stupid but it is surprisingly effective at getting you to leave the house and go to the gym. It triggers your mind to think that you are now in “gym” mode – a powerful first step. Once you take that first step the rest is easy.
After all, now that your gym clothes and shoes are on are you really going to change back into your lounging clothes?
We get it, going to the gym 4-5 times a week can be difficult particularly when you have a busy life. Full-time jobs (and the long commutes that go with them), kids, active social lives and school can easily sap up all of our time.
Having said that if improving your physique is important to you then make it a priority to get to the gym. Chances are if you are someone who has difficulty getting the motivation to go then you aren’t following all of the tips mentioned above.
Try implementing a few of them and we are sure you will find it a lot easier to stick to your commitment.