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    Motivation: The Key to Success

    Motivation: The Key to Success
    By, Emmit Visconti

    What is Motivation?

    We are bodybuilders, people who spend many hours a week working toward physical goals to better themselves. There is something built in each and every one of us that helps us crawl out of bed each morning and hit the cardio, squeeze out a couple extra reps through complete exhaustion, and select a can of tuna over a bag of potato chips. I'm not talking about something you can touch, but rather something in your mind, something ever-present in us all. Motivation, by definition is the wants, needs, and beliefs that drive a character. Whether it be to improve our self-image, our overall health, lose fat, win a competition, or attract the opposite sex, bodybuilders have motivation. Without it, we would go nowhere. In this article, I will explain how to get motivated for workouts, cardio sessions, and dieting, as well as changes you may need to make to your routine to help stay motivated long-term.

    What is Your Goal?

    As I mentioned, all of us have a goal or some purpose for bodybuilding. Each bodybuilder has a unique goal. I believe that the first step to getting motivated is to realize your goal. Perhaps it is to get cut up for the beach this summer, maybe you are training for a particular sport, or even if you train just because it is fun and it feels good, you need to pinpoint your goal and always keep it in mind. You must plan every step you take in bodybuilding to bring you closer to your goal.
    It is also important that you set realistic goals that you can succeed at. As humans, success is one of the greatest things that we can experience. It boosts our self esteem, our confidence, and it helps us stay motivated. Once we start seeing results from our training and fitness programs, we get motivated to continue until we accomplish our goal. This is true of everybody. I believe it is the way we were designed. This is why something to work toward, a goal, is essential for all bodybuilders to have. So I encourage you to ask yourself, "Self, what is my goal?"

    Avoiding Monotony in a Workout Program.

    One important aspect when it comes to staying motivated, and ultimately sticking with a fitness program, is variety. It is a difficult task to complete a program, get in shape, or add muscle to your frame. These are things that take time and patience. It is perfectly normal to get bored doing the same thing several times a week, but with motivation and proper variety in your routine, you can pave yourself a road to success.
    It is extremely important to change up your fitness routine occasionally. If you are performing the same workouts in the same order on the same days for months at a time, you are likely to get bored. The workouts become very stale. I recommend changing your routine every six weeks, if not sooner. A variety will increase your motivation by preventing you from getting bored with a program, and ultimately having it become something that you dread.
    Variety does not only come in forms of changing an entire routine; performing variations of an exercise that you already do regularly can be something new and fun. For example, take a simple barbell curl, a movement that we all perform, and try an extremely close or an extremely wide grip. Not only will this help to avoid monotony, but it will also stimulate more holistic growth of the bicep by targeting different parts of the muscle. Another simple, yet effective way to add some variety to your program is to change repetition amounts. On a given workout day, decide to try doing a very high amount of repetitions. Even changing the speed of your reps will add variety and help fight boredom! Try extremely slow reps, fast reps, and slow down-explosive up. The point is, try something new! Try performing a dumbbell bench press, something that many of us lack in our routines. Heck, it may even give your muscles the extra shock they need to promote more growth. Do you really want to miss out on that?

    General Tips to Stay Motivated.

    Log your progress:
    Keeping a log or workout journal can be an excellent way to build motivation. You can look back in it and see how far you have come. Bodybuilding is a journey. It is about dedication. I strongly recommend logging your progress.

    Get a training partner:
    Training partners are excellent. You can keep each other motivated by encouraging one another and helping each other along through this lifestyle called bodybuilding. A training partner should be a friend, somebody you trust, and preferably someone with a similar physique to yours.

    Get a mentor or idol:
    This person will give you something to aim for. A real life example of what you want for yourself. My idol is Marcelo Caraveo. I have pictures of him posted on my walls to remind me of my goal and keep me motivated.

    Listen to music:
    I really believe that music can make the difference between an excellent workout or cardio session and an average one. Music affects our mood, and it comes out in our training. It can make a workout much more enjoyable. I suggest bringing an MP3 player to the gym with you every time.

    Take a break every so often:
    It is important to take a week off once in a while, perhaps in the transition from one program to another. It will not hurt you. It is a time for resting and recuperation of the body and mind.

    Keep your goal in mind:
    This is the most important and effective of all motivation techniques. At times, you might feel like putting the weights down, skipping a cardio session, or eating junk food. At this time, I encourage you to stop, close your eyes and visualize your goal. What is it that you are working for? Reassure yourself that you can succeed with proper will power and perseverance.


    Of all the aspects that come into the physical side of bodybuilding, I believe that a more powerful force decides whether or not we will fail or succeed in accomplishing our goals. A mental force called motivation. If you lack motivation in your life, I recommend that you make it a top priority to obtain it. It could make the difference between good overall results and excellent ones.


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