15 Ways to Stay Motivated to Work Out | Exercise.com Learn: Your Fitness Business Resource

15 Ways to Stay Motivated to Work Out

Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for Exercise.com. He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist. He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life. He has been featured in Shape, Healthline, HuffPost, Women's...

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UPDATED: Jun 30, 2021

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  • Below are a few tips that will help you stay motivated.
  • Pick the right music and work out with a friend to make workouts less daunting.
  • Challenge yourself and set realistic and trackable goals.

Most people are able to stay motivated during the first week of their workout routine because the process is new and exciting. However, over the course of time, just about everyone will need some additional help to keep them working out on a regular basis.

We’ve got a few tips that will help you stay motivated to continue to push yourself and keep on working out even when the novelty has worn off and the workout becomes part of your weekly grind.

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#1 – Pick the Right Music

Many people use their iPhones or other mobile devices to listen to music during their workout. Select music that is upbeat and makes you want to move. If you like dance and club jams, your workout time is a great time to listen to this type of music.

Music with a strong bass beat that makes you want to get up and dance is a great motivator for working out.

#2 – Schedule Your Workout

Schedule your workout just like any other activity that you perform on a regular basis. Your mind and your body will adjust to the schedule and you will be more likely to be mentally prepared for the workout if you schedule the time and days for the activity.

#3 – Work Out Early in the Day

The earlier in the morning, the more effect your workout will have to increase your metabolism and fat-burn rate throughout the day. In addition, you will have more energy to perform the rest of the day’s activities.

It is always nice to have the workout finished and out of the way early.

#4 – Work Out with a Friend

Having a friend that will work out with you on a regular basis is a valuable asset.

Not only does a friend make the workout more enjoyable, you won’t want to be the one to cancel! After all, don’t you have more willpower than your friend?

Show them what you are really made of! Work out with a friend.

#5 – Set Workout Goals

Set regular short-term and long-term goals with regards to what you want to achieve over the course of your workouts. In weight training, this would simply mean regularly increasing the weights you work out with.

For other types of training, such as riding a bike or running on a treadmill, set goals for increases in miles in the short term and over the long haul.

#6 – Set Your Strategy

Once you have determined your workout goals, set a course of strategy. You now know where you want to go. A strategy is the road map for how you will get there.

Determine your strategy by taking a look at the goals you have set for yourself, and then working backward.

If you have set a goal to be lifting a certain weight within one month, determine where you will need to be one week into the process, and then two weeks, and so on.

#7 – Take Pictures of Yourself in a Bathing Suit

Take pictures of yourself from several different angles in a bathing suit. A picture is worth 1000 motivational words. If that doesn’t motivate you to work out, what will?

Post the pictures where you will be able to see them during your workout sessions.

During those times you feel that you just can’t lift another ounce, or run another mile, just take a peek at those old pictures!

#8 – Change It Up

Change your workout routine on a regular basis to keep things fresh and new. Your mind and body will become bored with the same old workout routine day in and day out.

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#9 – Reward Yourself

When you reach your workout goals, or even when you force yourself to work out on a day you just don’t feel like doing it, reward yourself with something.

You will have something to look forward to during your workout and you will feel great when you finish the session or reach that goal. Keep in mind, however, that not all rewards have to be food!

#10 – Look At How Much You Have Accomplished!

One way to keep your motivation level high for working out is to look at how far you have come! Pull out those “before” pictures and ponder the days when you could barely lift a TV remote.

Remember the days when walking to the mailbox in the front yard winded you. Focus on how much GOOD you have done for yourself and how much better you feel as the result.

#11 – Make Working Out Fun!

However you can do it, make your workout routine fun. You might even try working out with a funny TV show playing on a TV in the workout room. Maybe an unspoken competition with the person working out in another part of the gym might work for you.

#12 – Try the Five-Minute Rule

The Five Minute Rule is a great way to trick yourself into working out on those days you really just don’t feel like it. Tell yourself, “Okay, I’ll go to the gym and work out for five minutes. After that, I’m out!”

In most cases, you will get warmed up and then just stay and continue until you are finished with an actual workout!

#13 – Make a Bet With a Friend or Family Member

One study has demonstrated that people who bet that they can maintain a workout schedule for a specified amount of time, tend to reach their goals and win the bet.

However, a correlation was found that the more money involved, the more likely the bettor was to achieve their goals.

Bet a healthy sum of money with a friend or family member that you can maintain your workout schedule for a specified amount of time.

#14 – Practice Motivational Thought Exercises While Exercising Your Body

There are several motivational thoughts that you can process to keep you on your workout schedule. Think about how good you will look after one month, two months, or six months of keeping on your regular workout schedule.

Think about how healthy you are becoming. Think about your heart and your muscles and how they are being positively affected by your workout routine.

Think about how much better you sleep after you worked out that day.

#15 – Work Out While Looking in a Mirror

One great way to keep yourself motivated, particularly for weight training or while working out on machines, is to watch yourself in a mirror.

Watch your muscles flex and bulge. Watch as you stretch your legs. Look for new definition and pay attention to your movements.

Keeping yourself motivated to work out is a mindset. Simply make your mind up that you are going to do it and then follow through.

Just like anything else in life, winning the motivational battle for working out is mostly about winning the battle first in your mind. Where the mind goes, the man follows.

Try these steps to help yourself stay motivated at the gym and your results will show!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How many days a week should I work out?

A minimum of three days a week is recommended.

Can I work out twice in one day?

You can, however, it important that you do not overtrain and injure yourself. If you plan on tackling two-a-days, it is imperative that you program rest days into your routine.

Can I exercise if I am sore?

If you are mildy sore, it is okay to exercise. However, if your muscles are very sore, either take a rest day or train the unaffected body parts.

Go PRO to log your workouts or to choose from one of our workout plans to keep yourself accountable and start seeing the changes you’ve been looking for! Sign up for a PRO plan today!

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