T Nation

Motivation!

What keeps you motivated day in and day out?

We all have those days where everything’s going great, you’ve been anticipating your workout all day and just about every lift feels great, plus your diet was on target and you can almost feel everything working.

But…then there are the other days where everything’s kind of the opposite. Maybe you overtrained the day prior, or underslept the night before, but knowing that you need to work out, but realy don’t “feel like it”, what do you do to get your self up?

Lately I’ve been working out more consistantly than ever and it’s realy starting to show outward and inward. I owe a great deal of my motivation to keep going to this site (other member’s postings), Will Brink’s forum, and articles from Chad Watterbury and Christian Thibaudeau.

I’m learning so much now that I want to keep switching my goals just to try out some of what I’m learning!

Anyone have certain ritualy you do to get motivated? Anything in particular you read, look at…?

[quote]SWR-1222D wrote:

But…then there are the other days where everything’s kind of the opposite. Maybe you overtrained the day prior, or underslept the night before, but knowing that you need to work out, but realy don’t “feel like it”, what do you do to get your self up?

[/quote]

It may sound pathetic, but because the program calls for it. I hate missing a planned workout. I guess you could say A.R.

Also knowing that I want my food to go somewhere that counts, not just “hang” around.

Matthew

I’m driven by insecurity and rage.
Actualy what keeps me motivated on days that I just don’t feel like it is my brother.He is a c-5 quad, and has a bunch of reasons that he could just say screw it, but he doesn’t. When you ask him how he keeps going, he just says-“you just gotta keep pushing.”
Makes me want to keep on pushing.

When I do not feel motivated I pop a couple of Low-Carb Monster Energy Drinks. Then I feel motivated for the next few hours :wink:

OD

I do three main things:

  1. If I feel low on motivation, I look at the fat, weak, pathetic slobs around me, and think to myself “That is what happens when you can’t be bothered to do what you should. That is what happens when you stay at home, sit on your ass and eat pizza instead of working out.”

  2. I also have a poster on my gym wall that reads “Any time you want to be a piss-ant, just quit”.

  3. I just look at all the excuses that people have to NOT work out, and then I look at all the reasons FOR working out, and it’s a no brainer.

It’s worked so far.

When I don’t feel like it, and I’m happy to say those days are rare, I think back to the forced layoffs from training I’ve had over the years. I think about how much I wanted to train, what I would have given then to go to the gym, lift, and do karate. Just for one day, to be able to walk like a man and not some gimp and hit the gym like a demon.

Then I think how obscenely pissed the injured me would be at the lazy me, and that gets me their.

Mostly, it’s the fact that I hate to waste an opportunity as great as the one I have every time I get to work out.

[quote]mindeffer01 wrote:
I’m driven by insecurity and rage.
Actualy what keeps me motivated on days that I just don’t feel like it is my brother.He is a c-5 quad, and has a bunch of reasons that he could just say screw it, but he doesn’t. When you ask him how he keeps going, he just says-“you just gotta keep pushing.”
Makes me want to keep on pushing.
[/quote]

Now that’s some SERIOUS motivation!

I don’t skip workouts for the same reason I put gasoline in my car: how else am I going to get anywhere?

I’m not often searching for motivation these days, I like working out. You only need motivation to do things that you don’t like.

But I try really hard not to tell myself that I am a good person because I’m working out regularly and folks that don’t work out are bad people. I’m surrounded by folks that don’t work out, so I can’t have that mind set. I have to work with them, day in and day out.

I’m pretty intrinsicly motivated. But there are still occasionally days when I feel like missing a workout. I use a trick to get my shit done that I learned during the off-season for track when there was no coach or teammates to hold you accountable and sleeping in or the beach with my girlfriend was much more appealing than a hard interval workout on the track. If it’s a hard week close to the brink of overtraining, and I’m feeling flat, I’ll prepare ahead of time. I’ll have my gym clothes and sneakers and recovery/PWO drink laid out staring at me.

On a given day if I really wanted to skip a running workout, I would just get dressed and get in my car and drive over to where I’d be working out. I’d tell myself I’ll at least warmup and if nothing else make it a nice recovery day. I’d usually feel better after the warmup and would proceed to stretch. Then if I wasn’t into it yet, I’d say I’ll just do an interval or two or just run for a little while. That’s all it took. I’ve never started an interval workout or ran a couple miles of a tempo run or threshold run and decided to quick.

The same has held true for weights. I’ve used the same method to get myself to the gym when I really didn’t feel like it. Once there it’s stupid to not do at least a few sets. I’ve told myself I didn’t have to do the prescribed workout. Just something. But once I started, I’ve always actually gone through the tough workout I had orignally planned.

[quote]Ladyjaine wrote:
I’m not often searching for motivation these days, I like working out. You only need motivation to do things that you don’t like.

But I try really hard not to tell myself that I am a good person because I’m working out regularly and folks that don’t work out are bad people. I’m surrounded by folks that don’t work out, so I can’t have that mind set. I have to work with them, day in and day out. [/quote]

Folks that don’t work out aren’t bad people. They just lack determination, drive, and discipline in one particular area. Some of them I am not surprised because I see it in other aspects of their lives. But it’s funny because some people I know that don’t work out grab life by the horns in other areas, and I’d expect it to carry over. Oh well.

I’d have to say the gestation of my drive and motivation originated from extrinsic factors, but in my development and growth as a human being, has mutated into something wholly intrinsic in nature.

Having once been a very obese adolescent and teenager, I never knew what it was like to not be the “smart, nerdy, unpopular” kid. Then one day I woke up and decided I wanted to completely change my identity. I had so thoroughly immersed myself into the cultivation of my academic and intellectual self that my social and physical attributes had been completely ignored.

By far my defining personality trait is my complete inability to “half-ass” anything. I absolutely need to be the best I can possibly be at whatever I do - I simply cannot take something as a hobby. Said interest becomes a consuming passion for me, and gives me by far the greatest enjoyment out of life. Whether it be excelling in academics, mastering the guitar, perfection in martial arts, maximizing my running capacity, or persistent achievement in weightlifting and body recomposition, all of my pursuits are focused on the journey of said actvitity. It has never been about receiving a gold medal or winning a trophy, it’s always been about how far the envelope of my abilities and skills can be pushed.

I believe once you internalize the values of your passion, once you throw off the surface level desire for external affirimation, and see yourself imbued with the potential for greatness, the pursuit becomes a living, breathing, defining characteristic of your identity, and compromise is simply not an option.

And when all is said and done, sometimes you gotta kick your feet up and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

I try to follow Dan John’s advice-I sepnd money on my sports-I am a competitive strength athlete-so i read Powerlfiting USA-I have every issue dating back to 77. I read Milo, Pure Power, and anything I can find worthwhile on the net-T-mag is great.

About once a month I will buy a training video or dvd of a famous lifter. I trade emails with any strong/motivating person I can and I read lots of internet sites of strong people. If i feel blah I stay the heck away from the gym-play more with kids-share some of their youthful energy-I will try to get some alone time with the wife-to me sex relaxes my mind and makes me feel so re-charged the next day-just get away from the gym if you don’t feel like it-your mind does not lie-it if wants a break it will take it-and if you ignore the signs of just not wanting to do it-you will get hurt eventually and then you can’t do it.

The asian principle of the yin and the yang could not be more appropriate. Sometime push, sometimes coast-that is what your body needs. Attached is a pic of me pushing. Trust me I coast often yet can toy with a 320 lb boulder to a 5 foot platform. balance is the key to everything.

Three words:
Looking good nekkid.

Well, I just think about every time I lost a wrestling match last year… every time somebody just overpowered me and took me straight to my back… then I think about the tournaments that I won… and I realize the difference, the losses leave a bad taste in my mouth… and a bad feeling. The wins make me feel unstoppable.

So I just tell myself that I have to work never to feel that bad feeling again, to always be unstoppable. That’s jus my own lil thoughts whenever I feel like shite and i have to keep goin. lol

-CJ

Might sound corny, but American heroes. Thier accomplishments motivate me to strive to be something better, to advance and be a strong and positive influence.

Pat Tillman, Chuck Yeager, Howard Hughes, Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Junior, Mohamad Ali, Lou Holtz, Vince Lombardi, Norman Schwartzkopf, Chesty Puller, George Bush I and II, I could go on but I’m sure you all get the jist of what I’m saying.

Also, my girlfriend motivates me quite a bit. She’s a pretty important piece of my life and now that I’ve finally really allowed someone “in” my focus has shifted from being kind of selfish to looking forward to sharing my life and potentially having a family. Being healthy and strong is all part of that.

GAINER

[quote]elevationgain wrote:
Might sound corny, but American heroes. Thier accomplishments motivate me to strive to be something better, to advance and be a strong and positive influence.

Pat Tillman, Chuck Yeager, Howard Hughes, Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Junior, Mohamad Ali, Lou Holtz, Vince Lombardi, Norman Schwartzkopf, Chesty Puller, George Bush I and II, I could go on but I’m sure you all get the jist of what I’m saying.

Also, my girlfriend motivates me quite a bit. She’s a pretty important piece of my life and now that I’ve finally really allowed someone “in” my focus has shifted from being kind of selfish to looking forward to sharing my life and potentially having a family. Being healthy and strong is all part of that.

GAINER [/quote]

Damn, GAINER, the next time there is a “what do you listen to, to get pumped in the gym” thread it wouldn’t surprise me if you put the Star Spangled Banner or The Ballad of the Green Berets. :slight_smile:

Merry Christmas Bob by Chris Shugart

A photo of me at my heaviest, a photo of me at my skinniest, both equally horrifying. It isn’t that I am worried about ending up back there, to me they’re like Buffalo and Las Cruces, just places I’ve spent some time in but have no reason to visit again. But they remind me of shit I’ve done to my body and that pisses me off and that motivates me.

I am very motivated/inspired by a lot of TC’s writing. He did a piece a couple years ago after Ted Williams died and there was a passage in that article that has always stuck with me that I can always use to kick myself in the ass.

My friend who was an avid snowboarder and always wanted to teach me, and I always said no because I was fat. He was killed in an avalanche so now I will never have the opportunity to see him in his element. I hate that.

Lately, I have been very inspired by the movie Touching the Void. If you haven’t seen it, I can’t recommend it highly enough, it is an absolutely amazing true story. After seeing what that guy manages to survive, an hour in the gym sounds like a vacation.

[quote]Sabrina wrote:

Lately, I have been very inspired by the movie Touching the Void. If you haven’t seen it, I can’t recommend it highly enough, it is an absolutely amazing true story. After seeing what that guy manages to survive, an hour in the gym sounds like a vacation.

[/quote]

Touching the Void is one helluva movie, the story is amazing.