Motivation itself is undoubtedly the most profound and underlying reason that will decide success in and out of the gym. Whether you are wanting to lose weight, gain muscle, or just get fit, being highly motivated can make you break barriers that you thought were once indestructible. I have seen this in my own life, and so will you as long as you do so intrinsically.
Intrinsic motivation is defined as motivation derived from the pure reward and/or contentment you feel from the task itself. In other words, you are motivated purely because you truly enjoy what you are doing. Don't get intrinsic motivation confused with extrinsic motivation, which is based mostly on superficial aspects (such as appearance).
Extrinsic motivation isn't entirely a bad thing, but for true long-term fitness adherence, intrinsic motivation is bar none the more effective type of motive to have.
10 Ways to Increase Your Intrinsic Motivation
#1 Find Exercises That You Enjoy
This may be the most significant way of all to increase your intrinsic motivation. Too many times I see people performing exercises that they HATE, because they were told somewhere along the line that these exercises may be the “best” for them. Doing this will only lead to a wasted gym membership and a deflated sense of hope on your journey to reaching your goals. Try to find exercises or alternatives to exercises that you may not be particularly fond of and find a way to make them more appealing to you. Working out shouldn't be all about “work”. It should also be fun!
#2 Workout to Music
Working out to music can be a huge game changer for you! I can remember on countless times where I unfortunately found myself walking into a dead quiet gym. I don't know if you have ever experienced such an atrocity, but if you have, then I send you my dearest condolences. So, blare up your stereo or iPod and get to training!
#3 Train With a Buddy
Having a friend right there with you can greatly increase your gym self-efficacy and adherence! It can make working out feel more like a social outing, instead of an undesirable chore. In addition to these awesome benefits, your training partner can also help push you to workout harder. Training alone can be difficult for a lot of people and lead them to having poor workouts. Having someone there to help motivate you and pump you up can help take this unneeded vice away instantly.
#4 Set Realistic Goals
Make sure and set realistic goals for yourself. It is very easy to get an idea in your head of what you aspire to look like or what fitness level you wish to achieve that may be unrealistic, whether genetically or time-wise. Don't rush into things. If you train and eat right, the fruits of your labor will be reflected as such.
#5 Make Training Convenient
Most people say that they don't have enough time to workout and that exercise is merely an inconvenience for them, especially after a hard day's work. If this sounds like you, then train on the weekend or before you go to work. Depending on where you live and the commute to your job or school, try walking or riding a bike there instead of driving. Regardless of the method you choose, try to make training more convenient for you and realize that it isn't only there to improve your physique, but it is also very important for your health as well.
“Don’t let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning.” – Robert KiyosakiTweet This!
#6 Try a Class
Try taking a spin class or yoga class. Being surrounded by a large group of people who share the same or similar fitness goals as you will help motivate you and make your overall experience much more fun and inviting. This brings us back to #3 “Training With a Buddy“. Don't underestimate the power of camaraderie!
#7 Use Your Favorite Techniques
If you love using drop sets, do drop sets. If you love doing fartlek training, do fartlek training. If you love high intensity training, then do just that. And so on and so on. To truly increase your intrinsic motivation, you have to do exercises and techniques that you truly enjoy. I'm not saying to idly go through the motions, wasting your time. I'm talking about putting forth your best efforts all while performing your favorite exercises!
#8 Workout Outside
Try working out outside for a change. If it's a beautiful day out, skip the treadmill and hit up the local parks. The fresh air and scenery will make the task a much more enjoyable one! Nothing can be more boring than a repetitive daily treadmill cardio routine.
#9 Don't Overwork Yourself
This can happen to the best of us, and happens often I would say so myself. It is so easy to be overly excited about all the amazing results that you hope to see and end up burning yourself out within the first couple of weeks. Instead, save that intense desire you have deep within you for the time you're actually in the gym. Give your mind a rest when you're not training, as well as your body with proper rest and nutrition.
#10 Determine Your True Purpose
Before you even walk into a gym, you should have developed a legitimate purpose for your efforts. Ask yourself “why?”. “Why am I going to put my body through this intense effort?” Once you find your true purpose for training, only then shall you begin to develop intrinsic motivation and be on the path to accomplishing your ambitions.
Author Bio: Thomas Hlubin
When I was little I was as skinny as a rake, but at the ripe old age of 18, I started lifting weights seriously. I trained and competed as a natural bodybuilder in the SNBF and NANBF organizations, placing 4th in the novice men middleweight division at the 2012 Atlanta SNBF Championships. A year later, I competed and placed 2nd in the collegiate men division at the 2013 NANBF Natural Southern States Classic in St. Louis, Missouri. That solidified my goal to help others achieve greater levels of fitness. Today, I'm an avid blogger focused on creating content to help people improve their physical and mental health. For more of my work, check out my website Disorders.net to get information on how to improve your mental health.