Anyone who has embarked on a muscle building workout routine can attest to the fact that is is demanding, both physically and emotionally. The energy expended on each exercise requires a high degree of both focus and intensity. As you go about your daily workouts, it is normal to experience fluctuations in your motivation levels. One day you may feel physically strong and emotionally prepared, while on other days it feels difficult just to walk through the front door of the gym.
While such ups and downs are a normal part of your fitness journey, if you find that you are struggling with your motivation levels the majority of the time, it is important to do something to interrupt this trend before skipping workouts becomes a seemingly normal and accepted behavior pattern. A regular, consistent workout schedule is a must for success, and consistency will only be maintained if you stay motivated. So lets take a look at some important things that you can do to sustain motivation to show up and work hard from week to week. Consider putting several of the tips discussed below into place to enhance your own personal workout routine.
Motivation Keys That Work:
- Get a workout buddy. While working out alone has its benefits, especially if you prefer solitude and quiet focus, finding someone to train with who takes training seriously and who shares some of the same goals in common with you is a great way to stay motivated. Find someone who you know will push you to keep going on those days when you feel like going easy on yourself.
- Keep a training progress journal. By recording your sets, reps, and the amount of weight you are lifting with each exercise you have an ongoing history of your workouts that you can refer to often to check your progress over time. Such an approach to your workouts will help you follow an organized and orderly pathway toward your muscle building goals. Keeping an ongoing history of your workouts on paper allows you see where you have been, and will keep your organized and motivated to keep progressing toward where you want to go.
- Set daily goals. Use some of the information from your training journal to plan out each of your workouts. By going into the gym each day with a specific goal that you want to accomplish, you inject a greater sense of purpose into your workout than simply going through the motions of the routine with a “whatever happens, happens” sort of mindset.
- Add variety to your routine. Many top athletes, bodybuilders, and powerlifters utilize this strategy to keep their workouts fresh, fuel motivation, and stay on the trajectory to achieving their personal fitness goals. When workouts become too routine, you run the risk of getting into the proverbial workout “rut” and hitting a plateau in your the progression of your muscle and strength gains, which is a quick way to deflate motivation. The solution is to “mix it up.” Try experimenting with new exercises often for the different muscle groups. This will work your muscles from a variety of angles, and will keep them from getting overly used to the same motions repeated over and over.
- Try more advanced workout techniques. As part of enlisting variety in your routine, try occasionally blitzing your muscles with super sets, drop sets, or pyramid sets to fully challenge the body. These techniques may not be appropriate for every workout, but when used occasionally for pre-planned high intensity training sessions, they are extremely effective.
- Read literature on effective workout techniques. Educating the mind is a powerful motivational tool. As you read about muscle building routines that other athletes are successfully using, it can inspire you to set new goals and try new approaches in your training. It also instills a strong sense of confidence and a winning, “can-do” mindset. Nothing speaks like success, and if you are reading on a regular basis about others who are achieving their goals, it will help to program your mind to believe that it is possible to achieve your own goals.
- Plan your workouts for the same time each day. Structured routine is an important key to motivation. It may not sound exciting, bit when you have the same time set aside each day for your workouts, you are less inclined to ask yourself “if” you are going to work out today because you already know “when” you are going to work out today.
- Enlist a personal trainer. Finding the right personal trainer is often well worth the financial sacrifice. When you know you have a gym date with the trainer, you will be inclined to show up and work hard 100% of the time. Think of it as an opportunity to draw upon the wisdom and experience of someone who can help you achieve your goals.
- Have a good collection of workout music. The motivational power of music that inspires you cannot be underestimated, It can often keep you going through a grueling workout.
- Maintain a long-term perspective toward meeting your training goals. As has been commonly stated, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Adopting the mindset that you are committed to fitness as a lifelong journey will help you to stay the course.
- Finally, and most importantly… don’t overtrain. Get your rest. Burnout from staying in the gym for endless hours day in and day out has derailed many a workout plan. Proper rest will help you to avoid burnout, so take your days off from training, and don’t feel guilty about it.
The Bottom Line:
Using these tips as a tool to help you stay motivated in your muscle building routine can prove very effective over the long term. The important thing is to find what works for you and stay with it. What motivates one person may not be as motivating to another, so try experimenting with these different techniques and approaches, and put into practice the strategies that will support your own success.