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euclid
05-18-2009, 02:18 PM
How do you all keep your motivation levels up throughout the year? It seems that through spring, summer and early fall I have no problem lifting, doing cardio and eating healthy. But, as soon as the colder months come I fall into the habit of eating cheesesteaks, and skipping workouts which then leads to a total lack of exercise for a period of a few months. I tend to pack on a bunch of fat and end up hating myself for it. I'd like to be able to keep myself going and while we, in the US, are just getting to the prime summer months, I want to be prepared so that I don't fall back into that rut and lose all the progress I made.

TIA!

PartyRaiser
05-18-2009, 02:42 PM
Potentially good thread. My motivation tends to drop down too every once in a while, but I like to keep it up all the time.

I guess the obvious answer is to keep variety in your training, but I'd like to hear some other tricks.

Ascent81
05-18-2009, 03:17 PM
I'm glad someone started a thread like this. When I first started training a few years ago, I had so much enthusiasm for my training it never crossed my mind that I might not want to go to the gym. Fast forward to the present, and I find myself often struggling to keep my motivation up. But it's all part of the process, and I've learned more about my body and myself as a result.

Here are four motivation tips I've learned:

1. Stay lean in the winter and/or off-season. This may sound paradoxical, since the original question is how you can be motivated to stay on track during the off-season. But in my experience, my motivation drops whenever I start looking like crap. Knowing this, I then have to try my hardest to stay relatively lean during the winter months, and that in turn keeps me more enthusiastic about my training and dieting. In terms of building muscle, you shouldn't need to go above 10lbs your ideal body weight, and if you look shredded at 160 you'll still look awesome at 170lbs. At 180lbs... well, things start going down hill. Plus, when you're only 10lbs off your ideal weight, the thought of cutting isn't as overwhelming than when you're 20lbs or 30lbs off.

2. Experiment with new training programs. Lack of progress often equals lack of motivation. If you've hit a plateu for your 5 rep max bench press, for example, switch things up and strive for a 10 or 20 rep bench press PR. A new training program can give you new goals, and with new goals you can reach new PR's.

3. Keep buying supplements. This of course is what the supplement companies want you to do! But my point isn't to buy supplements for the sake of buying supplements. I find that when my cupboard is stacked with bodybuilding products I feel obligated to train hard so that I can maximize their benefits. Think of it as getting your money's worth. The harder you work in the gym the more your body can use the supplements you're taking.

4. Get a training partner who'se bigger and stronger than you. This will push you out of your training comfort zone, which is the best way to yield gains. And what's more motivating than seeing progress?

I look forward to hearing other people's tips, these are just some that came to my mind.

Best of luck!

johnderriLLL
05-18-2009, 04:11 PM
how do i stay motivated when its cold? well summer is just right around the corner. all my hard work over the past 3 years is paying off now.

theres a lot of girls out there too.

Danthesaxman
05-18-2009, 06:23 PM
Make it a part of you. Feel the fire burning inside, and thrive off of it. Great suggestions from Ascent81 et al, but all those things really do is fan the flame. You have to feel it.

I know I don't look like much (yet!), but the topic of sustained motivation is a huge part of my life. I'm a musician; a student and a teacher. I teach kids and it's easy to tell when they are motivated and when not. I've also been on both sides of it myself. I've been through several major depressive episodes, and have an intimate understanding of the lack of motivation. I've also been so "motivated" (read: obsessed) that I can't sleep at night due to the desire to learn/read/practice/play.

Extrinsic motivation is cyclical. For some it can be the passing of the seasons, others stress levels at work, etc. Intrinsic motivation, the kind that comes from within, is only as strong as you make it.

There are lots of "tricks" for finding the energy to get going. Ultimately, though, real lasting motivation must be derived via introspection and self-awareness. No one can do it for you, you must do it for yourself.

Sorry if this is vague; it's hard to articulate.

BiggJohn
05-18-2009, 08:28 PM
When ever I've been in peak shape (ripped, cut, pealed, etc), I've commanded tremendous respect from women. The attention and opportunities this provides is gratifying and motivating.

euclid
05-19-2009, 06:31 AM
I see a general theme recurring in these responses about staying motivated for the attention of women. This always seems to be a very de-motivating factor for me because my slacking tends to occur when I've met a girl, we're getting comfortable and you aren't necessarily trying to impress women. So, I want to focus more on staying motivated for my own sake. Here are a few reasons why I want to stay motivated, thus staying in shape:

1. I'm in sales (Logistics Mgmt) and I travel a lot and am always meeting new people. First impressions are everything and I feel that people have greater confidence in buying from someone who appears in shape and who takes care of him/herself.

2. Hotel Mirrors. They are unforgiven and seem to help express your weaker parts.

3. Sales again - 85% of the rest of salespeople I see at airports, checking into hotels, picking up rental cars and chatting on cell phones are overweight and generally looked over-stressed. I don't want to look like this.

4. Clothes - the better they fit, the easier it is to find stuff that fits you well and the less often you have to buy them because you slacked off for several months, the better you feel!

5. General physical health. While I am currently striving to see my abs for the first time in my life, I have never been so overweight that I felt my health was at risk. I have eaten fast food for days or weeks in a row and I know how much crap is in that stuff and that it is no good for me. I don't want to die before I'm 60. This life is too short to check out early.

6. Pick up games of football, soccer, you name it. I live in the city and in the back alley the kids usually have pickup games that I'll jump into every once in a while. It's nice to keep up with them.

7. Mental Health. There is definitely a connection b/w how you look and how in shape you are with how you function mentally. Talk to me when I've slacked off for months and you'll know what I mean.

8. Mortality. I am approaching my 30th birthday. I'm not so bothered by it as I am bothered that I have taken 30 years of my life to decide that I want to be in the best shape ever and continue forward from there. I think there were some wasted years, wasted opportunities and from this day forward I never want to look back and say man, I wish I could have done this or that, but couldn't because I felt too much like a fat ass.

9. Because it is easy to slack. Most the things I've learned or earned in life have been via the hard way. My family, while financially stable, is by no means wealthy so I've paid my own way. I knew what I stood to lose if I failed and even though I've made mistakes, I continue to learn. I don't want to take the easy way out on maybe the most important thing I can absolutely control - myself and my physical state.

Ironlife
05-19-2009, 06:51 AM
I have been lifting for the past 4.5 years and i got to say i never lack motivation for the iron, i mean there are days when you have a long day and just think, well ill give it a miss tonight nothing will come of this, so then you do that but before you know it your now missing 2 or more a week/ whether it be runs or weights and now you look back from a years point of view and realise that its nearly 100 odd sessions that you have missed because you werent up to the task..
Id say one of the best motivating things for me is that i play football and have to be bigger and stronger than the next guy to play well and get a spot in the team the following week... Just keep looking at yourself and ask yourself how much do i really want it??? Then preparation comes into it.

Alot of people i have met have given up on weights due to the fact that they failed to prepare well enough and if you fail to plan you plan to fail.

Shhmmooove
05-19-2009, 08:49 AM
For me it needs to be a system of continuous improvement. Forget what time of the year it is and take each day/week as it comes. It is no different that the last week.

Its a mental fight.....break down those barriers, and you will be hitting the gym as you were meant to.

This also applies to taking a break from working out too. Taking a week off every 6 weeks is tough if it has formed an integral part of your life/regime.

ONpump17
05-20-2009, 04:18 PM
Make it a part of you. Feel the fire burning inside, and thrive off of it. Great suggestions from Ascent81 et al, but all those things really do is fan the flame. You have to feel it.

I know I don't look like much (yet!), but the topic of sustained motivation is a huge part of my life. I'm a musician; a student and a teacher. I teach kids and it's easy to tell when they are motivated and when not. I've also been on both sides of it myself. I've been through several major depressive episodes, and have an intimate understanding of the lack of motivation. I've also been so "motivated" (read: obsessed) that I can't sleep at night due to the desire to learn/read/practice/play.

Extrinsic motivation is cyclical. For some it can be the passing of the seasons, others stress levels at work, etc. Intrinsic motivation, the kind that comes from within, is only as strong as you make it.


There are lots of "tricks" for finding the energy to get going. Ultimately, though, real lasting motivation must be derived via introspection and self-awareness. No one can do it for you, you must do it for yourself.

Sorry if this is vague; it's hard to articulate.

excellent post, especially highlighted.
i read an entire article that was summed up by that statement once. very true.

when you can motivate yourself, its so much better.

Andyg37
05-20-2009, 04:43 PM
1. try to stay active during the day and dont just lay around on the comp and watch tv gotta move a little, run to the store or something just keep the blood flowing will be easier to start your motor for working out.

2. think about the time...its only one hour thats it, as long as one of your favorite tv shows and only 1/8th of a work day.

3. the stress it will relieve and the awsome nights sleep you will be able to get when your done because your tired.

MRob1
02-26-2010, 06:00 PM
look in the long run

T.KELL
02-26-2010, 06:59 PM
use your winter months as bulking. eat whatever you want and use that lack as more motivation to workout. then when the summer comes around, go back to cuttin.

boogie102786
02-26-2010, 07:14 PM
1. Stay lean in the winter and/or off-season. This may sound paradoxical, since the original question is how you can be motivated to stay on track during the off-season. But in my experience, my motivation drops whenever I start looking like crap. Knowing this, I then have to try my hardest to stay relatively lean during the winter months, and that in turn keeps me more enthusiastic about my training and dieting. In terms of building muscle, you shouldn't need to go above 10lbs your ideal body weight, and if you look shredded at 160 you'll still look awesome at 170lbs. At 180lbs... well, things start going down hill. Plus, when you're only 10lbs off your ideal weight, the thought of cutting isn't as overwhelming than when you're 20lbs or 30lbs off.



For me, this is truth. My motivation is always there until I skip a workout. I skip one, then two, then I feel like ****, then my motivation is shot. I havn't had a workout since tuesday and I'm feeling that way now. I think the biggest thing is consistency. More like momentum. Just get to moving and it'll keep you moving. If that makes any sense.

midniteOG
02-27-2010, 12:39 AM
-thinking a bout past oppurtunities ive been past up in...
-girls mainly
-HS ****
-now college ****
-and sut pain seeingother people who have a "muscular phsyique" and wanting to be like them...
-but knowing im better then them makes the gym worth while..