This is the latest blog post from Mark Cosgrove – competitor in the 2013 Miami Pro Fitness Model category. Here he shares his tips on motivation – what motivates him, how he creates the right mindset for the gym and what keeps him going when he is tired or not in the mood.
Have a read and see how you can apply these tips to your own life and training…
Going to the gym can be tough. I’m lucky because I really do love training. I find it harder to not train than I do to train. I know that to achieve my dreams I must be absolutely relentless in the pursuit of them. I know a lot of people look at the gym or exercise as a chore, or even feel they have to go rather than want to.
Staying motivated is the key to maintaining a regular routine. The problem is however, that this is easier said than done. Everyone is different, we are all motivated by different things so the secret is finding what works for you.
I’ll share a few things that motivate me and suggest a few that may motivate you. Hopefully one of the two will help you getting into a routine, sticking with it and most importantly enjoy the time you spend in the gym.
Music is a powerful thing. It can take you back to a memory in an instant, it can make you feel all kinds of emotions, happy, sad, angry, euphoric. Depending on what I’m training I choose different types of music. For a heavy day, training legs, for example, I listen to metal. This isn’t a genre of music I’m into on a personal level, however I find it works for me when I need to shift heavy weights. It’s makes me angry!
I also like orchestral type music on these days. Nothing ‘soft’ more epic style. For example the movie 300 has a track I listen to…
Most of the others are the same. This kind of stuff really motivates me. I wouldn’t listen to this stuff whilst performing cardio, it doesn’t work for me, it may for you but I like more BPM when doing this. Dance music is great, the fast paced music is an obvious reason.
Like I said, everyone is different so have a look around, try a few playlists. Everyone has a few songs they know they can rely on to get them motivated, get them in there! I can honestly say that without a few of the play lists I have, my workouts wouldn’t be no where near as intense as they are.
I watch a lot of inspirational/motivational videos on YouTube – not necessarily before I train, but when I have time. This type of thing really appeals to me. I’m sure most people have seen certain movies or clips where a character is making a speech of some kind and felt as if they were there, felt as if they want to go out to war with them, or play the final game or whatever it may be. Save that enthusiasm and take it to the gym! Just search on YouTube, there’s hundreds of them about.
There’s a few for this one for me that work. The main being my goal. My goal motivates me! It has kept me going from the second I started training and still does today. It’s something I constantly think about. If I wake up and feel tired and sore or if I’m training and things get hard, which they do, I just think of why I started all this in the first place!
I picture myself being where I want to be. Every single day!
Anyone can use this. We are all training for a reason all of which will be different, but, we all have the same thing in common. That goal! The finish line! We are all moving towards it, some faster than others but we are all going forward. Picturing yourself hitting that goal, in my opinion, is more motivational and inspirational than anything else.
Not a single person likes losing, the feeling of winning is more euphoric than anything. Reaching that goal IS winning. That’s the main goal of course but who wouldn’t want little wins a long the way!?
Setting weekly goals or monthly goals is another way to keep you motivated. Goals are made with one thing in mind, smashing them! In my opinion, all goals should be attainable. A new PB on a certain lift in 2 weeks time is doable. 3 pounds weight loss in 2 weeks is realistic. A faster 5K than last month can be done.
These may seem easy to some, but why wouldn’t they be? Setting a target you know you can hit with hard work is only going to do you good. All these little goals will eventually lead to the big win and that’s what it’s all about!
Photos are another tool you can you use to stay motivated or even becoming motivated. I know a few people who have seen a picture of themselves, not liked what they have seen and decided to change things.
Having someone else around whilst training can be a huge help. I personally can train with or with out a partner and still get a good session in regardless.
I do know that training with someone for most people is a must. Having the correct partner is the most important thing – you can’t just train with anyone. You want somebody around who pushes you and someone who is somewhat competitive, not someone who is going to talk to you the whole workout and not give any encouragement.
Remember you’re there to work hard not socialise. You have another 23 hours of the day to fit that in!
Your training partner doesn’t have to be of the same sex either. I train regularly with a girl and it works fine for us. We both do the exact same exercises, nothing changes. That’s how it should be. They also need to be reliable, the last thing you want or need is for your training partner to call you last minute and tell you thy can’t make it. That’s not to say you can’t train alone!
You can probably tell from my Facebook updates that I like quotes. I think words can be so powerful and if you sit and think about what they actually mean they can give you that little push you need to get started on your goals or to carry on pursuing them. Good quotes to me are the ones that provoke action, they make you want to get up and start something new or give you the push you need to carry on.
Whatever it is that motivates you, make sure you surround yourself with those things daily. Surround yourself with positive people. People that win! People that strive for success in everything they do. It rubs off! I try to do this as much as I can and it helps me out. The last thing you need is negativity. Not just when it comes down to training but in life in general.
I really do believe that anyone can be what they want. Who’s going to stop you? Only you and your mindset.
“you can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.” ? Stephen King
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