(This was initially intended to be 3 separate posts but I hate it when sites make you navigate between a bunch of pages to read 1 article)
If you look at the start of any race, it’s hard to ignore and not feel the energy.
“It’s like a giant sling shot that’s been pulled back with lit firecrackers in it.”
The energy is overflowing and overwhelming in the beginning as amped up racers wait for the green light.
You might recognize this same feeling when you start a new training program or get back into the gym. Your adrenaline is firing at all cylinders and motivation is high. All your goals seem reachable and ambition is on your side.
Sooner or later, the sling shot fires and the fire crackers explode leaving nothing behind. In fitness, some call it the plateau, others know it all to well as hitting a wall. We’ve all been there and have faced the challenges of pushing through it.
So in this post…
I want to give you some tips to help you bust through this morale black hole. But trust me when I say that I know first hand what it’s like to be stuck in a training low and look everywhere for quality advice. I also know, from being in the trenches everyday…training clients, what it takes to coach individuals through this.
“But before you stop reading and put this article off because it’s not giving you any specific workouts on how to get a 6 pack or lose 10 pounds quick…”
I can’t stress enough how important this subject matter is. Not just motivation but the infamous crossroads that we all come to when we contemplate quitting on our goals and giving up or even letting up on our efforts.
It’s vital to keep going…No matter how hard it is.
So here it is…
Motivational tips for your training lifestyle that really work and trust me…I’ve heard every strategy in the book. You know, advice found in bullshit page fillers from popular magazines, advice from people who have no idea what it’s like to be in your shoes, and advice from people who claim to be an “expert” in this industry but haven’t had to do it themselves or train and coach anyone in their life with fitness goals.
All of these 97 motivational tips have either…
- Helped one of my clients successfully reach their goals.
- Helped me overcome my plateau’s.
- Been used by a real person like you and I.
***QUICK NOTE: This post is not going to be an article that you read word for word…(if you do…your awesome)… and expect to have all your problems solved. I wish it were that easy. You have to really read selectively and keep your eyes open for the strategies and tips that will work for your unique situation. You might even find yourself trying a few before finding the one that works for you but that’s why theres 97 of them. My advice would be to bookmark this page, print this page out, send it to friends, and keep it close by so you can continually refer back to it as you need.
Okay I’ll finally shut up and let you get to it…
97 Motivational Tips To Light A Fire Under Your Ass
1. Write down specific fitness goals on paper (the old school way with paper and pen) and put it up somewhere you can see everyday.
2. Sign up and prepay for a race or an active event like Tough Mudder, Warrior Dash, or the Mud Run. By pre-paying, you’ll feel like shit if you don’t do it.
3. Share your goals with friends to keep you accountable.
4. Take your training lifestyle outside of the gym and find an activity that you enjoy.
5. Workout, diet, and train with your wife, husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, or significant other. USAtoday reported that
“Research shows that couples who lose weight together tend to do well because they benefit from the presence of close, constant support. They help each other through the tough times and acknowledge each other’s progress, she says. And they create a better environment for weight control.”
6. Keep a “Fitness journey” Blog for the public to see. The public eyes on your life have a powerful influence on your behavior.
7. Take some time and compile a list of motivational quotes that you really like and refer back to them when you need it the most. This one has been one of my all time favorites and one I have referred back to more than a handful of times.
“To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” – Steve Prefontaine
8. Find books on training and educate yourself on the things that your struggling with. Some good ones to read…
Training For Warriors – Martin Rooney (Martin brings the creativity found in the most effective training techniques utilized from all over the world. This book is a must read if you’ve ever been an athlete or martial artist)
9. Train in a gym that is relationship based and not focused on membership sales.
10. Workout with a personal trainer that you can really connect with.
11. Ask your co-workers to start a work fitness and health program.
12. Find a terrible picture of yourself from the past that will remind you of what you don’t want to look like.
13. Join a body transformation contest and catch contest fever.
14. Learn how to cook so you don’t have to rely on anyone else (fast food) and prove that healthy food can often times be the best tasting food.
15. Take a before picture of yourself.
16. Give a friend or someone you trust, $100 (or a significant amount of money to you) and tell them that if you don’t reach your goals that they get to keep it or donate it to a charity.
17. Read books on self-development and focus on improving the quality of your life and watch the positive momentum overflow into your training. Here are some of my favorites…
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covet (This book needs no introduction)
“There is a reason why this book has sold more than 15 million copies and printed in 31+ languages. This book is not only motivating… It’s an absolute must read for everyone!”
Linchpin - Seth Godin (Are you indispensable? Find out how you can be in another Seth Godin masterpiece)
Quiet Strength – Tony Dungy (Great book about helping you get through tough and really tough times.
18. Take some time to create a bad-ass playlist of songs that get you pumpedup for working out and use it the next time you train.
What’s The top Song on My Playlist now…
Skrillex - Right here (Studio Version)
19. Schedule your workouts (date,time,location) into your everyday calendar at the beginning of each week.
20. Start a Nutrition Journal and record everything you eat and drink, when you had it, and how you felt at the end of the day.
21. Do the workouts you struggle with first then your favorite exercises at the end of your workout.
22. Pay someone or ask someone (usually have to end up paying) to text/email you everyday and ask you…
“Do your behaviors match your goals?”or any other message to help you stay accountable.”
23. Find a like-minded training partner.
24. After each week, month, or even day that you stay compliant – reward yourself with something your really enjoy. A guilty free shopping trip, cheat meal, pedicure, vacation? (vacation might be something you reward yourself with if you reach your end goals)
25. Buy the swimsuit, jeans, dress, shirt, or outfit that you would want to fit into now.
26. Instead of only having a big “marathon” goal, break your goal up into “mini marathon” goals that will provide short term success and help you stay focused for the long term.
Example. Rather than trying to lose 50 pounds in 5 months. Make your first goal to lose 10 pounds in 1 month.
27. Help someone start their own fitness journey and coach them to be successful. You learn so much about yourself and training when you have another person’s future in your hands.
28. Set goals that doesn’t focus on the number on a scale. Try setting performance goals such as being able to lift a certain amount of weight, running a specific amount of miles, or training for a certain amount of time.
29. Start a training journal and record every workout that you do.
30. Join a recreational sports team. Choose a sport that you either once played or always wanted to play.
Check out how 1 lady found extra fitness motivation by joining a recreational soccer team in this article…
31. Find inspiration, new ideas, creative health tips in fitness magazines. Even though I hate all the ads and question a lot of the magazine training articles – I always find something I like in them.
32. Train with someone better than you.
“I used to think I was the top dog in my hometown gym and even though I was in fairly good shape I wasn’t happy with the results I was getting. It wasn’t until I started training with guys bigger, stronger, and faster than me, at a different gym was I able to push myself harder and finally achieve the results I always dreamed of.”
33. Take a second, close your eyes, and really visualize yourself with the exact body that you want.
“If you can’t see it, work on it until you can because fitness success starts with believing in success.”
34. As your body starts changing – immediately start donating the clothes that don’t fit anymore.
This will make sure that the results you busted your ass for are here to stay and going back to the old you is not an option or at least it will be damn expensive to.
35. Find a picture of a model, celebrity, athlete, whoever that has the body that you’re working hard for. Sometimes it’s easier to see it than visualize it.
36. Keep a workout in your fitness tool box that you know will challenge you but more importantly that you can do anywhere without any equipment.
I get a lot of clients that travel for work and often times the hotels they stay in don’t have a gym. This shouldn’t be an excuse to not train when you have goals that you’re trying to reach. By having an anywhere anytime workout that’s accessible to you – you will always be prepared to stay consistent.
For a great workout check out Burn Body Fat and Get Lean Fast.
37. At the end of each week, reflect on what went well and what you struggled with. Again if you can get old school and pull out the pen and paper – you’ll be able to track and keep data to review later.
Acknowledging what you do well is just as important as venting your frustrations.
38. Go do an active hobby that you’ve always wanted to try. Wouldn’t you want to try this…
39. Write motivational quotes on post it notes and post them everywhere you can think of.
Some good places are on the door so you can see it before you walk out, in your car, on your desk at work, on the refrigerator, on your gym bag, on your computer screen, on your bathroom mirror.
40. Make it a priority to get a good night sleep especially in the middle of your week to help you recharge and focus.
41. Write out your grocery list when you’re not face to face with temptation and have someone else go to the store for you. (you still have to pay for it)
42. Schedule and prepay a beach vacation.
“Having to get into a swimsuit or take your shirt off is surprisingly motivating.”
43. Set a deadline to your goals and whether or not your successful at achieving all of them…
“When the deadline hits – you stop and reflect. Afterwards, set new goals and a new deadline.”
44. Go out and hook yourself up with new training gear, shoes, and equipment. There’s something about New Things that just get’s you excited.
You’ll be surprised at how quickly this can get things rolling again.
Check out some of the bad ass training gear that I’ve recently been using and it definitely has motivated me to train harder + they don’t just look awesome they actually are awesome tools to help you get the most of your workouts.
If your not using one of these in your training, you need to get with the program. They can be taken anywhere and are completely functional for total body training.
…and trust me this isn’t one of those cheap and pathetic infomercial products…
This is the real deal and we have about 10 of these bad boys in our gym that we use with all of our clients.
“The low profile minimus sole on these shoes makes them ideal for training and working out.”
“This is one bad ass watch that has some great technology to help you track a ton of training data.”
45. Schedule your workout times in your daily calendar and label them as an appointment with “YOU” because it really is time for you.
46. Carry a picture of your kids with you to the gym.
Kids have a tendency to do what their parents do. They eat what they eat, say what they say, and look up to them as role models. For any parent – it’s an added value to stay healthy and live a training lifestyle because it’s about more than just you if you have kids.
47. Turn off the t.v. or if you’re feeling really brave – cancel your cable. When you take away the distractions and what takes up your time – it really pushes you to find other things to spend your time doing.
48. Write out what a perfect training lifestyle day would look like for you and be specific. What time would you wake up, how would you feel, what would you wear, what would you eat, when would you eat it, etc.
“Now strive to live that day.” Try to have a ritual for the days you train. Sometimes just going through the motions of your pre-training ritual can help you get into the mindset and snap out of any un-motivational day.
49. Have a “go to” meal that has been given your stamp of approval to be compliant, delicious, and something you know how to make.
This will prepare you for the situation when your hungry and don’t know what to make…
…and fast food is calling your name. If you have a go to meal, you will always have something to fall back on.
51. Identify the things that you’re doing well and celebrate the fact that you are awesome at them.
52. Identify the things that you’re not doing well and make it a challenge to get better at them.
It’s easy to ignore the things that we suck at and even easier to keep doing the things that we do well. A lot of the times it’s significantly more difficult to even identify what we struggle but it’s important to address them and make them a priority.
53. Be on a relentless pursuit to find fun!
When it’s not fun…I guarantee that you won’t be doing it for long. Find an exercise, workout, activity that you really enjoy and go do it.
54. Find an exercise that requires a higher level of technical skill.
“When you find a challenging technical exercise it requires you to not only practice, which can keep you consistently training, but will give you another goal to shoot for.”
55. Minimize the amount of equipment a.k.a get out of the big box gym.
When you minimize the amount of equipment available, you force yourself to get creative with the workout and creativity often leads to more fun! When you do finish a workout where you’ve had to embrace creativity…
It gives you a great sense of accomplishment and confidence in the fact that you don’t need a gym, machine, or any other fancy equipment to get a great workout.
“Try taking a kettlebell outside and mix it up with some bodyweight movements.”
56. Psych yourself up and get into the training mentality by watching a motivational video clip on youtube. I can’t stop watching this one and it makes me want to drop everything I’m doing and go train.
57. Search the Internet for blogs that you can connect with like this one and subscribe to their newsletter to keep motivating you.
Now if you haven’t already…
“GO UP TO THE TOP OF THIS PAGE AND TAKE 2 SECONDS TO FILL IN YOUR NAME AND EMAIL NOW IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY…”
Not only is it FREE… but you get bad ass training lifestyle content that only subscribers receive like workouts, nutritional advice, motivational tips, and lifestyle strategies.
58. Find your craving substitute.
Every time you get a craving, instead of cheating and eating sweets, you will grab that substitute instead. I used to eat sugar free jello every time I had a craving and overtime I just became conditioned to eat my substitute or not eat it at all. (which happened pretty fast because I got sick of sugar free jello)
59. If you find yourself having a tough time remembering why your doing this, what your goals were, or you’re contemplating quitting…
Try stripping down naked in front of the mirror and taking a second to look at yourself. (Weird one but it works)
“The mirror test seems to always get you to be honest with yourself and put your fitness journey into perspective.”
60. Take advantage of todays technology and go find some apps, sites, and other tech resources to help you with your fitness goals.
61. Have 100% confidence in your meals and your cooking by getting a cookbook like GourmetNutrition, (if you don’t have this cookbook… you need it) which offers great tasting and easy to make recipes, breaks down nutritional information, easily separates pre workout/post workout/anytime meals, and even offers some healthy desert alternatives.
“I can’t tell you enough, how much I still use this book… Check out the Nutty Crunch Protein Shake Recipe in it – ridiculous!”
62. Simplify the process and increase progress by focusing on only 1 or 2 strategies at a time until they become a habit.
Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to do too much at the same time…
I’ve noticed in my coaching that the clients who get discouraged the most, try to do too much at one time.
63. Anticipate obstacles and know that there will be failures. This journey is by no means easy and it’s important to understand this…
…if it was, everyone would have the body of their dreams. When I see clients start training expecting that everything will go perfectly as planned – the first obstacle usually leaves them devastated.
By anticipating obstacles like injuries, family emergencies, work, illness, etc., you will be better prepared to work through it and get right back on track.
64. Focus on having a positive attitude on the commute (drive) to your workout.
I tell my clients…
“If your coming straight from a higher stress environment such as work or a hectic day at home, spend 5 or 10 minutes listening to music in the car before you come in to train so that you can get into the right, focused, and positive mindset.”
65. Life’s too short to be stressed out and struggling with motivation.
66. Attend an event that displays physically fit individuals and really take in the experience. If you have ever been present at the beginning of a race (marathon, triathlon, bike race), you know that the adrenaline in the atmosphere is contagious.
“It’s motivating to just be present.”
67. Every time you get a craving to eat something not compliant with yourgoals, put the money you would spend on the guilty pleasure and stock pile it away – at the end of the month donate it to charity or reap the benefits of saving money.
68. Attend a fitness conference.
The Perform Better Summit is probably the biggest and most value offering conference that we encourage all of our staff to go to, we even offer to pay…Why?
“Not only do you learn a lot, you get to participate in workouts led by world class coaches, and you always come back home overflowing with motivation.”
69. Find a group of like-minded people and join them. Take advantage of the social benefits that surrounding yourself with individuals who all share common goals.
70. Make a list of all the ways that you will be able to enjoy your results.
“Example. Go swimming in a new bathing suit, go to pool parties, go on hikes with family, play sports with kids, help friends lose weight, buy the clothes you always wanted, take off your shirt in the summer. etc.”
71. Give yourself 21 day challenges (It takes 3 weeks to make something a habit). Each time you complete one of these challenges not only will it boost morale – you will have a new compliant behavior.
21 day breakfast challenge – Eat breakfast everyday for 21 days 21 day workout challenge - workout consistently for 21 days 21 day no sweets challenge – Give up sweets for 21 days 21 day protein shake challenge - drink at least 1 protein shake a day
72. Go through an all out extreme training lifestyle makeover. This is where you buy everything that you would possibly ever need that you don’t have to help you reach your fitness goals. This prevents you from justifying and making excuses, prepares you with all the resources.
“Buy new workout clothes, personal training packages, blenders, supplements, new training shoes, a workout bag, a new water bottle, weights at home, road bike etc.”
73. Find an inspirational photo online that makes you want to start doing pushups on the spot.
75. Buy or adopt a dog that you can walk and run with.
76. Take pictures of each of your meals and post them online (Facebook) for people to see and keep you accountable.
77. Have a daily goal, Have a weekly goal, Have a weekend goal. Remember that a lot of mini victories not only equal a big victory but can help keep morale high.
- Daily Goal – Eat 5 meals
- Weekly Goal – Train 3 times in the week.
- Monthly Goal - Lose 10 pounds
78. If you find yourself struggling to get back into a consistent workout routine, don’t overwhelm yourself with crazy intense training sessions. Start small, and then crank it up when you get your mojo back.
When your really not feeling like working out…Just go in and start stretching and see what it leads to. When your feeling a little out of it, try going in and doing a lighter workout.
79. Have this “5 min Body Shock” Workout memorized and ready to use when you would normally skip a workout because you “didn’t have time” or when “your just feeling out of it”.
This little-mini cooper of a workout incorporates an explosive movement, strength movements, core training, and has a “cute” way of leaving you gasping for more air.
“Everyone has 5 minutes.”
The “Everyone Has 5 Minutes” Workout
***Note: Each exercises is to be performed for the absolute amount of reps.
1. Jump Squats x 50 seconds 10-second break 2. Pushups x 50 seconds 10-second break 3. Mountain Climbers x 50 seconds 10-second break 4. Alternating Lunges x 50 seconds 10-second break 5. Burpees x 50 seconds Done
80. Force yourself to take a full week off from training and stay strong, even when you’re itching to get in the gym…
”…When you come back – you’ll back with a vengeance and never want to take a week off or slack off for a long time..” 81. Bookmark this article and site, thetraininglifestyle.com, and keep coming back to it anytime you feel like you need a little extra motivation.
82. Challenge someone to a body transformation contest(close friend, sibling, significant other, co-worker) and make things competitive. Competition has a way of elevating performance.
83. Don’t get caught up in all the latest supplements, diets, and fitness products. All these things are what I call “the cherry on top” elements. If the foundation is broken and unstructured – the cherry on top won’t make a difference.
85. Wear a pedometer around all day and only look at it when you need a little boost in morale. There’s nothing like looking at the pedometer at the end of the day and see that you walked over 5 miles.
86. Put a “motivational” picture on the water bottle you take to the gym. (Picture of your kids, old picture of yourself, picture of the body you want)
87. Write out all the bad things that can become reality if you don’t keep moving forward and training hard. Take some time and brainstorm worst-case scenarios and use this as a fear factor strategy.
88. Lift the weight that you lose until it burns.
When I have clients lifting, pulling, or pushing the amount of weight equal to the weight they lost… it’s always an eye opening experience. Most people will say stuff like – “I can’t believe that’s what used to be on my body.”
89. Schedule a doctor’s visit at the beginning of your training program and a couple months later to get another checkup at the end of the program.
90. Keep gym and workout ready clothes everywhere you might need them but especially in your car and at work. Don’t forget your shoes!
91. Schedule a motivation day and time once a week, where you focus only on searching for more motivation. (a reading day, look on youtube, yoga day)
93. Surround yourself with a positive group of people inside and outside of the gym… feed off of the positive energy.
94. Make a list of all the excuses you think you will use and be honest (you know yourself the best). Next, write a little message next to each of them and give yourself the smack down. Also, give yourself some strategies to help you get past the excuses. You can keep this list and refer back to it when you realize your making excuses.
95. Stop the self-loathing and dwelling after you cheat on a meal and move on. Your focus needs to be on the next meal.
“The most important meal of the day is your next one!”
96. Talk to an active individual who may have limitations but still manages to live a training lifestyle. This can be an eye opening experience and make your problems seem small. Check out the athletes from the Challenged Athletes Foundation.
“Now what’s your excuse?”
97. Train with someone (friend, co-worker, significant other) who hasn’t worked out in awhile or your stronger than. Not only will this help them to be active, it will make you feel better after you kick their ass in the session and show you how far you’ve come. – I’m not promoting you be an asshole, just take a quick mental note at how much you’ve progressed.
Related Article: 13 Reasons to Fire Your Coach
“If you’ve made it to the end of this article, I know that you at least skimmed through some of the fitness and training lifestyle motivational tips above…”
…and hopefully you’ve found some that you can start using in your own training lifestyle.
The important thing to remember is that no matter how fit or unfit you are now, motivation is something that everyone struggles with in training. It’s supply is never infinite and finding it is not always easy but…
“We’re all in this Training Lifestyle together.”
And if you know anyone who might find this article helpful…
Please Share this article, Post this article on Facebook, Send it an Email, or even Print it out for them.
You might also like reading Top 10 Ways To Get (and Stay) Motivated For a Workout Program
I remember a time in my training life, when I was really struggling with staying positive. It seemed like I was doing everything right but nothing was working and I just felt stuck in quicksand…
I was on the verge of giving up when someone anonymously left a post-it note on my chair at work, right before my shift. The note wasn’t long, detailed, or even written in legible hand writing but it was the motivation and helped me drop kick down that plateau wall…
the note read…
Dear Albert, this quote helped me out once, maybe you'll find it useful sometime. - "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." - MLK Jr. “Now this is me… Paying it forward.”