T Nation

Motivation

How does everyone get past that little nagging voice that says, “That’s enough reps,” or “You can stop working out now,” or You don’t have to go to the gym today."

Since the internal dialogue is in YOUR head, you can turn it off. I always visualize a radio with the dialogue pouring out of it, physically reach out and turn it down. No joke. Works every time.

Have a plan and stick to it.

Ultimate orange works for me or any other good ephedra energizer like MD6. Try not to use it all the time but when I’m really having a lack of drive, it always picks me up and end up with great WO. Also, you need to have a goal to work for, like to increase your bench or deadlift or squat or something X number of pounds by a certain time frame so that you get motavated to push yourself to attain your goal. Without a goal, there’s nothing to shoot for in the gym and WO’s get stale, boring and just going thru the motions and then benefits slow down. Need to get pumped to attain a goal like gain 10 lbs muscle or lose 10 lbs fat or increase bench 30 lbs by say summer than break it down into smaller goals like achieve this much of it by Easter or something but always have a concrete goal and time frame and push yourself to attain it and if you have a low energy day, I find ephedra energizer helps me stay on track which is important in reaching goal. Just don’t use ephedra to much so that you start to depend on it to much unless in a fat cutting cycle. Good luck.

I just wanted to add, with a goal to achieve, I fine myself really looking forward to getting to the gym on WO day to see how much closer I can get to achieving my goal and get pumped to push myself thru the WO to see how much more intense I can make this WO from the previous. I “compeate” with myself and look forward to every WO like a competition. That keeps it interesting and not stale or boring. Also, it helps if you pretend your girlfriend is watching and you’re trying to impress.

When you start to feeling you should enjoy it. Then look in the mirror in the gym you will see the muscles looking working. That should be enough motivation to keep going and going!

I think motivation is directly related to goal-setting. Try to re-evaluate your goal - if it is really important to you and you can feel the difference reaching that goal would make to any aspect of your life then hold that thought and just ‘do it’.

Personally, I find that when my motivation is really flagging I go to a bodybuilding show or powerlifting meet to boost my motivation.

I guess nothing is more motivating than seeing your training pay off…

One other point I - I used to get very lethargic before training from eating high-carb meals. This really suckered my will and ability to train - these days I eat way more fat instead and drinky inhuman quantities of coffee…

all the best
KEV

Good advice from all, but keep this in mind: sometimes that little voice is right. And if you don’t listen to it, your body will say, “Oh, won’t take the hint that you’re overtrained and overstressed? Fine. Here’s a blown pec for ya! Now I get some time off, don’t I, punk!?” or “How 'bout a cold?”

Something to think about. It’s all about balance. There is a difference between someone being lazy and someone in need of a day off. It’s not a fine line, but mentally, for people who don’t mind working hard, like us, it can be.

  1. GET A PARTNER

  2. On Bad days caffine/ephedra (2 MD6 pills) 1 hour before a workout. You’ll be to anxious to sit still. I use a lot of Power Drive (good stuff to get through a divorce while working 65-80hr/wk!)

  3. GET A PARTNER

  4. Make a tape of the the fastest/ hardest music you can handle. Make sure that there are NO gaps in the music. If one song fades cut to the next before it gets to quiet. This is a workout tape, not a recording studio submission. Turn the volume up to just below the pain or distortion threshhold (ONLY when you workout!) Avoid loud music/ sounds the rest of the time to save your ears (Take it from a 33 yr old who was up front at to many concerts, raced loud cars, and used a chop-saw on aluminum w/out ear protection)

  5. GET A PARTNER

  6. Pick some loud moron at the gym and get determined to be stronger than him without cheating on technnique (i.e. doing curls in the squat rack with a 45lb bar,a belt on, and bending backwards to get the weight moving while moaning like a cow having her calf pulled out of her!) (Sorry about the last part, I grew up on a farm)
    7.Get a partner, preferably someone who can’t stand loud people in the gym. They will push you harder every time moron boy with the belt and lifting straps starts to sling weight around.

  7. Set three month goals w/pictures and tape them on the dash of your car/truck, at work, to the bottom of the TV screen, the mirror in the bathroom etc,etc SERIOUSLY!!! 98% of people who keep their goals CONSTANTLY visible achive their goals. Remember if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

  8. Get a partner

  9. Go to a WT training seminar, especially on periodization. (it will help you set goals better.)

  10. Get a partner
    10 You will always live with pain.
    It will either be the pain of post workout sorness or the pain of regret.

Sound advice from all. Shoogs takes a different approach, and if this is something that happens frequently–isn’t just a one-time thang–then he might have revealed something to you.

Sport Psych is something that I find fascinating and have been doing some studying lately. The fellas who mentioned goal-setting are on target. If you don't know why you're there in the first place, or you're just a creature of habit, motivation will be tough to come by. I'm not accusing you of either, Chief, just saying that having a MINDSET really helps progress.

One technique I find is particularly effective (which might lend it’s hand to the “No more reps” syndrome) is imagery/visualization. If you play out the reps in your mind before and during your sets, you can really achieve great things. Embedding success in your mind and subconcious can have a profound effect on your physical prowess. There are just tons of different techniques to enhance motivation and quite a bit of good literature as a vehicle for learning.

You can always coin a little positive-thinking phrase that you repeat to yourself. Something like "If you don't train hard today--someone else will" or "PRIDE: Personal Responsibility In Delivering Excellence" Just a few thoughts.

There have been lots & lots of guys who have gotten big & strong just by training hard enough & if I do the same, I’ll get big & strong too. Some guys feel guilty when they don’t squat & sometimes that’s all I’ve got to keep going.

Loud music, training partner(s more the better), set high goals, my favorite, I talk shit to the weights between reps, only when working really heavy.

I tell it to Fuck Off.

I think of the fact that I owe Chris Shugart 3 pics of me: 1 before, 1 after, and 1 bikini from my April cruise. Since I do want to show some difference between my before and after…it’s a lot of pressure. LOL.

BTW – Chris S is also right about that. I didn’t take a single week of to rest since last week of September 2001, and I was sleeping 4 hours/day and training hard. I was keep getting that message “take time off, take time off” from my body, but I ignored it, thinking that it was me feeling lazy. I pushed it more and more. Then the following things happened:

1. My left knee got injured. (sprained mcl) 2. My cardiovascular capacity got reduced. 3. I got a full-blown case of stomach flu and horrible fever that kept me in bed for 4 days! (which was odd since I NEVER get sick like this...) 4. Then a nasty case of cold.

Coincidences? Maybe, maybe not. So I took 3 consecutive days off from training (which I've never done) and chilled. I went back to gym today (I'm hopelessly addicted), and I felt much much better. :) So if you're constantly tired and getting the message not to workout, take a few days off and see how you feel.

TJ