How To Stay Motivated For Training

Have you ever experienced that demotivation for training, and then feel even worse for not going? Well, that is completely normal. In fact, I believe it to be a right of passage. It’s almost impossible to ALWAYS want to train. What is the science behind it? And what can you do about it?

Denying Demotivation

Have you ever forced yourself to train when you are not really in the mood? Or you are already sitting, dressed in your gym attire, staring at the clock and thinking of all the reasons for not going? You know you are not really motivated to train, but you know that guilt feeling for not going to train. Enthusiasm and Passion are the two things lacking when it comes to being motivated. Let’s explore some more.

The Science Behind Demotivation

There are two types of motivation. Suboptimal and Optimal motivation.

Suboptimal motivation is when your motivation is based on external rewards or even disinterest. This type of motivation is not sustainable and can leave you feeling unhappy. This type of motivation can make the task feel imposed on you, and you will not have the energy to achieve your goal. What are your reasons for training? Is it because you fear you will lose muscle or gain weight? Pressure, money, power, and status are all examples of suboptimal motivation. This is fear-based, and who wants to do things out of fear?

Optimal motivation is more of looking at the long-term goal. This motivation relies on three very important psychological needs: autonomy, relatedness, and competence. Autonomy refers to the feeling of freedom from external control or influence. This can be like saying to yourself “I choose to train today because I want to”.

No ‘I need to’ or ‘I have to’.

Secondly, relatedness refers to the state in which you feel connected. Do you feel like you are connected to your mind, body, and soul when you train? Focus on noticing how you feel when you train and acknowledge it – it will help you feel more connected.

Lastly, competence refers to the ability to do something efficiently. This can mean having a training routine that works within your schedule and does not inconvenience you. There will be less of a chance of you not going to train and it will become a nice part of your day. Efficiently can also mean having set days to train instead of telling yourself you need to train every day.

So, what is your motivation to train? By identifying the reason to train, you may be able to let go of suboptimal motivation and embrace optimal motivation based on your sense of purpose and be able to find joy in training. Take a love-based approach rather than a fear-based and you may find yourself being more motivated than ever.

Not to say that demotivation won’t happen. It is important not to beat yourself up about it when you no longer feel motivated to train. Sometimes you need a break. When you are ready, take a step back and evaluate your motivation. 

More Motivation?

There are a few tips and tricks when it comes to motivating yourself to train.

Group Classes

Find a group class you enjoy. Whether it’s Crossfit or boxing, group classes are a perfect way to find your community. You will be able to find people to keep you motivated. And knowing you all share a common goal or love, can help you keep each other motivated.

Wearable Tech

Wearable technology such as a Fitbit watch can keep you motivated by showing you your activity for the session. You can also set reminders to get you up and moving. It is a great way to track if you are goal-oriented and you can even be motivated by doing better each week.


Did you know music reduces mental fatigue and stimulates you? This will help you feel more energised to train. The more energised you are, the easier it will be to be motivated to go train. Find some tunes that get you pumped and ready to go so that all you have to do is push play and turn up the volume. Makes sure to prep your playlist in advance.

Training Partner

Talk about accountability. Knowing that your partner is depending on you to show up will keep you motivated. It is human nature to not want to disappoint others, especially not a friend. Working out with a partner or friend is way more fun. Fun=Motivated!

To Sum Up

Staying motivated to train can be a challenge. Know what your motivation is because the more mindful you are, the better chance you have of shifting to an optimal motivation method. Remember that motivating yourself is a skill that needs to be honed. The more you do, you will be able to motivate yourself any time you choose.

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