As a fitness professional, I spend a lot of time in the gym. It can be a wonder of how someone such as myself could keep up a high motivation for training myself and others. After working with clients all day and spending most of the day inside the gym, motivation does not come easy. I have learned a few things over the years that have helped me to continue to drive myself to train as hard as I need to and to push my clients in the same way.
For the fitness professional
- Find a different gym to train at other than where you work.
If you work in a gym, chances are most people know you and feel comfortable enough to approach you whenever they see you “available” in their eyes. This is a good thing for business but it can be a problem when it comes to your personal workouts. I suggest that you get the heck out of there whenever you can and train at a different gym. Being unknown or at least keeping to yourself is sometimes necessary to get the work in that you need and to keep your focus during your training sessions.
- Plan your schedule wisely
One of the greatest things about working as a personal trainer is the freedom to manage your own schedule. Conversely, one of the worst things is that your schedule is at the mercy of your clients. This often leads to trainers working split shifts. Many trainers can manage the split shift just fine but it does take some planning ahead to pull it off successfully.
Be sure to prioritize yourself into your schedule setting boundaries of when you are “available to clients” and “unavailable to clients.” This includes limiting the extra-early morning clients and the late-night clients that turn a 10-12 hour day into a 14 hour day. Plan your shifts so that you can provide an honest quality service to all of your clients and to get in your own quality training sessions throughout the week.
For the competitor
- Find a gym that supports your sport/style of training
This should be a big priority for those who are serious about their training. It is hard to improve your deadlift in a gym that doesn’t allow chalk, doesn’t have bumper plates, and frowns upon loud crashing weights. It is also helpful to get in an environment with like-minded people and people that are stronger than you. You might be the biggest fish in the pond but there is always the ocean.
- Remember that your competition may out-train you… if you let them
While you may want to take a day off or only push yourself so far, just remember that you are giving your competition the chance to out-train you.
For the general public
- Establish a few realistic, specific, and time sensitive goals
Goals are important. More precisely, specific goals are important. They provide your training with purpose and help to establish a means to measure progress; both of which are motivating. Training with purpose and recognizing (and celebrating) progress is a good way to keep motivation alive.
- Find your “Fitness Identity”
Finding a fitness identity can be tricky for some but once you have it, it does wonders for motivating your training. A fitness identity is a trait that one can identify with that is related to fitness. An example of this would be associating an activity, such as running, to an individual. “I run often, therefore, I am a runner,” or “I train to improve my total, therefore, I am a powerlifter.”
Once a fitness identity is established, training purpose is established or reinforced and you may find that other aspects such as nutrition and lifestyle choices may coincide more with the new found fitness identity.
To summarize, your training needs to be a priority if you truly want to reach your goals. As Adrian Larsen would say, “Good things come to those who wait… go out and f*cking earn it!”
As seen on The Alpha Project