We might all live for that incredibly smug, endorphin-filled feeling we get after we work out, but you know what we’ve also all experienced? The reluctance to hit the gym after a long day of work, when Netflix and takeout are calling your name.
When you’re trying to work out how to get motivated for the gym, the key is to find the carrot (or stick) that will work best for you and your circumstances. If you need a helping hand getting up off the sofa and lacing up your trainers, we’ve assembled the best tips on how to get gym motivated.
Start the day off right
If your morning starts with you not having time to make your bed, skipping breakfast and drinking a sugary takeaway coffee for energy, you’re setting yourself up for failure before you’ve even begun. Once one thing in your day has gone wrong, it’s all too easy to slip into the thought pattern that you don’t need to try any more.
Breakfast is especially important in this regard. Having a balanced, nutritional breakfast helps your body to stay energised throughout the day and prepares you for your workout. Check out our food section if you need some delicious breakfast ideas that just so happen to be good for you.
Put it in writing
There’s something about putting pen to paper that makes everything in life feel that bit more concrete. Write down why you want to motivate yourself to achieve your fitness goals, whether it’s to lose weight, get stronger or simply set yourself up for a healthy future. This act takes your goals from a concept to reality.
We recommend placing the post-it note or list somewhere you’ll see it frequently, which will help to remind you why you’re hitting the gym post-work instead of taking that cutie you met on a dating app out for dinner.
Phone a friend
Hand over your gym motivation to someone else and take some of the responsibility off your shoulders. Instead of meeting your friend for drinks, suggest a gym class instead. The fact that you’re meeting your buddy will make you far less likely to cancel. Then afterwards, you can reward yourself for your efforts by going out for dinner together.
This is definitely the carrot rather than stick method of how to get gym motivated, but there’s no denying that it works. Set yourself a goal to hit, such as working out three times a week for a month, and then when you hit it, reward yourself. We’d recommend one of our protein powders, which will not only help you to feel and perform better during your workouts, but provide your body and mind with exactly the nutrition you need to continue to push yourself to meet your goals.
Bring a snack
This advice is useful for life in general, not just for finding motivation to go to the gym, but there’s no denying that knowing you have a tasty, good-for-you snack waiting in your gym locker for when you’re ravenous post-spin class, or having something nutritious to munch on while you’re walking to meet your running partner for a 5k, means you’re less likely to decide to go home and have a bath rather than skip your workout. We suggest an apple with peanut butter, a granola bar or some vegetable sticks with hummus.
Walk the walk
Wear your exercise clothes while you’re running errands or cleaning the kitchen as a visual reminder that you’re planning to work out that day. With all of the stylish workout gear available, this is not only a great fashion choice but means that if you’re already dressed for your bike ride, you have far less of an excuse to cancel. You only need to feel the shame of putting away your clean leggings once after skipping your workout to not repeat the mistake.
Find what you love
Always dreading leg day? Hate HIIT classes? Pick something else! Prioritise workouts that you’ll look forward to rather than dread and you’re much more likely to walk into the gym with a smile on your face than you are to call it quits and pick up a pizza on the way home from work. This will give you motivation to work out and exercise will become a habit as natural as brushing your teeth.
Boast about your progress
No-one wants to become that person who talks about nothing but their latest rep routine, but allowing yourself a few bragging rights when you’ve been hitting your goals is a great way of holding yourself accountable - not to mention it will make you far more motivated to go the gym when your friends are constantly telling you how impressed their are with your muscle gains. Try posting to social media when you hit a fitness goal, or setting up a group chat for you and your friends to talk about your gym wins.