One of the keys to having a good workout is arriving at the gym feeling motivated.
You’ll also need to maintain that motivation right to the end of your session.
While “going through the motions” burns calories which can help you lose or control your weight, if you want to get fitter or stronger, you’ll need step up and work outside your comfort zone.
Here are SIX tried-and-tested motivational tips for better workouts!
What your mind believes, your body can achieve so if you have a tough workout planned for tomorrow, start thinking about it today.
Take a moment to sit and imagine having a successful workout; picture your gym and see yourself completing your workout with energy to spare despite working hard.
Try and create the sounds of the gym and make a movie in your mind in which you see yourself nailing your workout over and over again.
This visualization trick works for Olympic athletes and will work for you too!
2. Make a Pump-up Playlist
Music can be very motivating so it makes sense to use this to your advantage.
Put together a playlist of tracks that you know will pump you up for your workout.
It doesn’t matter if it’s AC/DC or Vivaldi – whatever works for you.
Once you have your playlist, listen to it not only at the gym but on your way to the gym and while you are getting changed into your workout clothes.
If you have one particular track that you know will really give you a boost, save it for when you need it most i.e. the last set of your workout.
3. Get Angry
Controlled aggression can be the difference between dominating your workout or letting your workout dominate you.
Anger increases adrenalin and adrenalin is an effective performance booster.
Use your anger to overcome the challenges of your workout.
“I’m not letting a stupid barbell get the better of me – I AM going to lift you!” for example.
If you find it hard to get your anger on, think of situations that make you angry and then use them to pump you up for your workout.
Take your anger out on the exercises you are doing.
Remember to turn your anger down to a simmer between sets though so you aren’t inadvertently rude to your fellow gym users.
4. Challenge Yourself
One very effective way to raise your gym game is to challenge yourself.
It’s very easy to just go to the gym and do your usual three sets of 10 but that’s hardly motivating.
Instead, set yourself challenges that you’ll have to work harder than normal to achieve.
For example, instead of the usual three sets of 10, load up the bar with the same weight as normal but set yourself the goal of doing 30 reps as fast as you can.
You won’t do all 30 in one go but you will rest less and work harder than normal even if you do 15, 10 and then 5 with minimal rests.
If you are doing cardio, instead of going for time, e.g. 30-minutes, see how fast you can cover a specific distance such as three-miles.
Make your cardio workout a race.
Treating your workouts like competitions provides motivation in two ways – it adds an element of competition and it also clearly shows you are making progress when you beat your previous level of performance.
5. Develop a Ritual
Do you just start your next set or exercise when you feel like you are ready?
Do you just saunter over and start without thinking about what you are doing?
If you want to do your best, you will find it easier if you develop a pre-exercise ritual.
Rituals provide a good way to transition from rest periods into exercise and act like a switch you can flip to really turn up the gas.
For example, you might sip some water, apply some chalk to your hands, and then slap yourself on the shoulders three times.
Alternatively, you might tighten up the straps on your training gloves.
Whatever you do, do it every single time you exercise to ingrain and maximize the motivational power of your ritual.
Watch Jamaican uber-sprinter Usain Bolt before each and every race.
He does the exact same thing before settling into the starting blocks.
It’s hard to argue that rituals do not work!
6. Treat Your Warm up Like Your Workout
Warming up is an important part of exercising – it helps prepare your body for your workout while hopefully preventing injury.
However, many people do not treat their warm up with the gravitas it deserves.
Yes, they do the exercises properly but they don’t put their mind into what they are doing.
Treat your warm up like your workout by doing every movement properly and purposely.
Use your warm up as an opportunity not only to get your body ready but your mind too.
While your warm up should be easy, it should still be done deliberately and with precision.
Don’t dawdle through your warm up – focus!
That way, when you move onto your main workout, you are already well on your way to being “in the zone” and ready to do your utmost.
THE BOTTOM LINE
If you want to be your best, you need to give your best and that means working hard in the gym.
You won’t always feel like giving your workout your all and that’s where these tips and tricks come in.
Use them anytime you want to raise your motivation levels for a better workout.