When it comes to seeing success with your workout and diet program, having a good nutrition plan as well as workout protocol in place are going to be critical to your success.
There’s absolutely no denying this fact because they do really make up the ‘bread and butter’ of the overall program to see muscle building results.
Once these are in place however, you actually have to do them on a regular basis.
One place where many people (especially beginners) go horribly wrong is that they approach their workout and diet plan with a modest amount of effort because their motivational levels are low.
Some days, they’re on top of their game.
They’re working hard in the gym.
They’re putting in a maximum amount of time and energy into each session.
And, they’re making sure they get in each and every meal they had scheduled as planned.
Other days however, that’s not quite how the story goes.
They skip over a meal – thinking they’ll catch up later on in the day (but that never happens).
They’re in a hurry, so they get into the gym and do half their workout and then call it a day.
Or, they don’t even make it to the gym at all and just chalk it up to a busy day, saying they’ll do better tomorrow.
In reality, in most of these cases, it’s not so much that they don’t have the time or ability to follow the plan as laid out or make wise adjustments as need be, it’s that they don’t have that high level of motivation that will drive them forward to achieve success like they should. Fighting through these obstacles and pushing onward to success.
They don’t have that burning hunger – the feeling that they must get into the gym because they just couldn’t image missing a workout.
For some people, this high motivational level comes naturally. They simply love the feeling of being in the gym, lifting the weights and everything that goes along with it.
But for some, the motivation just isn’t there.
I see it every January. There’s a whole whack of people who show up to the gym with a burning hunger to lose weight, build muscle, and get into the best shape of their lives. I can see it in their eyes, they want to make this year their best year yet. After the first month, half lose all ambition and I never see them again. After the second month, half of those people quit and disappear. By the fourth month, 85% of those people who busted into the gym in January are gone. All hopes of a new body and outlook have vanished along with the New Year’s promise. What the heck happened? Where did everyone go?
The problem that most people don’t envision when they start a new workout and diet program is that it’s a complete lifestyle change. It takes a lot of outside motivation – and strategies to maintain that motivation – to keep them coming back for more.
And that is precisely what we are here to talk about today. If you want to succeed with your fitness goals, you need to figure out a way to maintain higher levels of motivation so that you attack each goal you have with a tenacity that will get you to the finish line.
Will it be easy?
Sorry to bust your bubble but no, it’s not. In fact, it will be one of the most challenging things you will do in your life. However, once you reach your goals, your entire life will change. It will be one of the most rewarding things you do in your life.
You will always have those days where you just don’t really feel like hitting the gym. Even the most motivated of individuals will have these days from time to time.
But, that said, if you utilize a key set of motivational strategies, this does not have to stop you from seeing the results that you want to see.
Those hard days – you’ll push through them. You’ll hit the gym and rely on your inner desire for success to build up the energy to complete each rep.
Likewise, even though you may be craving a few slices of that double bacon cheeseburger pizza, you will call upon your desire for a lean and muscular body to remind yourself that eating your usual chicken with brown rice will be a better choice to meet your recovery and nutrient needs.
Motivation is something that you constantly have to work at and this is something most people overlook.
They tend to believe that either they have it, or they don’t. That it’s very black and white. Some people are motivated, others are not.
And if you aren’t, you think that it’s just the way it goes.
If you use proper techniques, you can maintain high levels of motivation at all times and be one of those people who attacks their goals full force ahead – never wavering from the plan.
So let’s share with you now some of the key strategies that you should put into place to attain those levels of motivation and the desire to achieve the body you want in the long run.
The very first thing that you must do is make sure to establish your ‘motivational type’.
What you need to realize with this is that each and every person is going to be motivated in a slightly different manner.
Some people are going to be highly motivated by images for example. They see an ad in a magazine of a muscular man and instantly crave that body.
They being dreaming of what it would be like to attain that level of muscularity and instantly, that’s their goal.
Or, it might not be images you need, but rather video. You need to watch a video of your favorite athlete or bodybuilder and upon doing so, you are immediately filled with desire to try and obtain that degree of fitness yourself.
Others are motivated by mentors and role models. They meet someone in real life that has the exact body and training mindset they want and that serves to push them harder so that they can come to be just like that themselves.
Still yet, others are motivated by quotes or sayings. Perhaps you read some inspirational quotes and that gets you thinking of achieving more greatness yourself with your workout and diet plan – being the absolute best version of yourself that you can be.
Whatever the case may be for yourself, it’s vital that you identify what tends to motivate you more often than others so that those are the strategies that you can put more of your focus and attention towards.
It makes no sense to look at pictures for motivational purposes if it just doesn’t do it for you. You need to look inside yourself and note what gets you really pumped up for hitting the gym and excited to see a higher level of results.
Each person is unique and often it will be a mix of things that do it, so don’t worry if there is more than one thing that tends to get you focusing on working out with more intensity and making sure that your diet is precisely in check as it should be.
Just identify them and make a list so that you can use them later on.
Now let’s talk further about the two main types of motivation so that you can understand why having both is important to your success.
When it comes to your motivation level, there are two primary sources of motivation – intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation.
Each of these will have a different type of effect on you, so it is important that you are able to identify what each is and how you can be sure to implement it into your own approach.
First let’s talk about extrinsic motivation. This is the motivational type that is most common for many people.
Perhaps, you want to build more muscle because you want the girl who’s currently on your radar to notice you.
Or, maybe you have a high school reunion coming up and you want to impress those that you spent so many of your early years with.
Or, perhaps you have a beach vacation and want to walk along, turning heads wherever you go.
Whatever the case, you are motivated by an external source.
There is something outside of yourself – a desire to impress, please, or get noticed that is driving you forward.
It might have been what prompted you to start up on the workout and diet in the first place – you want other people to see just how great you are.
This is the ‘ego’ side of motivation and not something to feel bad about. Almost all people do have a desire to be looked upon highly by others.
It’s normal and natural and when harnessed properly, can be a great motivational tool so something that you do want to be using.
So what you should do right now is take a few moments and write down all the external things that are motivating you to follow through with your workout program.
What are all the things that are driving you?
Put them down on paper so you can see them there clearly.
Next, you need to consider your intrinsic motivation. This is the motivational type that does get overlooked a little more, simply because we live in a world where body image is a much higher focus by many people.
Especially if you’re in the under 40 crowd where looking good is a priority (and for most people this age, it is), you may not be as focused on intrinsic motivation.
But, between the two motivations, it’s this motivation that is more powerful to keeping you committed to working out and diet, so a very critical consideration.
So what is intrinsic motivation?
This is the motivation that comes from within. That is, the desire to improve your workout protocol simply because you feel like you personally benefit from it.
You are not doing it for reasons related to impressing others or reaching some end goal because of something that is coming up in your life.
You are doing it simply because you find it benefits your own well-being.
Some of the common intrinsic motivational reasons include:
• Increased energy levels
• Enhanced self-confidence and self-esteem
• Decreased risk of disease
• Improved blood pressure/cholesterol levels
• Less joint aches and soreness
• Improved bone density and health
• Increased muscular strength levels
• Death (must improve your health or risk death)
What do all of these things have in common?
If you look hard enough at them, you’ll come to notice that each and every one of them never really ends.
Even if you gain 20 pounds of muscle, you will still need to workout to maintain your energy level.
Reaching that end goal doesn’t mean this desire to keep your energy higher though doing regular workouts stops. It stays in existence.
Likewise, doing regular exercise is going to always be necessary to maintain healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels – that benefit will always be there.
It doesn’t matter what you achieve, these motivational reasons won’t go away.
Hopefully now you can see how powerful this is.
Let’s say your only motivation is to gain 10 pounds of muscle so that you could impress your former girlfriend at the reunion.
You hit the gym daily with this primary goal in mind. You think about how rewarding it will be when she sees you with longing wishing that perhaps she had given you more of a chance.
You achieve your goal, go the reunion, and it feels great. It’s exactly what you wanted. You’re happy, you’re satisfied, and you know the hard work paid off.
But now what?
The reunion is done. Will you keep up your workout program?
If that was the only motivation you had for doing it (Extrinsic), chances are you may quit. There’s just no need.
But if the motivation was also to keep your body disease free and to elevate your mood and energy on a daily basis, you’d have a deeper reason for doing those workouts, so there would be a greater reason for staying on course (Intrinsic).
So it’s these motivational reasons that will keep you committed regardless of what type of goals you reach.
They are the longer term motivational reasons and I would highly recommend that you look deep inside yourself and find at least a few of these that help to motivate you to maintain commitment.
Take a few moments right now and write these down.
Once you have them, it’s important that you focus on reading them daily – twice daily if you have to.
By reminding yourself of these deeper reasons, you can maintain higher motivational levels at all times. Then when you have a momentary lapse of weakness where you just don’t feel like hitting the gym or whatever the case may be, you can call these back into memory and they will help push you forward and stay the course.
So there you have the main difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. For the absolute best level of motivation at all times, you should make sure that you have a few of these pushing you along.
Now let’s move forward and talk about the importance of setting goals.
Blake has been weight lifting for about 28 years now. He's 45 years of age and started seriously training when he was 18 years old.
Blake is the founder of Building-Muscle101.com, a successful fitness website that has been around for more than 15 years.