Finding motivation to maintain a fitness routine and give each workout a high-energy mindset and top-notch performance can be a struggle at times, especially when you can’t seem to get the consistent results you’re looking for. And unfortunately, many of us approach training with an “all or nothing” mindset, and become quickly defeated if we begin to feel like our efforts aren’t bringing our goals to fruition.
Any fitness journey has its ups and downs. You might have a bad week when you’re on a bunch of tight work deadlines and are working long hours. You might go up on the scale during PMS and feel run down. (Ladies, you understand this one.) And — although this is typical each month — you might be tempted to equate that exhaustion with failure.
Lots of us struggle with a lack of motivation to squeeze in that sweat session and make the most of our time. Luckily, there are a few tried and true mantras that trusted trainers use to keep their clients motivated during those tougher moments. Next time you’re feeling a bit down pre-workout or need that mid-workout boost, try telling yourself one of these encouragements.
Motivational Mantras to Light Your Training Flame
1. “Our bodies and minds adapt to what we do most of the time. If you want to change your body and mind, you must change what it is you do most of the time!”
If you’re unhappy with anything you’re doing in life, celebrity trainer Josh Holland recommends reassessing the situation and changing your approach.
“I came up with this because it really causes people to think,” Holland said. “It ultimately comes down to self-awareness."
2. “Work hard. Play hard.”
Though it comes from an unknown and borrowed source, Holland uses this mantra regularly to boost his clients' motivation.
“It’s all about doing good work while being efficient, and enjoying it all throughout the process,” Holland said.
If you think from the point of view that giving your all will provide rich rewards, you are more likely to stick with your regimen and find the type of work you’re doing to be more gratifying.
And, don't make the “play hard” about food, such as rewarding yourself with a donut after a HIIT session. Instead, try to absorb the feeling of being more capable, strong, empowered, and fit in every part of your life.
3. “Knowledge is POTENTIAL power!”
“Borrowed from Tony Robbins, I used to use and believe in the saying, ‘Knowledge is power,’ until I started to realize that it’s actually more about how you use that knowledge, and less about just holding knowledge,” Holland said.
This mantra gets Holland's clients thinking about what they are learning during their workout sessions and goal/performance tracking, but it doesn't stop there. His clients then assess how best they can maximize those gains in areas of their lives to increase power and overall well-being.
4. “Find the WHY and the HOW becomes attainable.”
“A mantra has to change with the challenges and progressions of each client, so my mantra with everyone in order to reach their individual success is, 'Find the WHY and the HOW becomes attainable,'” certified strength and conditioning coach Bobby Aldridge said.
This mantra gets the client in the “go get it” mindset, and helps them create a pre-workout plan and path to reaching their individualized goals. With a plan in action and with that unbreakable drive, it’s easier (and incredibly fulfilling) to crush a workout and come out feeling more successful and stronger than before.
5. "You can always find one more."
When you’re getting near the point of defeat or fatigue, you can lean back on this awesome mantra to remember that you can always give just ONE more rep, set, mile, obstacle, or burpee. (Maybe even two burpees. We are Spartans.)
Aldridge uses this mantra to instill a “keep it going” mindset in clients. Remind yourself that you are more capable than you think possible, and you can always go that one further step forward towards greater success.
6. "Get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable."
Getting uncomfortable is the name of the Spartan game. Aldridge relies on this mantra as a reminder that when you feel uncomfortable, you have an opportunity to use courage to your advantage and push past that unsettling feeling. This pushes you outside your comfort zone — a necessary step in facilitating that personal change and growth you're after.
If something feels easy, you're likely no longer pushing yourself the way you used to. In that case, it’s time to upgrade to the next feat!
7. "Get 1% better every day."
“It's not realistic to think anyone can change their fitness routine, nutrition, or any other aspect of their lifestyle in one fell swoop,” Sullivan said.
So, instead of setting unrealistic goals that can lead to premature quitting, strive to do just a little better each day.
“Clients tell me that making one healthy choice a day is doable, and that one choice tends to lead to another and, over time, those choices build on each other to get to a more healthful lifestyle overall,” he said.