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Workout Motivation Tips to Keep You on Track

Authored by Tom_Berry
Posted Wednesday, February 21, 2024 - 11:39am

We’ve all been there; we know that we should exercise, and we know we’ll feel better if we do, but the couch is feeling so comfortable, and it's cold outside! Here are my top tips for keeping active with your motivation is low.

Modify your expectations

If the thought of completing an hour-long HIIT session, where you burpee until you almost pass out, is just too much, perhaps you need to think about doing something a little bit different. We all have days where we’re not feeling so energetic, and other days when we’re full of beans. Don’t be afraid of substituting your super-hard workout for something different and more achievable. Why not head to the gym and work through a strength program at a steady pace? Or perhaps if you’re really tired, just head out for an hour's walk. Both of these forms of exercise are great, and infinitely better than doing nothing. Don’t worry, you’ll have other days where you’re fully prepared to smash that HIIT session.

Set a smaller goal

This tip is particularly good for runners who lack the motivation to get out and put in the miles. Your training program may say that you need to run for an hour, but instead, tell yourself that you’re going to go out for 10 minutes, and if you’re feeling good after those 10 minutes, you’ll carry on and complete the full hour. You’ll be surprised at how many times you carry on! The hardest part is putting on your trainers. Once you’re out of the house, there’s a strong chance you’ll complete the workout.


If you regularly find yourself lacking the motivation to workout, consider whether or not you need to change your schedule. Perhaps you’d be better off training in the morning before work? Or maybe you need to take your gym kit to work so that you can train before coming home. It's well known that when the bum hits the couch, it’s much harder to get out and train!

Find a buddy

Working out with friends is great! If you’re a sociable person, your workout immediately becomes more enjoyable, so you look forward to it more. In addition, on those days when you’re feeling demotivated, your friend will be turning up on your doorstep with a smile and you won’t want to let them down. Disclaimer: this doesn’t work if you and your buddy are both easily demotivated because you’ll just end up watching television!

Hire a fitness professional

Personal trainers, like me, can’t drag you out of your bed in the morning, but we can bang hard on your front door and then use our puppy-dog eyes to make you feel really bad about being late for your 6 am garage session. Not all personal trainers work out of gyms, there are plenty of very competent ones who will come to your home or meet you in a suitable public space.

Do something different

If you are constantly dreading your next workout, perhaps you’re doing the wrong thing. The average person just needs to move more. This doesn’t have to be gym-based training, you can join a dance class, play a social sport, join a hiking club or do some gardening. There are so many fun things to do that will keep you active.

Good luck with your fitness goals! Don’t beat yourself up if you occasionally lack the motivation to train. It happens to all of us. Try some of my tips and hopefully, you’ll be more active than ever before.

Tom Berry is a running coach and personal trainer in Exeter. Since 2011, he has conducted tens of thousands of sessions in New Zealand and the UK.

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