How to Motivate Yourself to go to the Gym

Posted on 10. Jan, 2009 by in Exercise

It is the cold season once again and when sickness hits you, you’re more likely to miss workouts. While I was on the verge of getting a cough and cold on top of an upset stomach on Wednesday, I decided to skip my usual Thursday workout. In this case, I didn’t feel bad about missing my gym workout because I knew that my body needed some rest to recuperate so that it does not give in to sickness.

Missing that workout meant one thing for me, I would have to make it up somehow within this week. So, today I got my butt to the gym and hammered the workout like there’s no tomorrow.  It hasn’t been that difficult for me (lately) to motivate myself to go to the gym because I’ve gotten used to doing it (although I hate going to the gym on Fridays – it’s the end of the week and all I want to do is relax).  But, when I first started out, it was so tough to do that. I usually end up missing 1-2 workouts a week which pretty much as good as not going.

So, tonight I look back at my train of thought when I try to motivate myself to go to the gym.

Visualization

You’ve probably heard of this strategy over and over again but it’s a strategy worth mentioning.  I visualize myself having the abs that I’ve always wanted.  Specifically, I want some abs that I wouldn’t mind showing off in a nice bikini while vacationing somewhere exotic.  I don’t want six-pack abs.  I’m ok with a little pouch in my lower abs just not a balloon!  Being specific really helps out a lot here because it makes the image more clear in your head which makes you want it even more.

Accountability

Before I went to bed yesterday, I wrote in my online workout log in the TT Members Forumthat I was going to make up for my workout tonight. Knowing in the back of my mind that I have people to be accountable to and are waiting for me to deliver my promises really does make me want to fulfill this particular promise.  The same goes for nutrition as well but that is a totally different story which will require a LOT more posts.

One Workout at a Time

This is a big motivator for me.  My mindset right now is this: each workout that I perform leads me closer to my goals, help me burn more fat, and makes me stronger.  On the other hand, each workout that I miss sets me back.  Now, if you have a deadline such as a transformation contest or maybe you set one for yourself, time is ticking!  Another reason may be that you want to wear that smaller size bikini or a hot looking wet suit by summer. Whatever your reason is, a deadline helps a lot. 

Post-workout Shake

Many scientific studies have proven that eating/drinking foods with a combination of carbohydrates and protein help your body recover from an intense workout especially if they’re consumed at 2-3 hours after it.  So, I make myself a nice strawberry, banana, and chocolate protein powder smoothie (ala Jamba Juice) which I look forward to every now and then.  Even a cup of low-fat chocolate milk is a satisfying reward after a nice gym session. Be creative by making a smoothie concoction of your own with your favorite fruits and protein powder. The possibilities are endless!

I can tell you many other things that I use to motivate myself to go to the gym but the point is to find a process that works for you.  While some people can wake up one day and decide that they’re not going to miss one workout for the next 3 months, most people (like me) had to go through a long process of developing these mindsets.  It isn’t impossible but it definitely is not easy.

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