It’s a New Year and lots of people are acting on resolutions to start working out. Maybe you even signed yourself up for a gym membership to try and force yourself into doing it.
But are you motivated? Why is it so hard to get motivated?
And maybe, like most who make the resolution, you’re already skipping workouts and talking yourself out of it.
I started working out 50 years ago. Had some lapses in various decades, but for the most part, I get it done week after week.
But... Before each and every workout, I have to battle a little demon that lives on my shoulder and tries to talk me out of it. He says things like:
“We’re too tired, take a break…”
“We can catch up tomorrow…”
“What’s the point, anyway?”
Sound familiar? I think everyone has a little demon living on their shoulder. Some whisper louder than others. But we all have to fight the urge to walk away and be lazy.
Habits. Sometimes, just doing the things you consider automatic can help get you moving. For me, it’s a few simple things I do every time without thinking much about it:
- Turn on one of my favorite I-Tunes playlists. LOUD Custom-made for workouts. Songs from various eras, but all have a strong, driving beat. From 60’s oldies like “I Want Candy” by the Stangeloves or Bob Seger’s “Heavy Music,” to sweet upbeat soul music like the Esquires “Get on Up” to modern tunes like “Last One to Die” by Rancid, “Space Lord” by Monster Magnet and “Raise Your Glass” by Pink.
- I pop two pieces of Bubble Yum Original Sugar Free into my mouth, one for each side. The non-thinking action of chewing the gum helps put my brain in the workout groove.
- Then I slide on my Sheik finned lifting gloves and aim myself at the first work station.
I believe the first step is simply to get started: Do that first rep! And as you begin, tell your mind to shut the F up and STOP the verbal crap. Get into the music, let it drown out that little demon and his loud mouth.
Feel the beat as you execute the rep.
Breath deep, in and out…
Keep it Going:
Great, so how do you keep going past the first rep? It helps to have motivational goals you can visualize as you go.
Are you trying to add some lean muscle, lose some fat? Then think about how good you’re going to look in a new pair of jeans and form-fitting shirt.
How about your spouse or significant other? They’re going to be turned on by way you look. Think about it…
Don’t have a significant other? Imagine one. Maybe that person you used to have a crush on a long time ago.
Or just see yourself in general, feeling better, looking great.
Remember, this is your mind we’re working with here. Let your imagination run loose. Next to sex, the pump from a workout is one of the most sensual things you can experience. Go with it. Let your fantasies play out, if they help you push your body and get that pump going.
Feel the fantasy, feel the pump… get lost in it.
The 5 Keys:
Keep the technical aspects of your workout simple and straight-forward. Check out my 5 Keys to Feeling Stronger – Right Away for some tips. The main focus is get to that “pumped” feeling in your target muscles that lets you know the muscle-building process is working.
Using lighter-weights and higher-reps with solid form is the best way to get there. Take each set you do to ‘failure.’
A good pump is an amazing feeling. It should be the motivating goal of each individual workout.
You can build your own playlist with any music that feels good and maintains a strong tempo and beat.
For thought-starters, here what’s on my current favorite playlist. I usually play it on random shuffle so the order always changes.
I have several more lists, but this is the one I’m stuck on.
If you’ve got some favorite motivational tunes, please put them in the Comments. I’m always looking for more.
Peace of Mind - Boston
Only the Young - Journey
I Don't Feel Like Dancin' - Scissor Sisters
Feelin' Satisfied - Boston
Last One to Die - Rancid
Summer of '69 - Bryan Adams
I want Candy - The Strangeloves
Roll With the Changes - REO Speedwagon
Any Way You Want It - Journey
Dreams - Van Halen
More Than a Feeling - Boston
My Ever Changing Moods - The Style Council
Who Do You Love? - Woolies
Bad Reputation - Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
Lit Up - Buckcherry
Lick It Up - Kiss
Top of the World - Van Halen
Ballad of Detroit - Street Dogs
Lucifer - Bob Seger
Beautiful Trauma - P!nk
Badlands - Bruce Springsteen
Get On Up - The Esquires
The Dream is Over - Van Halen
Under Pressure - Queen & David Bowie
Street Fighting Man - The Rolling Stones
Baby Come Back - Equals
HERE IT COMES - The Ramrods
Heavy Metal - Sammy Hagar
Legs - ZZ Top
I Gotta Feeling - The Black Eyed Peas
In the City - Joe Walsh
Smokin' - Boston
It For Later - The English Beat
Head On - The Jesus and Mary Chain
Rock & Roll Band - Boston
Heaven - The Psychedelic Furs
Raise Your Glass - P!nk
Cum on feel the noise - Quiet Riot
Space Lord - Monster Magnet
Give to Live - Sammy Hagar
Lose Yourself - Eminem
Rescue Me - The Alarm
Right Now - Van Halen
Love Walks IN - Van Halen
Heavy Music, Pt. 1 - Bob Seger & The Last Heard
Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) - 7:02 Bruce Springsteen
Born To Run - Bruce Springsteen
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