When it’s minus temperatures outside and you’ve lived in loungewear for 3-days straight, mustering gym motivation seems as unrealistic as getting Donald Trump to stop Tweeting.
Anything seems more appealing than braving Lycra and your local gym, even if you did get a pair of the best workout leggings for Christmas.
But surprisingly enough, even the UK’s best personal trainers and fitness fanatics find dragging themselves to the gym hard sometimes, too.
Who would want to schlep their way through a 5km run when Dancing On Ice is on the telly for the first time in three years?
To help your frustration, we asked eleven of the UK’s best personal trainers how they find gym motivation when they simply CBA.
Keep reading for gym motivation 101. Bookmark for second week of January.
GYM MOTIVATION TIP 1: GRAB YOUR FRIENDS
Who? Amy Costello
You’ll know her as:
Head Trainer and Co-founder of F45 Tottenham Court Road
“I grab my training buddies.
Working long hours training others means I’m often lacking the energy to train myself. When that happens I put a team workout together that will get us all feeling competitive and pumped in no time – there’s no better feeling than bouncing off each other’s energy.
On the days I have a particularly tough F45 workout ahead of me I take a pre-workout, normally the Fit Plus by Innermost. I love this product because its natural ingredients are researched backed (caffeine, beta-alanine and maca) and it gives me the energy boost I need and to maximise my performance for an effective workout every time.”
GYM MOTIVATION TIP 2: TREAT YOURSELF
Who? Benjamin Bulach
You’ll know him as:
Freeletics Training Specialist
“For the tough days, I have two tricks up my sleeve.
The first is instant gratification. The challenge of sticking to a tough training regime is that the reward is postponed – you will feel better and be healthier in the future, but the results aren’t instant. If you do find gym motivation on harder days, treat yourself to something afterward for making your workout happen. On the plus side, sometimes just thinking about the reward is enough.
Alternatively, when I’m feeling demotivated with my training, I try new workouts. Spending time learning new exercises helps to motivate me, it’s also instantly rewarding, as you feel like you’ve conquered something new, which can benefit and enhance your training in the future. ”
GYM MOTIVATION TIP 3: MAKE A GRATITUDE DECLARATION
Who? Tara Xavier
You’ll know her as: Third Space Spin Instructor
“The truth is, I’m a fitness professional and I don’t always want to work out, cue the gasps. If you’ve ever been to one of my spin classes you would never know I feel that way occasionally. I pride myself on delivering a tough workout with high energy and bringing good vibes to every class. Occasionally though life happens and some days are harder. What happens then?
My main tip for the exact moment you think ‘it’s not going to happen’ is to be still, take three deep breaths and visualise what you’re grateful for. Dedicate your workout to that, be it a friend, a good cause or even your legs. Then tell yourself out loud to get a grip, go do it – this declaration reinforces the importance of the habit we’re trying to ingrain.
I also listen to motivational quotes and podcasts before the gym every day. I see them as my personal hype team, once I’ve had a least 5 minutes of that I listen to some very loud beautiful music and that’s my true mind medicine. It shifts my mood every time.”
GYM MOTIVATION TIP 4: WORK WITH WHAT YOU’VE GOT
Who? Nicole Noble
You’ll know her as:
Frame instructor and Running Biomechanics student
“Fighting with low motivation is tough enough so don’t fight your nature, too – a lot of people tend to add barriers to entry without meaning to. For example, if you’re not a morning person then work with it; schedule a quick lunchtime class or hit up the gym in the evenings.
Likewise, if you’ve been out of the game for a bit, start back with a workout or class which you like; it’ll make it easier to get back in the groove.
When I’m struggling for gym motivation, I run to or from where I need to be because I know the practical, ‘I’ve got to get there somehow’, justification is my lowest hurdle. The takeaway: don’t overthink it and work with yourself and your schedule.”
GYM MOTIVATION TIP 5: TURN UP YOUR PLAYLIST
Who? Niko Algieri
You’ll know him as:
PT and co-founder of Equilibrium.
“Getting motivated to train depends solely on your personal tastes. I love music: scientists at Brunel University in the UK, a world-leading research hub on music for athleticism, found that music can reduce your rate of perceived effort by 12% and improve your endurance by 15%. Nothing gets me, my clients and our classes more pumped than when tunes like 50 cent In Da Club, Linkin Park Faint, ACDC Highway To Hell, Jay-Z Big Pimpin’ and Duke Dumont Real Life come on.”
GYM MOTIVATION TIP 6: PRIORITISE YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
Who? Tana Von Zitzweitz
You’ll know her as:
Nike and Barry’s Bootcamp trainer
“When the lure of staying warm, cozy and sweat free becomes greater than the need to squeeze into my Lycra and train, I have to think about how I will feel after the workout. If I don’t exercise my stress levels can go through the roof and that means periods of intense anxiety and sleepless nights.
When I lack gym motivation to train it is normally a thought process of “should I, shouldn’t I?!” Which is torture in itself. I need to remind myself that I workout, whether that means strength training or running, to keep my body but most importantly my mind strong. There isn’t much that compares to the feeling of completing a session when you didn’t really feel like it in the first place.”
GYM MOTIVATION TIP 7: WATCH MOTIVATIONAL VIDEOS
Who? Jamie-Ray Hartshorne
You’ll know him as:
@JamieRayFitness, Another Space trainer and WHRC run coach
“We all go through periods where we feel less motivated and find it hard to bring ourselves to workout. Whenever I am going through this I like to watch videos of people achieving their goals as other peoples success can breed success. My favourite video to watch is the CrossFit games watching athletes working to their absolute best inspires me to get moving.
Visualising a time in your life when you felt strong – both physically and mentally can help – you to re-connect with yourself and remember what you’re capable of achieving.
Investing time in setting goals is so important to getting back on track. Set time aside to create a vision board to map out where you would like to see yourself and what small daily goals you need to achieve to make this happen.”
GYM MOTIVATION TIP 8: THINK AHEAD
Who? P Mac
You’ll know him as:
@PMacFitness, PT and celebrity trainer to Rochelle Humes, Marvin Humes, Reggie Yates and more
“I personally know how easy it is to be committed when the time is right. But when the time isn’t right, it’s that much harder. However, there’s never really a ‘good time’ to train, and if I wait for the ‘good time’ it will probably never happen. We can always find an excuse to not workout, but it will end up affecting our performance. But if we’re consistent, and stay committed through the good and the bad times, it will become easier–I promise (it’s a team sport).”
GYM MOTIVATION TIP 9: SET YOURSELF A GOAL
Who? Laura Hoggins
You’ll know her as: @BicepsandBronzer, Master Trainer, Strength and Conditioning coach at One London
“Social media can be a bit like Match of The Day: a highlights reel of fitness success and positivity, but trust me, its not everyday I wake up desperate to squat and blitz 500 calories on the assault bike. Especially coming into the New Year, when I am feeling a bit knackered, I take myself to a very specific mental space.
This mental space goes as follows: ‘I must do today what others won’t, so tomorrow I can do what others can’t’. I set myself a challenge of what I should be doing (savage rowing), with things I like doing (fun deadlifts). Not every day needs to be a PB day. I then get lost in the filthiest house playlist I can find, while clocking my efforts using a HR monitor. All I have to do is give it everything I have on that day, knowing it will soon be done and in the gains bank. I’ve never regretted a workout, the post workout euphoria makes you feel grateful to have the opportunity to be active and pursue health and wellness.”
GYM MOTIVATION TIP 10: AIM FOR 5 MINUTES AND WORK UPWARDS
Who? Doug Tannahill
You’ll know him as: Head of Clinic and Head of Strength&Conditioning at BXR
“A few things always help me when I’m lacking gym motivation. Firstly, chuck on your gym gear and watch online videos. A Youtube search for someone that inspires you or that you aspire to be like. Whether this is an athlete, fitness model, motivational speaker or people just training hard it should give you a buzz to get your self going. Next, trick yourself by saying you’re only going to go to the gym for 5 minutes. Chances are once you are there, you’ll do a whole session.”
GYM MOTIVATION TIP 11: TRY SOMETHING NEW
Who? Leo Savage
You’ll know him as: Third Space PT
“Feeling demotivated sometimes happens to everyone, and it’s important that you don’t let this temporary feeling take over. The first thing I do is think about why I’m training and what I’m doing it for. To remind me of the end goal, in case I have gone off track along the way.
Then I’ll do one of two things. I will either mix up my workouts to keep me switched on, and not feel like I’m just going through the same routine. So if I had a strength session planned, but was feeling really unmotivated, I would do a circuit instead. Or I would look to train with a friend/colleague, as I always bring a higher intensity when training with someone else and that usually gets me out of an unmotivated state of mind.”
Gemma Atkinson is our cover star. Check out her morning routine, this fitness video or the Gemma Atkinson diet. You’re welcome.