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  • daveleek@whosyourtrainer.ca



By Dave Leek | In Gym, Mental Training | on June 22, 2013

Today started off great for me, I trained a few awesome clients, had great workouts and ate like a champ (minus the Tim’s coffee) but when it came time for my own workout, all of a sudden I find myself tired with a nasty headache and what feels like the onset of plantar fasciitis in my left heel – I am at a motivational low today.

Unfortunately for me, as great as it would feel to stay at home and pass on the gym today, I have a race coming up and I have to be ready. There’s a time to skip workouts and there’s a time when you must go. Today is a day that I can’t miss. But what can I do about this motivation low?

It’s amazing at how many different stimuli can motivate different people into partaking in certain actions. In other words, when it comes to what keeps people going to the gym when they don’t necessarily want to, different strokes for different folks. However, I’m not concerned with what motivates others right now, I need to know what motivates me! Here are the top 3 things that help motivate me to go to the gym:

1) Focusing on ‘The Perfect Dave’

For a long time now I have maintained a picture in my head of exactly the kind of person I want to be, inside and out, emotionally and physically. I realize that I must make a conscious effort towards this goal every day in order to achieve it and part of this goal involves me working out and living healthy. Therefore every day that I don’t go to the gym or complete a workout (with exception to planned rest days), I am not moving forward toward my vision of ‘The Perfect Dave’. This simple reminder is enough to make me grab my gym bag and head out the door.

2) Upcoming Sports Season, Competition or Race

I think it’s fair to say that somewhere around 99.2% of people who compete, compete because they want to win. In fact, most people who say they don’t like to win either don’t win very often anyway or they’re just plain weird – keep your distance from these people. I believe I must fall into the ‘I WANT TO WIN!’ category because I love winning like I love a large DQ Blizzard on cheat day. I love winning as much as I love breathing. When I have an upcoming race or basketball season for example, every second I can spend training for that event is crucial in my mind. I don’t want to miss out on anything in fear that the other guy won’t be taking a day off and he’ll come on game day and whoop my behind! For this reason, whenever there’s a physical competition approaching you can bet you’ll find me driving down to the closest gym or local highschool track on the regular.

3) Social Butterfly

Well to be honest, I’m probably the furthest thing from a ‘social butterfly’ as you can get while I’m working out but I do really enjoy seeing familiar faces each day on the way in and way out of the gym. And while I don’t tend to take my headphones out much to talk while in the middle of a workout, I probably throw out nearly 50 ‘Hey, how’s it goin’s a day to staff and fellow gym rats each visit. Some people enjoy training when the gym is empty but I find that I work the opposite. The more people in the gym, the more motivated I am to workout and push hard for every set. After all, if all of these other people are at the gym busting their butts’ for results, why shouldn’t I be? One quick thought of “I wonder who’s at the gym right now?” or “Who’s training harder than me?” and that’ll do it. Grab that shaker cup and I’m out the door…

So there you have it, the 3 top motivational factors that drive me to hit my workouts when I’m really not feeling it. Everybody’s different though so make sure to experiment with a variety of different factors and see what works best for you.

Ps, If you don’t mind, I think I may have to add a 4th motivator:

4) Writing a Blog on Motivation to go to the Gym


Screw the headache, I’ll see you guys on the treadmill.



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