It’s the biggest problem for people wanting to get in shape… Motivation! So many people struggle to remain motivated to hit the gym and avoid that cheeky chocolate bar. So, whether your motivational struggles are with exercise, diet or both, how do you turn these struggles around?
By learning from people who have been there, done that and definitely know what they’re talking about.
We asked 21 professional sportsmen and women, experts and bloggers for their top tip for motivating yourself to get in shape.
Check out these 21 awesome tips that will have you cleaning up your diet and hitting the gym again in no time.
Ready? Let’s go…
2 time Mr Universe winner and star of the 70s and 80s hit series, ‘The Incredible Hulk’. Lou is now a fitness consultant and co-founded ferrignofit.com with his daughter, promoting healthy living via personalised transformation programs.
Lou says: “Take a photo at your heaviest and put it on your fridge. Find a positive mantra that gets you inspired and consistent on your journey” @LouFerrigno
“Find a positive mantra that gets you inspired and consistent on your journey” via @LouFerrigno
Ben is a performance nutritionist, coach, speaker, consultant and writer. Ben’s journey in the fitness industry was a personal one from a battle with obesity at age 18 that spurred a keen interest in nutrition. Ben is the owner of Body Type Nutrition and has the UK’s #1 rated health and fitness podcast on iTunes ‘Ben Coomber Radio’.
Ben says: “If you can’t motivate yourself to achieve something, ask yourself why.
You need a reason, and a good reason. Not just, “I wanna lose some weight”, “I want to get fit”. They are meaningless goals, it’s got to mean something to you, it’s got to give you a reason to hit the gym when you don’t feel like it, to choose the better food choice when you want to eat the whole damn pizza, to go to bed on time when you are thinking of staying up late to watch mindless TV.
Make your goal tangible, targeted, and deadline driven. Try this example instead…
I want to lose 3 stone by July 1st because I am fed up with my clothes feeling tight, not feeling comfortable in my skin, not loving myself with my clothes off, being able to run up the stairs without getting out of breath, and feeling unhealthy. It’s time I must change, for me, not for anyone else, for me. I WANT to feel fit and healthy, I want to be the person, I WILL BE THAT PERSON.
See the difference? Make your goals mean something, and motivation will be easy” @BenCoomber
“Make your goal tangible, targeted, and deadline driven” via @BenCoomber
Robert is a Featherweight MMA fighter, fighting in the UFC. Robert trains out of Griphouse in Glasgow and American Top Team in Florida. He is also a Commonwealth Games bronze medalist in Judo.
Robert says: “The competition begins with yourself, you must want to achieve what you set out, with a clear defined goal. “I will fight in the UFC”… “I will win in the UFC” – that’s where it must start, so many people i meet who are in ‘good shape’ or are good fighters will never be ‘great’ and it’s not down to raw talent – it’s down to the mindset, meaning they are willing to give WHATEVER is necessary to achieve their goal.
Focus, believe, achieve” @Flyinjudoka
“It’s not down to raw talent – it’s down to the mindset” via @Flyinjudoka
Nia is a health and fitness writer and coach from Kentucky. She is also the leader of the Lift Like a Girl revolution, with her website providing advice, tutorials and access to her popular podcast.
Nia says: “Find a way to make fitness fun. If you hate what you’re doing, you won’t stick with it. Will you always be having the time of your life when you work out or do something active? No, of course not! But the key is to enjoy it most of the time.” @NiaShanks
“Find a way to make fitness fun. If you hate what you’re doing, you won’t stick with it” via…
Ben is a co-founder of Train Eat Gain where Ben and other co-founder, Rob Birkhead, offer people the tools they need to build the body of their dreams and be healthy, with tailored training and nutrition plans.
Ben says: “My top tip for motivating yourself to get in shape would be to set a goal and a time frame to achieve that goal. It’s best to set a goal that matters to you and for which you can be held accountable. For example a photo shoot, contest, performance, wedding or even just a holiday. You are then counting down the days from now until that deadline and every single day counts. Every rep, set and gym session then feels like it really adds up to achieving your goal. It becomes a lot easier to push yourself knowing that all your hard work really counts for something.”
“It’s best to set a goal that matters to you and for which you can be held accountable” via…
Steve is a strength training enthusiast and rebel leader at Nerd Fitness, helping average Joes level up their lives.
Steve says: “I saw an answer to a similar question on Quora that I freaking loved: “F*** motivation. Cultivate discipline.” It pairs nicely with the quote often attributed to William Faulkner: “I only write when inspiration strikes. Fortunately it strikes at nine every morning.” Set yourself up to win – sleep in your workout clothes, put your alarm clock across the room, have your friend donate $50 of your money to a cause you hate every time you miss a workout, hire a trainer and pre-pay the next two months. Construct your daily routine so that you HAVE to workout, so you’re not relying on willpower or motivation to get fit. It becomes a habit and then something you actually look forward to.” @SteveKamb
“Construct your daily routine so that you HAVE to workout” via @SteveKamb
Kris is a medical student, certified personal and founded Authority Nutrition in order to devote his career to informing people about evidence-based nutrition.
Kris Says: “My single most important tip to get motivated is to become part of a community and keep learning new things. Join a forum and subscribe to a few blogs, and try to read something health or fitness related every single day. Turn it into a passion.” @AuthNutrition
“Become part of a community and keep learning new things” via @AuthNutrition
Nichola is a UK Specialist Registered Dietitian (RD) and runs an award winning health & fitness blog, which promotes easy to understand nutrition and diet tips and aims to motivate people to lead healthier, happier lives.
Nichola says: “My tip would be to focus on an event in the future that you want to look and more importantly FEEL good at! It could be a wedding, holiday, weekend away or a work party. Make sure though that the event is at least 2-3 months away to give you a realistic amount of time to make a change to your body.” @nicsnutrition
“Focus on an event in the future that you want to look and more importantly FEEL good at” via…
Oli is a professional MMA fighter who has fought in the UFC and other high profile promotions. He is a former Britain’s Strongest Man who has competed at World’s Strongest Man and now offers fitness coaching. You can also find him on Facebook.
“For motivation, your own health should be enough, it’s the most important thing anyone has! But for the motivation to push yourself the extra mile….the knowledge that your competitors could be working harder than you should drive you as an athlete. For me, my own ego would not let me accept that someone less talented could beat me by putting in more work.” @OliThompson_FIT
“For motivation, your own health should be enough, it’s the most important thing anyone has” via…
Phil is a respected performance nutritionist, fitness expert and competitive bodybuilder. He often speaks at large health and fitness exhibitions including Body Power Expo and helps a range of people, from average Joes to professional athletes and personal trainers.
“There’s nothing better than looking, feeling and performing better! Knowing you have complete control over this should motivate you day in day out. How else do you want to feel? If I could give one tip to someone looking to improve their motivation it would be learn from someone who’s been there, done that and helped a lot of people along the way! This is probably the best way to short circuit your learning and get the most out of your nutrition and training!
We live in an information dense yet knowledge starved era! Having a mentor who’s proved time and time again they can achieve results is one of the best investments you can make in yourself! Trust me it will save you a lot of time, effort and money. Learn from their mistakes!” @PhilGraham01
“Learn from someone who’s been there, done that and helped a lot of people along the way” via…
“I get most of my motivation from trying to better my last show, I love the sport and the way it challenges me to push harder to improve, i also get great motivation from the people who say i can’t do it, I love proving them wrong! It’s a massive bonus to have a partner like Karen who trains, eats and supports me with everything i do through the highs and lows. My sponsors play a big part too i always want to do them proud for the great support they give me.” @KHotston
“I get most of my motivation from trying to better my last show” via @KHotston
Carly is a qualified personal trainer and YouTube video blogger. Her YourTube channel has a huge following and aims to offer “a little of everything for everyone”.
“Give yourself a goal and make it realistic, one short, medium and long term and not just physical. Weight loss, body transformations happen easily with the right tools, the problem is most people only concentrate on the physical end result and unfortunately it doesn’t happen overnight, if it did, everyone would do it. Notice how you feel, are you sleeping better, do you have more energy, do you feel stronger, is your skin glowing, do you feel more confident, what do you like about your body, not just the negatives.” @CarlyRowena
“Give yourself a goal and make it realistic, and not just physical” via @CarlyRowena
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Paul was always an active youngster but let his health slide in his 20’s. When his son was born, Paul decided to turn his life around and get back in shape. As well as being fit and healthy again, Paul now offers advice via his blog, Father Fitness, as well as writing for other blogs. He also takes part in a number of charity events in order to give something back.
“My own motivation for keeping fit and healthy is my family. I didn’t want to be that unfit Dad at the park that couldn’t throw or kick a ball. I also wanted to set a good example for my kids. It’s tough at times as all they want to eat are chicken nuggets but my Wife and I believe, everything in moderation. Luckily we’re an active family and with the addition of Yogi (our dog) we go on several walks throughout the week. So, my motivation is my family.” @FatherFitness
“My own motivation for keeping fit and healthy is my family” via @FatherFitness
Lucy is a Certified Precision Nutrition Coach, as well as a busy mum, wife and business owner. Lucy’s own journey saw her lose 30kg and now she dedicates her life to helping others via Lean with Lucy.
“Set lots of small achievable goals, instead of one large distant goal, i.e. a wedding in 6 months. We can quickly become demotivated and/or disillusioned, when we do not acknowledge those small triumphs. By setting yourself weekly targets not only do you get to reach those milestones quicker, but it also motivates you to stay on track and before you know it, that big goal you had in mind, has been reached without it remaining a constant focus. This is also a great way not to yo-yo once you have reached a main target, as many people find that the problem begins when you think you have reached a final end point. In my opinion there is no end point, only progress.” @lucycdoyle
“Set lots of small achievable goals, instead of one large distant goal” via @lucycdoyle
Matt is the founder of The MPH Method and specialises in body transformations. Matt has a number of household names as clients and has featured in some of the UK’s top fitness publications, as well as making a number of television appearances.
“I like the phrase that ‘this time next year you’ll wish you had started now’. I like the idea that it brings, that life is not worth wasting and that things do take time to learn and grow. Most procrastinate but keeping this in mind always puts me back on focus because I know i’ll be better every year.” @TheMPHMethod
“I like the phrase that ‘this time next year you’ll wish you had started now’” via @TheMPHMethod
Ru is a performance focused nutritionist and is the author of The High Performance Living Guide. He also owns Exceed Nutrition, which has quickly become a leading website for online nutrition coaching.
“1. Get planning – You too must plan for success. Set a date, look forward to it, and start doing your own research. Give yourself a head start and a helping hand.
2. Make one change at a time – Don’t completely overhaul your diet overnight. Start with one small change or habit at a time. That could be eating protein or vegetables with every meal, or perhaps getting 8 hours of sleep every night.
3. Be held accountable – Share your new goal or challenge with as many people as possible, and regularly report to them how you are getting on.
4. Find a friend – Find someone else to join you on the path to completing your goal. This could be a friend, family or work colleague. Perhaps you can use an online forum or even hire a coach for support and motivation. Don’t do it alone.
5. Enjoy the process – If improving your diet, make great tasting food and savor it. If improving your exercise routine, get creative and make it fun and enjoyable.” @RuAnderson01
“If improving your exercise routine, get creative and make it fun and enjoyable” via @RuAnderson01
Colette is a body transformation coach and is the owner of Pure Form Fitness. Colette typically helps high achievers who have tried but failed and now need her help.
“The one thing that seems to motivate my clients is looking at a photograph of themselves when they were at their prime, happy, positive and excited about life. I help people find that again. Many of us forget about ourselves and focus on everything else that is important in life, like raising children, working hard and looking after our families and in all this we forget about ourselves. The ladies I work with have decided it’s time to put themselves first and have put their health and wellbeing into sharp focus for the first time in a long time. So my top tip would be to look at a photograph of where you are (usually a recent holiday snap) and where you would like to be again and then to do something about it.” @ColettePienaar
“Look at a photograph of where you are and where you would like to be again and then to do…
JOHN BERARDI, PH.D
John is the founder of Precision Nutrition, whose world-class team have mentored more than 200,000 people in nearly 100 countries.
“You need someone in your corner who helps keep you accountable and picks you up when your motivation wanes.” @insidePN
“You need someone in your corner who helps keep you accountable” via @insidePN
Daniel is a Norwegian bodybuilding champion, winning the championship several times. He is also an actor, featuring in several blockbusters.
“When I set myself a goal, maybe it’s to compete in a contest, I always go all in, never 80 or 90% but always 100-110%, I’ll make it a die or win situation in my mind. Then I’ve got no other choice except trying to win, and do my best all the time and the best I can be at this contest.
I always make sure I’m a better version of myself, then last time. If I lose, I’ll respect and honour my competitors, but when I walk off stage, it feels like I died, because losing is like dying to me.
There will always be other competitors out there working hard, maybe harder then you, so you have to make sure, you work harder then them, if you still lose, and you gave 110% all the time its out of your control, but you know you did the best you could be at this moment. Always respect your contenders, always show them honour even if you lose.
It’s often small things that makes champions, the small details you do that the others don’t. So make sure you work hard on every details in what you do, whatever it is, be the stayer who works hardest in the gym, who always sticks to the nutrition plan, who never goes out to have a drink. This person is often the one who ends up winning in the long term. The stayer and the hard worker who never quits and loves what he does.” @DanielStisen
“It’s often small things that makes champions” via @DanielStisen
Lauren is an exercise physiologist and provides wellness counselling to empower people with the knowledge and confidence to take charge of their health.
“When working with my patients (who are very deconditioned and really sick), I tend to focus on getting them to be motivated to just stand up throughout the day. I remind them that even just standing will burn calories, decrease blood sugar (thereby improving diabetes outcomes or helping to prevent diabetes), and that accumulating daily activity throughout the day means adopting a similar mentality to saving money; some days will be better than others, but every step counts towards improving health.” @laurenkorshak
“Some days will be better than others, but every step counts” via @laurenkorshak
Our very own Scott Reid is a 2 times Britain’s Strongest Man (U105kg) and a Paul Check Nutrition & Lifestyle Coach. He is also a MMA strength & conditioning coach, helping some of the UK’s elite get fighting fit.
“My motivation for training and life is to rise above the norm and excel. whether it be Strongman or business I want to be the best at what ever I do.
Training and eating well are a lifestyle choice for me, when I push myself in the gym and give all I have to give it lays down the foundation of who I am and want to be outside of the gym!
You will never know who you really are or what your full potential is until you have pushed yourself to your limits.” @scottreid105
“You will never know what your full potential is until you have pushed yourself to your limits” via…
Wow! Thanks to all who contributed to this mammoth post!
Please share if you think it was useful.
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