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11 Ways to Stay Motivated at the Gym

As a new 'gym junkie' Angela has found these items to help keep herself motivated to head to the gym.

Having trouble finding the motivation to hit the gym? Try out these eleven tips.

Having trouble finding the motivation to hit the gym? Try out these eleven tips.

How to Stay Motivated at the Gym

Sometimes it can be hard to stay motivated. Family, work, health—basically life, in general, can get in the way. Here are some simple techniques to help address this issue and keep your fitness goals on track.

11 Motivational Tips for the Gym

  1. Remember your end goal.
  2. Track your progress.
  3. Don't rely on the scale for progress.
  4. Speak to a professional.
  5. Speak to a dietitian.
  6. Hire a personal trainer.
  7. Find a gym buddy.
  8. Switch up your routine.
  9. Buy new gym clothes.
  10. Listen to music.
  11. Choose your gym time.

Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.

— Jim Ryun

1. Remember Your End Goal

Why did you join the gym in the first place? Was it to lose weight? Get in shape? Or maybe get that revenge bod on your ex? Now is the time to sit down and establish what was your original goal. Is it still the same? Or should you create a new one?

2. Track Your Progress

Make sure that you take photos and measurements of your body before you start. If this is something you have missed, do it now. Alternatively, go through photos that you may already have on your phone. This can be especially helpful if they were taken around the time you started working out at the gym. They can help with your 'before' and 'after' shots and help you realise the progress you have made so far.

Progress can be measured in strength or the way you feel—not numbers on a scale.

Progress can be measured in strength or the way you feel—not numbers on a scale.

3. Don’t Rely on the Scale for Progress

Watching your weight fluctuate each day is both exhilarating as well as depressing. What we tend to forget is that the scales measure everything that’s in your body. Food, fluid, and waste matter will give a false reading on what you may weigh.

Instead, look at other ways to measure progress. Have you gone down a size in your clothing? Can you lift a heavier weight than when you started? Jog longer? Another measurement is your heart rate. Has your resting heart rate improves since joining the gym?

4. Speak to a Professional

So you have cut your calories and work out daily but you still feel there is little to no progress change? Maybe it is time to see your general practitioner or health care provider.

Illnesses such as hypothyroidism and polycystic ovaries, hormonal changes, and even depression can sometimes stop the scales moving (and make you lose motivation even more). Your health care provider can run some tests to see if there are any underlying conditions that may be affecting your progress.

5. Speak to a Dietitian

If weight loss is the main reason that you joined the gym, and you are finding it difficult to lose weight, then maybe you should speak to a dietitian. Many gyms often have a dietician or sports nutritionalist onsite, or they can provide recommendations to one (often they will be affiliated with them).

How can a dietitian help? They can provide food and nutrition information (including recipes), as well as additional support to people to help improve their health. They provide advice on nutrition-related matters and can fine-tune your meals to suit your goals and your budget.

Personal trainers can help kick-start your motivation.

Personal trainers can help kick-start your motivation.

6. Hire a Personal Trainer

Many gyms will offer a free assessment with a personal trainer when you join, and I highly recommend you take advantage of this offer (if you haven't already). First of all, they will walk you around the gym floor, showing you what equipment and classes are available. Often, they will do up a preliminary workout for you, so make sure you discuss your goals with them. Finally, they will show you how to use the gym equipment effectively and safely.

A personal trainer will also help kick-start your motivation again. Do your research as not all PTs have the same qualifications. There is usually a notice board at the gym with the names of the PTs. More often than not, you will see them at the gym working with someone, and this is a good way to see if their style of training appeals to you.

When you contact a PT, tell them why (ie. lack of motivation) and what you hope to get out of the session.

7. Find a Gym Buddy

If you find going to the gym alone, well, lonely, it might be time to team up with a friend or family member. For this to work though, you do need to find the right person. Someone who is also motivated to keep going and has a similar commitment to you. The positives to this are they can encourage you to do one more rep, convince you to add an extra kilo or two to the weights, or simply try something new.

8. Switch Up Your Routine

Have you heard of the word 'monotony'? It means a lack of variety, interest, repetition or routine. After doing the same rep set, routine or class for weeks or months on end both your body and brain will be screaming out for something new.

If all you have been doing is weights, try a class or two. If your cardio is only ever done on the treadmill, give the stair-master a try. The same goes for if you only ever do yoga or a spin class, give some weight training a try. Each comes with its own set of benefits but you will find the challenge uplifting.

9. Buy New Gym Clothes

Over time your gym clothes will start to stretch and fade and soon become dull. Additionally, if you have been working out for any length of time, your body shape will have most definitely have changed, and basically, your old gym clothes won't look good and will feel uncomfortable.

There are numerous stores (locally or online) that sell activewear, whatever your budget. Spend what you can afford, even if it's only one new outfit, and rock that body next time you step into the gym.

It should also be worth noting too, that if you have to wear a sports bra, updating this piece of equipment is a must. An uncomfortable, ill-fitting bra will make you lose motivation fast as there is nothing worse than having to re-align after each rep or yoga move.

Music is a great motivator!

Music is a great motivator!

10. Listen to Music

When you first walk into most gyms, the first thing you notice is that the music they play is fast, with strong beats that help to keep you motivated to exercise longer.

Numerous scientific studies show how music helps release a chemical called 'dopamine' from your brain, which in turn can keep you motivated. If the music over the loudspeaker is not to your liking, then find your own. Google 'workout music' and find a playlist that appeals to you.

11. Choose Your Gym Time

Everyone knows that one person who is up at dawn to hit that early morning gym class and looks as fresh as a daisy when they walk into work. And that's great…for them! Remember, this is an individual journey.

If you are better in the evenings, then go in the evening. If you are a people person, and seeing a busy gym makes your heart pump, then that's when you should go. If you are an introvert, make sure you pick a 24-hour gym and go later in the evenings, or weekends. Going at any time of the day is 100% better than not going at all.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2021 Angela Lancaster

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