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Fitness Motivation Training Database Mental Preparation Articles Fitness Motivation

Staying Motivated

Throughout your program it is essential that you remain focused and motivated. This is sometimes easier said than done. It is easy to be motivated when everything is new and you are constantly making size and strength gains, but when they slow or cease, motivation decreases and you lose confidence in your system. This happens to everyone at some point.

Have you ever started a workout program where you were very excited and motivated at the beginning of the program, but as time passed you quickly became disappointed, discouraged and quit because you were not making any substantial gains? Well, I will let you in on a little secret: Nothing ever goes as planned. No one ever makes the gains they expected when they expected. At some point, guys who have made incredible gains got discouraged and felt disappointed. But they did not quit. They stayed focused on their goals.

Don't doubt your program -- whatever it may be. This is the true road to failure. Once you decide on a plan, you must see it through. Have enough confidence in yourself to realize that you've chosen the right methods. When I was on my 12 week program, I had an initial burst of progress, but after that it was very slow going. For a three week period, I had stopped getting results altogether. Do you think I was discouraged? You're damn right I was! I was on a tight schedule and my body was not cooperating.

I typically lose motivation at plateau levels (when I cease making any significant gains), or in the winter time (when it's cold outside and there is very limited daylight). To keep yourself on track, there are a few things I suggest that you do:

  • Change your workout parameters. If you have been performing the same weight training routine for at least 5 weeks and you are not seeing any further strength gains, you may want to consider changing your workout parameters (i.e. sets, reps, tempo, exercises). Any small change should be enough to continue your progress. For example, if you are performing your reps with tempo of one count up and one count down, you may try slowing down your reps for a count of one up and three down.

  • Take a before picture. And put it where you can see it everyday. This reminds you of what you used to look like, and what you will look like again if you stop training!

  • Write down your specific goal on a piece of paper (e.g. I want to gain 30 pounds of muscle and get my body fat below 6%), and either carry it with you everywhere, or hang it somewhere you will see it everyday.

  • Find a photo of someone who has the physique that you are trying to attain. You must be realistic when choosing this. I happen to think that Arnold has a physique that I would like to have, but it will never happen. I don't have the genetics and I do not want to spend my life in a gym. Just choose someone who is realistically achievable. Now hang that where you will see it everyday. Each time you look at your role model photo or read your written goal, you should visualize what you will actually look like at that goal and how you will feel.

  • Take your physical measurements every two weeks. This is a gauge of how well your program is working for you. It will show you how far you have come. You will also see what is and what is not working for you.

  • Give yourself a free day. Allow yourself one day out of the week to eat anything you want - without guilt.

Don't underestimate their power of these tips. No one knows why this stuff works, it just does. I'm proof.


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