Running on an empty road

Getting motivated to work out isn’t always easy. There are so many other things calling out to you and it’s almost always easier to make an excuse than it is to actually work out. It’s perfectly normal (and common) to face motivational problems. Maybe you’re just starting your workout routine or perhaps you had a crappy day. It happens!

The truth is though, when you push through a workout it generally lifts your mood and leaves you with a feeling of accomplishment. In this article we cover 7 great ways to motivate yourself to work out. Different people are motivated in different ways – so pay no attention to the order of the items. You know yourself better than anyone!

How to Get Motivated for a Workout

1. Play Some Good Music

motivational music

This sounds cliche, but throw on some upbeat music. There’s nothing like a good song to lift your mood and make you feel like moving your body. I’ll share a couple songs that motivate me to get my rear in gear and a couple that my wife enjoys as well.

2. Hold Back Something You Enjoy as a Reward

Pink Adult Drink

Giving yourself a reward for a job well done is a great way to motivate yourself through a workout. I personally do this all the time to keep myself from slacking off. Here’s a list of examples.

  • Watching the next episode in a TV series you’re into.
  • Doing an activity you enjoy, even if it’s just flopping onto the couch with a blanket.
  • Having one of your favorite meals.
  • Checking your phone… what was that alert? Guess you’ll find out after your workout 😉
  • Using the internet. I assure you, the internet will still be there when the workout is over.
  • Enjoying a vice. What?! Don’t judge me!

3. Work Out With Other People

Group of women on stationary bikes

There’s something about working out in a group that is motivational. For many people, working out in a group setting is motivational not only when it comes to “showing up” but also during the workout when your tank is running on empty… you see everyone else digging deep to push through and it motivates you to do the same.

4. Watch Other People Work Out

Smart phone with YouTube

It’s not always easy to schedule group workout sessions. There are tons of things that make it difficult. Maybe you’ve got kids? Maybe you’re reading this in 2020 and the corona virus has forced you to live like a recluse tucked away in a log cabin in the mountains. Either way, pull up YouTube and find some videos of other people working out. Try to find videos of people with a similar build to your own (or better yet, people more out of shape than you are). There is something special about seeing people who are worse off than yourself powering through when it comes to making you feel guilty about being lazy.

5. Revenge

Social media apps on smart phone

There are few things more motivational than revenge. Got an ex that made you feel like crap? What about those judgmental people from high-school or college that have lost a step or two themselves… imagine how they’ll feel when they creep through your social media photos months from now only to discover you’re looking better and better while they are surfing the internet all frumpy with Doritos dust all over their fingers wondering what went wrong.

6. Sweat Equity

Nice clean looking house and yard

Get creative with your workouts! Is there a project you’ve been wanting to tackle out in the yard? Landscaping? Gardening? Weeds growing out of every crack? Something that really motivates me to workout is having a dual-purpose. Knock out a project you’ve been thinking about that is physically demanding. Newsflash – that IS A WORKOUT. You can improve the curb appeal of your home and increase its value while you burn calories and work muscle groups that you didn’t even realize you had. It’s a great feeling to know that you’re getting something done, checked off your to-do list, and working your body at the same time. I absolutely love workouts that permanently improve my home or yard.

7. Add Equipment to Your Home Gym

home gym equipment

Going to the gym is time consuming. Not only that, it’s expensive. Sometimes it’s difficult to get to the gym because you are short on time. If you had a couple pieces of equipment in your home – you could squeeze in quick workouts more frequently. Think about what machines you use most frequently and consider purchasing one or two of them to use in the comfort of your own home. We’ve reviewed lots of gym equipment, take a look at some of the reviews and find something that meets your needs (and budget).

Be Honest With Yourself – Hold Yourself Accountable

At the end of the day, you know yourself better than anyone. The things that motivate you might be completely different than what motivates others. Everyone has different triggers – so it’s important to be honest with yourself. While it’s not very nice to manipulate others, manipulating yourself is a great motivational tool. The great thing about manipulating yourself is, it doesn’t require lies or half-truths. You know the consequences of your own actions and you can be completely transparent.

I’ll be completely honest with you. The motivational system that works best for me is to set goals, and reward myself for achieving them. The hardest part is actually withholding the “reward” until you’ve completed the goal. If you can do this without cheating – it WILL motivate you. The best rewards to withhold (in my opinion) are vices you already have. Adult beverage? THC? Potato chips? You know yourself, what can you take away until the goal is completed that will motivate you? Obviously pick a vice you already have… starting a workout routine isn’t an excuse to pick up a new habit, but it’s damn sure an excuse to hold an existing vice over your head until some sweat hits the floor.