Gym Motivation: Why Do We Do This?


Hello ladies and gentleman!  Welcome to another week of brand new workouts fresh from our two days of intermission over the weekend.  Today’s gym motivation covers the topic of, why do we do this?  What is the real reason why people go to the gym to workout in the first place?  I feel as if a lot of people have forgotten their reason for hitting the iron.  It is to you folks that I write this post. 


Let’s just come out and say it, we all want to become more than we currently are.  That is just a natural part of human nature.  Since the days of Babylon we all wanted to become more like the gods and less like ourselves.  Be careful with this type of thinking because it paves the way to perfectionism.  Let me say this about perfectionism, you will NEVER be perfect.  Let that sink in for a moment. 

Perfectionism is a lie, the only thing that you can be is the best that you currently are.  Realize this and you gain instant power over your life.  Now with that said, I think that the pursuit of self-improvement is a noble and just cause.  This will not only make you more successful but it will also make you much happier.  To see yourself make positive changes everyday is a tremendous force in daily life. 

Self-improvement will also force you outside of your comfort zone to improve in areas of your life that are currently lacking.  Take this post for example, I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone to take typing classes online.  I was hesitant at first but after getting over myself I am pumping out quality content faster than ever before.  How’s that for gym motivation?

Measuring Progress

One of the hardest things about workouts is the fact that we stop seeing progress after awhile.  This is another myth that kills our gym motivation, or any motivation, so let me shatter this myth as well.  You never stop making progress!  Progress is always being made every day.  Even if you cannot see it. 

We often have this myth that progress will be this supercharged tidal wave that will just magically happen overnight.  There is only one time when this occurs, at the beginning of a new venture.  The best example to illustrate this is in the book The Alchemist.  Author Paulo Coelho, called this beginners luck.  As a trainer I would see this all of the time.  People would make great progress for the first 6 weeks of training, but then after the beginning stages the progress would stop.  Suddenly working out would require more effort and drive than previously imagined. 

Author Seth Godin talks about this in his book, The Dip.  Godin mentions that after the initial progress of starting a new task, progress suddenly comes to a halt and suddenly dips downward.  This is where most people end up quitting and moving onto another task where they can enjoy instant gratification of being “good” at something.  Here’s the thing though, by pushing yourself through that dip you will eventually become a master of whatever craft you are pursuing.

Gym Motivation = Life Motivation

I always say that the way people train in the gym is the way they act in the other areas of their life.  Now I am not saying that your everyday gym goer has to be an elite athlete, but they have to at least put effort into their training.  Think about how many people you see that quit too easily just as soon as something gets tough.  If they would just stick with what they are doing, then they would have been successful. 

Training in the gym is a much less risky way of training your willpower and mental toughness.  On the days where you didn’t get a lot of sleep or you over did it during the last workout, what are you going to do?  How are you going to react?  These are the real obstacles to your success.  Luckily, the gym has a low financial risk.  So even if you do mess up (you probably will), there is little to worry about.  Whereas, running a business poses a much bigger financial risk. 

If you can manifest gym motivation, then you can manifest life motivation.  This is the true power of fitness.  All the other qualities, such as the great looking body, the extreme performance, etc.  These are all just details.  Learning to push yourself to develop and grow into a fully mature and developed human being is the real prize. 

Learning To Play The Game

For the final piece of gym motivation, just realize the truth.  That this is all just a game.  Too often people get lost in their own thoughts.  They start to believe the false titles that they give themselves.  As a result they start to take themselves and life way too seriously.  I can’t tell you how many people I know who are just miserable, and for no good reason.  They just believe that this is the way that life is supposed to be. 

Meanwhile as time goes on they forget that it is all just a game.  See it for what it is.  Take some time and see the whole picture.  When you do this you will find all the answers that you seek.  Suddenly your motivation will go up because the fear will just vanish.  After all it is the voice in our head who determines our motivation. 

In conclusion, I will leave you with an old Cherokee story. A young boy is talking to an elder and the elder tells the boy that there is a war going on within each man.  He goes on to tell the boy that the war is between two wolves.  One wolf represents courage and the other wolf represents fear.  The young boy asks the elder which wolf wins.  The elder tells the boy “whichever wolf you feed ”.  Like this boy, will your motivation be towards making excuses or towards making progress?

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