Motivation to Exercise: A few thoughts.
Motivation eh? That magic feeling that all too often, we claim to lack.
Later in the article I’ll share how I maintain my motivation to exercise, but first a few points on motivation to exercise generally.
So here’s the thing about motivation…
We create our environment by choosing what we allow to enter our world – who we spend time with, what we watch, what we eat, where we go, what we do etc.
Our environment shapes our mindset and our mindset shapes our behaviours, including whether or not we feel any motivation to exercise.
As it happens, I’ve got a couple of thoughts on motivation to exercise
1. I believe motivation to exercise is transient. It comes and goes.
‘Fit’ people aren’t always full of motivation to exercise. They just do it because exercise is part of who they are. It’s what they do, whether they feel like it or not, because not exercising will make them feel crap. They do it because they have to.
You’re not always motivated to go to work, are you? You just do it anyway. You do it because you have to.
The point here is that sometimes, you do things whether you want to or not. You don’t wait for motivation.
2. I believe motivation to exercise can be created.
As I said at the start of the email, we shape our mindset by what influences we expose ourselves to – this can be positive or negative. Surround yourself with negativity, doubt and people who drain your energy and you’ll probably follow suit.
Surround yourself with people who make you better, who are a positive influence and you’ll find yourself living at a higher standard. You’ll hold yourself to account – your habits will improve to keep up with those you surround yourself with.
It’s part of how personal training works – you are accountable to the trainer. You have a reason to work harder and eat better and as a result you will improve your fitness faster.
It’s not a coincidence that people often reach their strongest whilst having their workouts programmed by a trainer.
You also have motivation to exercise taken care of for you. If you have booked a training session, you’ll be turning up whether you feel motivated or not.
Anyway, I promised I share how I maintain my motivation to exercise. There are two ways…
1. I train with a training partner (well, he’s currently recovering from surgery but he’ll be back soon), which helps me to train hard even on the days when I have less in the tank so to speak.
2. The second one is really simple – I watch fitness videos on YouTube. I’ll usually do this when I’m cooking, doing some admin, playing with the kids. I’ll just have them on in the background.
Recently I’ve been paying more attention to them though because I’ve been watching Russian and Chinese weightlifting documentaries.
No, I don’t speak a word of Russian or Mandarin (yes, I’m the kind of person who watches training videos in foreign languages), but I’m watching them for technique and training tips. They’re helpful to me.
The point is, when you’ve seen a few people working hard and pushing themselves in the gym, it really motivates you to do some exercise (or it makes me feel like training anyway!)
Here are a couple of YouTube fitness channels I find inspirational…
Dmitry Klokov He’s a Russian weightlifter. His videos aren’t in English and there are a few bad ones, but you’ll find a few weightlifting gems.
CrossFit This is a great channel for videos on a variety of workouts. 99% of the people featured are high performing, look great and train in a variety of interesting ways. All in English too.
Oh by the way, I have a little channel where I share a few mini-clips of training. I couldn’t even tell you how many videos I have on there, I just put them up occasionally!
Anyway, if you’re struggling for motivation to exercise – give the videos a try and see if it helps. It certainly helps me!