T Nation

How To Motivate


I was thinking what to say when people say they want to get in shape but are daunted by what they see as back-breaking workouts and eating alfalfa and only drinking mineral water.

I think many people can feel that the basics of fitness are what "other" people do, different people, people filled with a determination so fierce that it could level mountains.

The thing is I don't think if you were to somehow measure my determination it would be off the scale. Like most of here I think I enjoy it all. Maybe not the eating part, as if really healthy food isn't put right in front of my damn face I'll eat poorly sometimes, but the exercise is rewarding and fulfilling and I noticed that I don't really need to motivate myself in the sense that I need to convince myself that I MUST DO THIS kind of thing.

So the main point of this is I was thinking the best way to get people we know that are genuine about getting in shape but think they're not the right kind of person is I compare it to a movie or TV show that you formerly didn't watch and perhaps thought it was stupid, but then you saw that movie or TV show and noticed that yeah...that show is pretty good! You've now converted. You're no longer on the outside of that thing, you're inside and enjoying it.
I know that's kind of weird way to describe to people how it feels but I think it's a good one.

I had this for The Lord of the Rings novels. In the 80s before I read them I said to people when it came up that it sounded like a bunch of goofy fairy crap with magical elves and shit. Then I finally read the first book before the first movie came out and am now a believer so to speak.

I really think that many people think that exercise is hard work that will feel like the work they already do from 9 to 5 and don;t want to do any more.

I get up at 5:30Am to go to the gym and I know how that sounds to the people I work with when you tell them you've already been up for 4 hours and lifted and run a few miles. But I try not to let them see it as that big of a deal. I mean you can sort of just say "Yeah, well I'm just that cool." after they say that but I won't do that.

But I've also thought this: How many magazines are devoted to digging ditches? How many people will pay about fifty bucks a month to dig ditches? But we will do that for exercise.
Sorry to go on so long but it was an idea I had that might be a good thing to try to tell to those you love this new year.



[quote]Nards wrote:

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^^ Laughed my ass off!!!


I got into working out because my best friend pushed me into it. I don't remember what he said, but he insisted a lot and it finally worked. I had lots of misinformation in my mind and some fears, but I have to say that it finally went well.

I think that pictures have more strength than words though, so maybe showing a picture and say "This is attainable for YOU" could start doing something...but it's really hard to get someone to do something he/she doesn't want...


When I introduce people I know to lifting weight and eating better I make it fun for them.

Its about having fun, really. The general population only want to feel good. That's why they don't train to begin with. There's too much of a hardcore image of people who work out and it doesn't have to be that way.

You have to ease them into it

I like to do it over a few weeks

Week one may be teaching cleans and doing singles with bumper plates for an hours or so

While at the same time laughing at a guy who is grunting loudly or just fucking around in general

After that I will take them grocery shopping to show them what to buy...then we cook together

Seeing how I can make clean meals taste like dirty ones while spend less on them hooks them a litlle more

That first week is all singles on the big lifts

Week 2 have them do double or triples

At the end of week three they should be getting comments on appearance improvements...from other nonlifters. That'll hook them further

The next week they'll be stronger and have more endurance so a push for 5x5 is the next step

They come back when its fun and show them just how much more they will be allowed to eat and not feel guilty about it

Show them the asses of the women in the gym....that's enough for me to keep coming back lol


I just tell people that working out and eating right and that sort of thing is more a lifestyle change, or at least a significant adjustment, more than anything else. I tell them that being healthy and looking good isn't for everyone and that people like me need fat slobs like them around so that my dashing good looks, machine-like metabolism and super-human strength don't become devalued.

I'm not sure if this inspires anyone to work out or not, but I don't really care. The worse everyone around me looks, the better I come across. Most of my friends look like they got skull-fucked by a lead pipe, which really elevates the way others perceive me in a way that satisfies my rampant ego. I'm a narcissist whose vanity has its roots in childhood rejection and athletic failures at the Division 1 level, with a large dose of embarrassing, less-than flattering episodes involving expensive cocaine, cheap whiskey and feces in my younger days. The fact that I can still surround myself with complete monsters that make me look like a cross between Steve McQueen, Miles Davis and God is all that I have left in life.


Wait, you think I'm ugly?


You can't create motivation. You can spark and feed it but motivation is an intrinsic force.

Usually people I know who find the motivation to work out will ask me or other buddies for tips as they go.

I just answer their questions and give the why behind the what so they can start thinking for themselves. I don't jump in unless I see them doing something dangerous.

As others mentioned, when they start seeing gains, they are hooked.

Just be an example, not a soap box preacher unless asked.


I have to agree with Rock. Once you start getting compliments from people who actually DON'T lift, it's one of the most rewarding things you could ever hear. I blow a gasket every time somebody tells me, "Damn, you got big." Or, "You got a lot bigger from the last time I saw you." It's because I know that the hard work has paid off, and it's extremely gratifying.

But like HoustonGuy said, you can't create motivation.

This video is probably the most straight forward on the subject.



I thought that YOU thought the same way about me, hence our business relationship. I always kind of assumed I was the guy you kept around to make YOU look better. I put up with it because I like to be seen in the presence of large, hulking black men. It validates me in more ways than surrounding myself with people far worse-looking than me does.


No,man. I only roll with equally beautiful people or better. Why on earth would I want some ugly fuck hanging around me? I get sexual urges and the last thing I want sitting next to me is a Sam Cassel lookalike.


When I first got started I read a sentence on the 'couch to 5k' website that said amongst all the other crap it was saying "You will get fit" and that stuck with me. Knowing that with or without any immediate results, if I keep doing the work, there will be results. And so when I was huffing and puffing along with my fat thighs rubbing and it being SO fucking hard, "You will get fit" was in my head.

Now it's totally different and I don't think I could describe how I motivate myself today to be useful for motivating my fat assed smoking and donut eating self.


Any way I can arrange a threesome with you and chubby debra?


No way I'm going near that bag of doorknobs lol


What the hell is a bag of doorknobs? Who has that many doorknobs that they'd need to bag them?

Wtf debra? You drining again?


Just show them pictures of ruptured Colons and cancer and diabetics with amputated limbs and obese people that can't walk around without the aid of a cane or a buggie.


Welcome to the family. Lightweight!!!



Unfortunately, that never works. People are reactive by nature, and the diabeetus isn't a big deal until it happens to you. Kind of like showing a smoker pictures of a diseased lung and expecting them to quit on the spot.


You have to use a dropper to apply hot sauce to their cigarettes when they're not looking. Go slowly so you don't stain the paper but contaminate enough tobacco to make it really burn.

Fat people are easier, you simply make fun of them until they lift weights so they can beat you up one day, not realizing you're actually helping them.


i agree you can't create motivation for an extended period in another person.

i didn't recognize debD w/o an avatar, lol


So you wanna fuck? I've got metal-studded nunchuks and a 25lb. sack of rice in my bombshelter.