5 motivational tips: # 5 find a buddy

So your final motivational tip is to simply find someone to train with.  A buddy gives you encouragement and a competitive edge. Basically, if you were one of those that would have left the gym after two months, having a buddy there would have made you stay twice as long if not more.

Obviously, for certain exercises a friend is needed to help you lift the heavier weights.  Also, if you are unsure of what the correct technique is for an exercise you will need someone to show you.  Beware though, sometimes the group can get a bit too big for everyone to benefit.  Honestly, in my opnion three is definitely a crowd.  Two is more than enough especially when more benefit  is achieved with shorter rest periods.  A tricky issue is when there is an overwhelming difference between fitness levels where the fitter person may push the other too far.  I remember when I trained with big guys and they would make me lift crazy weights where they assisted me from the first repetiton (good old Arnie style training).  Make sure you are still working at a level that is honest, enough to challenge you in a realistic manner.  Doesn’t matter if your buddy is doing flying pushups like this

You can stick to push-ups on your knee if that is sufficient to challenge you.

What more can I say about the use of a buddy. Their benefit is that obvious.  Perhaps I should instead warn you about being too dependant on them.


5 Motivational Tips: #3 Visualise your goals

So now you know why you are trainnig it is important to visualise the ‘why’. Because you now realise that aestheitc goals take longer to achieve you have been realsitic enough to set yourself shorter term goals.  Now you can put that image of Cheryl Cole or Matthew McConaughey up on your locker, mirror, toilet door or even your desktop.

Your goals however maybe more profound than that and I would say they should be.  Your latest health-screening may have uncovered unpleasant things about your blood presssure, cholesterol, BMI etc.  Nowadays you can even be told about your likelihood of being diagnosed with cancer or dying of a heart attack.  These are things you may want to keep in  front of you in order to visualise your goals.  There are people that only exercise as a precription and feel they have to work out for the sake of their long term health.  I give them a lot of credit for realising that exercising is the best method to acquire longevity, pain-free health and ageless mobility in life.  This then gives you happiness and satisfaction long-term but you have to find the right form of exercise that will work for you.  Switching between hour-long treadmill running and machine-hopping will only make you give up eventually.

Another way to visualise your goals is through movement.  If your aim is to perform push-ups or pull-ups watch people that are already doing this as your inspiration.  However, part of being fit is to improve our mobility a much neglected area.  All people seem to do is stretch before and after a workout or go to yoga class.  With Circular Strength Training mobility is at the heart of everything we do.  Our head coaches have developed flows which require a balance between strength and mobility.  I watched senior CST coach Scott Sonnon perform one flow and just made it my aim to do the same.  Go to my workouts section and read the post ‘Introducing My You Tube Channel’ to see more on this.  But here is Coach Sonnon’s demo


And now mine


So visualising goals is of great importance when motivating yourself and now you know there are number of ways to do this.

5 Motivational tips: #2 Set your goals, NON-AESTHETIC ONES!

So every gym has its own block of hardcore regulars that come to the gym, sun, rain or shine.  It is a collection of all the fittest, leanest and healthiest people in the area.  The people that make you sick.  How do they find that motivation.  Such people have already achieved their goal but are scared of losing what they just gained.  They carry on doing the same thing day in, day out out of fear even though all they are doing is getting stonger and stronger in specific exercises.  how much more perfect can their physiques get?

For the majority however, continuing to find that motivation is difficult.  So you need to set yourself better, more realistic goals.  Aiming to get a certain bodyshape or achieve a certain bodyweight is so last year people.  Also, getting that body takes a lot of time for those of us that aren’t blessed in the genetics department.  I know this for a fact, I was born to be short and fat, now thankfully I am just short.

Therefore, keep the aesthetic aspect as a long-term goal because believe me it can be a process that takes years (I’m being honest).  Then set yourself short-term goals like being able to last a spin class or being able to perform a certain exercise like a pull-up for guys and a push-up for girls (and of course there are girls that can do pull-ups).  One thing I like to do is give certain timed challenges to my clients and encourage them to beat their previous times.  I even put clients up against each other in a virtual way and it becomes almost like playing games online 🙂

So set yourself short-term goals that are more tangible and more realistic.  ‘Make sure I fit in three sessions a week or eat eggs for breakfast every morning’.  As you become more accomplished at this you find you have been working out for a long time and seeing these differences and now the aesthetics are coming along as a bonus.

It comes down to performing ‘health-first’ training and everything else (ie looks) becomes a bonus.  Sorry but I think this photo encapsulates such a notion