13 Gym Motivation Tips From the Pros
We all have the best intentions when it comes to working out, but, sometimes, life just gets in the way. Maybe you overslept, maybe there was wine involved, maybe there was a Criminal Minds marathon on and leaving your couch just seemed like too much effort. (No judgment!)
We get it — and it's totally OK to skip a workout every once in awhile. But, sometimes, you need a kick in the ass, whether that's to actually get you to the gym, motivate you in the middle of a tough workout, or snap you out of a rut. So, we turned to those who know best — the trainers and instructors who create and teach the workouts we love — for their secrets to motivation. Because, you know, even the most hardcore gym buffs want to slack off occasionally. With their tips, you'll have no excuses!
Dress the part
"Whenever I feel like I want to skip a session, I motivate myself with a little fitness fashion show. I actually start to try on cute fitness outfits (some faves are lululemon, Onzie, Rogiani, and Nike). Playing dress-up helps me get motivated each and every time! If it's the weekend and I'm running errands, I'll put on super cute workout pants, so I'm already dressed and setting that mood."
—Dasha Libin, Founder, Kettlebell Kickboxing
Pump up the jams
"I play Icona Pop's 'I Don't Care' — it gets me through any tough workout!"
—Caley Crawford, Instructor, Row House
Fake it 'til you make it
"If I don't feel like working out, I tell myself, 'I won't go hard, just super light …' Once I get there, my nature usually takes over and I do exactly what I am capable of. I don't know how long I'm going to be able to continue to fool myself like this, but if it ain't broke…"
—Michael Olajide, Co-Founder, AEROSPACE
Find a great class
"A great group with a powerful instructor creates an experience that will push you to hit new personal bests."
—Andrea Fornarola Hunsberger, Founder and Master Instructor, Elements Fitness Studio
Drop a truth bomb on yourself
"If you have time to be on Facebook or Twitter for 30 minutes, than you have a time for a workout! What would you rather do — burn calories, gain muscle, and look better in your clothes or read about other people doing it?"
—Sara Haley, Founder, The Daily Sweat
Schedule it in
"I like to devise a workout plan in the beginning of the week, making time for both cardio and strength training with the proper rest in between. I also like to make these workout schedules with a friend or two (or 10!). Doing something as a group and knowing you're all in it together makes you push harder while smiling through it. Setting these times together also makes you less likely to skip a workout."
—Wendy Wolfson, Instructor, Flywheel
Make it a habit
"Every day, you wake up, shower, brush your teeth, eat and sweat. It is as simple as brushing your teeth. Unless you aren't into that ..."
—Lauren Imparato, Founder, I.AM.YOU Studio
Memorize a motivating mantra
"Whenever I need that extra kick in the butt, whether it's to get out of a rut or keep pushing it out to finish a workout strong, I think of Sebastien — the creator of the MegaFormer — saying to me, 'You don't need more time, you just need more intensity.' This helps the workout seem less daunting and more doable, and it pushes me to exert every ounce of energy in my body as I know the workout is only temporary if I do it effectively and intensely!"
—Angela McCaffery, Co-Owner and Instructor, CoreFire Studio
Flip your mindset
"My goal is to flip our vision about the way we all live: I don't want to get through my workout, day, life... I want to get into it. Otherwise, I am literally getting through my life — wishing my life away. A quick go-to: I don't have to do this. I choose to do this. In the middle of a tough workout, I picture 'resistance' as a force basically telling me I cannot do something, and my answer is always: Watch me!"
—Bethany Lyons, Co-Founder and Master Instructor, Lyons Den Yoga
"What motivates me to work out is to think about the people who aren't healthy enough or don't have the resources to workout. My health and my ability to move my body is a privilege and my inspiration. For example: Someone that was born with one leg is running right now, or someone busier then me is running right now."
—Alonzo Wilson, Founder and Master Instructor, Tone House NYC
Tap into someone else's energy
"In a group class, I focus on the energy around me. I tell myself that the energy I put out affects not only my body but everyone's level around me. And I tap into their energy, too! It's all about that good ol' group spirit!”
—Sadie Kurzban, Founder of ((305)) Fitness
Stop watching the clock
"I make a playlist that’s the same length as the workout I want to do. That way I don’t watch the clock. I just run, or do yoga, or lift weights until the music runs out. Then I’m done!"
—Jess Gronholm, Co-Founder and Yoga Director, Dirty Yoga Co.
Make it fun!
"For me, I hardly ever have to force myself to work out. Pole fitness is motivation on its own, because it doesn't feel like I'm working out, even though it is intense. It's just so much fun! I just have to remind myself how quickly I get strong and fit when I work out and how much fun I have, and I am practically running out the door to get to class!"
—Lian Tal, Co-Founder, Body & Pole