Title says it all; I've been working out pretty religiously for about a year, then starting last month I started going perhaps once a week, and now I finally recognize that I have a motivation problem, and if I don't do something about it, I'm pretty much going to quit (as it has happened before, always around the 1 yr. mark). So, what do you guys do to keep yourselves motivated? I don't even remember why I started going to the gym in the first place.... I think I must have had some delusions of being just like Arnold or something...
Hey, I just posted the following comments on another thread, but they might apply here as well. 72 weeks seems like a long time. I'd suggest taking a short break to rest and refocus. Goals are everything. You can't just keep going to the gym and working without a goal. It becomes blind routine and meaningless.
Enjoy the holidays and get ready to refocus and redidicate yourself to some new goals.
Hey fellow lifter,
There's some good advice in this thread already and I hesitate to add more to the pile, but here's a thought or two I've had recently that may or may not be helpful to you.
I've been working hard on my latest bulk for 21 weeks now. Eating like a Viking and lifting like a gorilla. Although I've never met him, Mark Rippetoe is my new "best friend." I've made very good progress in both size and strength during this time, and can boast that I have not once skipped a workout or shirked a tough lift during this time. Friends and co-workers constantly remark on my progress. I'm sort of freaked out about it myself. A couple years ago I would never have imagined myself picking up such heavy objects off the floor.
But I've noticed the past ten days or so I've been tired. Very tired and worn out. Not sick or anything, just worn out. It seems to take much longer to recover from my workouts now and both my progress and my motivation are beginning to stall.
With the holidays coming up shortly and very few of my pants or shirts fitting over my butt and chest anymore it can be kinda depressing, depending on one's perspective. I try to look at it in the light of having added a crap load of weight to my squats and bench over the past five months, but at the same time my body is so fatigued that it's very hard to roll out of bed in the morning. I don't need to quit. I can't quit. Lifting makes me happy. Lifting gives me focus and direction. It's not just the endorphins, but the fact that I can set goals for self-improvement and work my ass off to get there. Personal accomplishment is one of life's greatest joys, easy to imagine and hard to achieve.
However, I really need a break, and I need some clothes that fit my new body.
My plan is to take it easy for the next few weeks, have fun with the kids during their winter break, work things a bit more slowly, perhaps a bit more lightly at the gym, and to just take my time. Of course I want to keep moving, but not necessarily in a focused and driven sort of way right now.
It's time to unwind, unstring the bow, so to speak. I don't want to lose my gains, but at the same time I don't want to stall out from fatigue or boredom either. Lassitude and apathy are more frightening to me than physical injury.
Sore elbows can be iced, but mental fatigue can grow like a wildfire if you don't deal with it and it can wreak real havoc on your determination. After Christmas I hope to be refreshed, rested, and ready to take stock of my position and set new goals. Do I need to cut? Do I need to bulk? Do I need a new routine? I'll think about these things while I'm wrapping gifts to put under the tree, but for now my focus is elsewhere.
The important thing to me, at least, is to do whatever it takes to keep my attitude positive, even if that means a short break from my routine.
Anyway, that's my two cents.
Last edited by beatlesfreak; 12-10-2006 at 07:14 PM.
i say take some time off.
Don't Cry Because Its Over; Smile Because It's Happened
Shut Up and Do Some Deadlifts
As of 11/13/06
Age - 19
Ht - 6'2''
Weight - 260lbs x 1 (goal -20lbs)
Bench - 260lbs x 1 (goal +40lbs)
Squat - 550lbs x 1 (happy for now)
Deadlift - 405 x 1 after 2 sets of 6 with 315 (goal +95lbs)
Supplements - Whey Protein, Fish Oil, Multi-Vitamin.
What keeps me motivated? Progress. I'm in the gym to get stronger. As long as I'm get stronger, I'm happy.
If you don't know why you're at the gym, then I'm not surprised you're not getting anything out of it. Take some time off, re-ebaluate your current goals, training routine and diet. Once you have a purpose again, you'll be more inclined to hit the weights hard.
.What Separates us from them
"So, what are you doing for a living these days?" Bob asked me. We're sitting on the couch at one of those tedious holiday get-togethers, you know, the ones where you're supposed to be nice to family members you never see except during major holidays and funerals. I think Bob is my wife's brother-in-law's second cousin or something.
"I'm the assistant editor and a writer for Testosterone magazine," I say. Bob looks at me with a blank expression on his face, as if I'd just told him I sell handmade testicle warmers beside the freeway and was looking to open franchises across the nation.
"It's a bodybuilding magazine," I say.
Blank expression. Deer caught in the headlights. Ronnie Coleman doing trigonometry.
"Oh," Bob finally says, "I heard you were, like, one of those bodybuilder guys or something. So, what's that like, you know, working out every day and stuff? I just don't have time to lift weights all day, but I have been meaning to get rid of this beer belly." He takes another sip of beer. "What do you suggest?" Sip.
At first I was a little offended. I wanted to grab him up and say, "You can't tell I'm a bodybuilder?! Look at my ass! Now, if that's not a nice round squat-built piece of sirloin, I don't know what is! You think that comes naturally? I can crack walnuts with this puppy! Wanna see? Huh, punk? Do ya? Do ya?"
Then I realize this just might cause a scene and could cost me several Christmas presents. I was planning on returning any presents I got and using the money to buy a power rack, so I didn't want to jeopardize this gift getting opportunity. I also realized that old Bob probably had a certain preconceived image of a bodybuilder and I just didn't fit that image. I'm not gorilla huge; I weigh about 205 at 5'11" right now. (When I first started lifting I was a pudgy 159, so that's not too shabby.) Also, I wasn't wearing clown pants, a fluorescent string tank top, a hanky on my head and one of those little fanny packs. And isn't that what real bodybuilders are supposed to wear?
Bob continued to sit there drinking his Natural Light, smoking a cigarette and waiting for an answer, oblivious to the fact that he'd come this close to seeing some serious walnut- crunching ass power. I tried to figure out how I could explain to the average guy what the typical T-Man does and why he does it. How could I get him to understand what it is we do, how we feel, how we live? So I took a deep breath and told him something like this:
"Well, Bob, I guess you could use the term bodybuilder if you really need a label for what it is we do. Most of us actually don't stand on stage and compete, though. We lift weights and manipulate our diets so that we'll look good naked. Sure, it's healthy too, and we'll probably live a longer and more productive life than the average guy, but mostly it's about the naked thing. Truthfully, it goes beyond even that.
"Let's be honest here. We do it because of people like you, Bob. We look at you sitting there with your gut hanging over your belt and we watch you grunt and groan just getting out of a chair. Guys like you are our inspiration, Bob. You're better than Anthony Robbins, Bill Phillips, Deepak Chopra, and Zig ****ing Ziglar all wrapped up into one. We love it when guys like you talk about not having time to exercise. Every time we see you munching on a bag of potato chips, you inspire us. You're my shot in the arm, Bob, my living and breathing wake-up call, my own personal success coach.
"You want to know what it is we do? We overcome. We're too busy to train, too, but we overcome. We're too busy to prepare healthy meals and eat them five or six times a day, but we overcome. We can't always afford supplements, our genetics aren't perfect, and we don't always feel like going to the gym. Some of us used to be just like you, Bob, but guess what? We've overcome.
"We like to watch 'normal' people like you tell us about how they can't get in shape. We smile and nod sympathetically like we feel your pain, but actually, we're thinking that you're a pathetic piece of **** that needs to grow a spine and join a gym. You smile sheepishly and say that you just can't stay motivated and just can't stand that feeling of being sore. (For some reason you think that admitting your weaknesses somehow justifies them.) We listen to you ***** and moan. We watch you look for the easy way out. Because of people like you, Bob, we never miss a workout.
"You ask us for advice about diet and training and usually we politely offer some guidance, but deep inside we know you won't take our advice. You know that too. We smile and say, 'Hope that helps. Good luck,' but actually we're thinking, 'Boy, it would suck to be you.' We know that 99% of people won't listen to us. Once they hear that it takes hard work, sacrifice and discipline, they stop listening and tune us out.
"We know they wanted us to say that building a great body is easy, but it just isn't. This did not take five minutes a day on a TorsoTrack. We did not get this way in 12 short weeks using a Bowflex and the Suzanne Somers' 'Get Skinny' diet. A good body does not cost five easy payments of $39.95.
"We like it that while you're eating a candy bar and drinking Mountain Dew, we're sucking down a protein shake. You see, that makes it taste even better to us. While you're asleep we're either getting up early or staying up late, hitting the iron, pushing ourselves, learning, succeeding and failing and rising above the norm with every rep. Can you feel that, Bob? Can you relate? No? Good. This wouldn't be half as fun if you could.
"We do it because we absolutely and totally get off on it. We do it because people like you, Bob, either can't or won't. We do it because what we do in the gym transfers over into the rest of our lives and changes us, physically, mentally, maybe even spiritually. We do it because it beats watching fishing and golf on TV. By the way, do you know what it's like to turn the head of a beautiful woman because of the way you're built? It feels good, Bob. Damned good.
"When we're in the gym, we're in this indescribable euphoria zone. It's a feeling of being on, of being completely alive and aware. If you haven't been there, then it's like trying to describe color to a person who's been blind since birth. Within this haze of pleasure and pain, there's knowledge and power, self-discipline and self-reliance. If you do it long enough, Bob, there's even enlightenment. Sometimes, the answers to questions you didn't even know you had are sitting there on those rubber mats, wrapped up in a neat package of iron plates and bars.
"Want to lose that beer belly, Bob? I have a nutty idea. Put down the ****ing beer. I'll tell you what, Bob. Christmas morning I'm getting up real early and hitting the iron. I want to watch my daughter open her presents and spend the whole day with her, so this is the only time I have to train. The gym will be closed, so I'm going out in my garage to workout. You be at my house at six in the morning, okay? I'll be glad to help you get started on a weight training program. It'll be colder than Hillary Clinton's coochie in there, so dress warm.
"But let me tell you something, Bob. If you don't show up, don't bother asking me again. And don't you ever sit there and let me hear you ***** about your beer belly again. This is your chance, your big opportunity to break out of that rut. If you don't show up, Bob, you've learned a very important lesson about yourself, haven't you? You won't like that lesson.
"You won't like that feeling in the pit of your stomach either or that taste in your mouth. It will taste worse than defeat, Bob. Defeat tastes pretty goddamned nasty, but what you'll be experiencing will be much worse. It will be the knowledge that you're weak, mentally and physically. What's worse is that you'll have accepted that feeling. The feeling will always be with you. In the happiest moments of your life, it'll be there, lying under the surface like a malignant tumor. Ignore it at your own peril, Bob.
"Don't look at me like that either. This just may be the best Christmas present you'll get this year. Next Christmas, Bob, when I see you again, I'm going to be a little bigger, a little stronger, and a little leaner. What will you be? Will you still be making excuses? This is a gift, Bob, from me to you. I'm giving you the chance to look fate in those pretty eyes of hers and say, 'Step off, *****. This is my party and you're not invited.' What do you say, Bob? Monday, Christmas morning, 6am, my house. The ball's in your court."
Okay, so maybe that's not the exact words I used with Bob, but you get the picture. Will Bob show up Monday? I don't know, but I kind of doubt it. In fact, Bob will probably take me off his Christmas card list. He probably thinks I've got "too much Testosterone," like that's a bad thing. I think Bob is just stuck in a rut, and as the saying goes, the only difference between a rut and a grave is depth.
The way out of the rut is to make major changes in your life, most of which won't be too pleasant in the beginning. The opportunity to make those changes seldom comes as bluntly as I put it to Bob. Most of the time, that opportunity knocks very softly. What I did was basically give Bob a verbal slap in the face. You can react two ways to a slap. You can get angry at the person doing the slapping, or you can realize that he was just trying to get you to wake up and focus on what you really want and, more importantly, what it'll take to get it.
If you're a regular T-mag reader, I doubt you need to be called out like Bob. But maybe you've caught yourself slacking a little here lately. Maybe you've missed a few workouts or maybe you started a little too early on the usual holiday feasting, like, say, back in September. Just remember that the time to start working on that summer body is now. The time to get rid of those bad habits that hold you back in the gym is now. You want to look totally different by next Christmas? Start now. This isn't because of the holidays or any corny New Year's resolutions either. The best time is always now.
Christmas day I want you to enjoy being with your family and friends. I want you to open presents, sip a little eggnog and have a good meal. But if your regularily scheduled workout happens to fall on December 25th, what will you be doing at six o'clock that morning?
That's what separates us from guys like Bob.
"The only easy day was yesterday."
I think it's normal for some people in winter time. Have you checked if you have Seasonal Affective Disorder? I suffer from it myself and noticed that my motivation goes down big time in winter. Just something to think about. Other people lose motivation in winter also because it's cold and they would rather stay in their nice warm home or just don't feel like working out because they have to wear a bunch of clothes anyway.
Quit. Then maybe you will remember why you joined. Alot of people join just to do something rather than sit down, some do it to socialize. I dont know why I keep lifting but I went from 6' 2" 160lbs to 225lbs so why stop. Motivation is how bad you want it, if you lose it you were just fooling yourself and beleiving something that wasnt to be
6' 2" 22years old
05' 232lbs, 06' summer 200lbs, Currently 226lbs
FB 345x1 Seated MP 225x5
I've quit like 4 times in the last 5 years, and its only affected my bottom line is just about every way possible. Its affected my potential strength, the fact I'm still overweight and my athletic ability. I've learned the hard way, although I didn't have to.
Hey Boson, don't quit man. I know EXACTLY how you feel. If you have to, change it up completely for a month or take a couple weeks off.
Just please don't quit.
I have already used this in the "ever feel like quitting thread?" http://www.wannabebigforums.com/showthread.php?t=89352on this page but I will say it again.
All negative comments aside... When I "feel like I can't make it to the gym", I "don't feel like it", or I am "sick of eating tuna, chicken and ingesting protein powder", I watch this video. For me this works. Why? Who knows. (Especially since the individual in this video has been known to ingest more than supplements to get where he is - but that isn't the point.) I hold a special place for this video because, like you, I have been faced with quitting many times. For some reason, the music moves me, the sense of focus strikes me and I start looking in the mirror to see what I can do to get to my goal. Good luck and here is some advice for you:
The point is to find your motivation. We all have it. However, some have it hid better than others...
I can't find motivation in watching a larger-than-life man with superior genetics, pharmaceuticals, and infinite time to focus on bodybuilding habits lift weights that most people will never ever come close to doing.
Find motivation in yourself. Simple enough. The only reason you should want to do it is for yourself and if you can't find motivation there, then don't do it.
Take a couple weeks off - completely. It won't kill you unless you just sit on your arse all day.
A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
Watch that video, Holy **** i've never seen so many plates on one machine at a time.
"It is the soldier, not the reporter who has given us the freedom of the press.
"It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us the freedom of speech.
"It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who gives us the freedom to demonstrate.
"It is the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag."
set goals for urself, if ur anything like myself, u do not like failure, and thus will continue to strive for ur goals until u accomplish them. then set new ones
Do what needs to be done.
Every time I was in the hole I swear a turd kissed my underwear. - Hatred
I love snatch. I think I'm addicted to it. - Stray
I like a woman I can climb - Jinkies
Personally ... I'm a vagitarian - Brawl
I don't box, but I'll have a dance off with any of you tools. When I get all my 230 lbs shaking and grooving you bet your a$$es you'll get served. - BilltheButcher
I find this story demotivating. If the reason I worked out as to become a condescending prick, then I could've skipped the gym completely since my goals are met.What Separates us from them
o"So, what are you doing for a living these days?" Bob asked me. We're sitting on the couch at one of those tedious holiday get-togethers, you know, the ones where you're supposed to be nice to family members you never see except during major holidays and funerals. I think Bob is my wife's brother-in-law's second cousin or something...
Most people aren't competitive bodybuilders and the world won't end if you skip your Christmas day workout. If that's what you think, you'll likely wake up one day a sorry, sad individual who has sacrificed some important moments in your life for what will amount to literally nothing. I'm not condoning laziness, but the lines that these nutbags draw in the sand are way too close to OCD-driven motivation.
When you die from some rare form of cancer, getting hit by a bus, getting in a head-on with a drunk driver, or some other tragic yet altogether unpreventable fate, in the throes of death surrounded in white light, will you look back on yur life and wish that you had just one more workout before you pass? Somehow I doubt that's what you'll be thinking about. My guess is that most people will try as hard as possible to hang onto the thoughts of their loved ones and only wish for more time with them. The time is now.
My motivation is simple: Being healthy will increase my odds of having a longer life, with more time to spend with my family. If the means hinder the goal, then you're creating your own failure.
Last edited by galileo; 12-12-2006 at 10:33 AM.
^Very well said.
quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur
This is meant to be fun. Yes it's hard work but it should be rewarding and enjoyable.
If you're no longer enjoying it, just quit. You shouldn't have to be talked back into it. No point forcing yourself to do something you don't want to do.
Thanks for the overwhelming support guys! It's good to know I'm not the only one feeling this way!
So, I went to the gym yesterday and I did my leg workout. I wanted to quit at the middle of the workout but I didn't. I wanted to skip the last reps of a set, but I didn't!! Then I wanted to skip my last exercise, but somewhere in there the "other" Boson pushed through all that negative thinking! It's like there's the "Bob" inside my head and the "other" guy and they're in a battle over control!
That youtube ronnie coleman video makes the Pumping Iron guys look like weenies...
I'm off to the gym again. Thanks all!
the article can be read two ways, though. Yes, the narrator does seem to be pretty full of himself and quite rude to Bob... BUT he does bring up some really good points about our lifestyle. It does make me want to keep going, knowing that I am improving myself on many levels, but I dont take it as far as he does by looking down on "non-lifters" and the general population who doesnt workout.
"Everybody wants to be a bodybuilder, but nobody wants to lift no heavy ass weight!" - Ronnie Coleman
"You've got to love what you're doing. If you love it, you can overcome any handicap or the soreness or all the aches and pains, and continue to play for a long, long time." -Gordie Howe