Workout Motivation: Principles for Training Like a Champion

Having trouble staying motivated for your workouts? STACK Expert Carl Putman offer five principles to keep you going and make your training more productive.

Workout Motivation

Even the best competitors sometimes have trouble finding workout motivation. Having principles and goals behind your training definitely helps. They keep you accountable and give you structure, so you know what you're supposed to do and what you're striving for.

At Parisi XPC, we motivate our athletes and clients by finding and then reminding them of the principles that define their training. (My favorite: Get comfortable being uncomfortable!).

Here are five principles you can use to get motivated. As you progress, you can set your own principles that best define your training.

1. Clarity is power

Enter every training session with the goals you want to accomplish, short term and long term. First, what are your big goals? Make the varsity team, earn a college scholarship, break a school record, win the championship? Know that goal and internalize it. Everything you do should be focused toward achieving that goal.

Once you know the big goal, how will you get there? What are you going to accomplish this training session that will bring you closer?

State your goal for each workout session, write it down, and do not let yourself end the session without accomplishing it. If your goal is 100 Push-Ups, don't leave until you finish them. This gives you accountability and helps you measure your progress.

2. Take time to visualize

The power of visualization is crucial to workout motivation and training at your peak. Once you know what you want to accomplish, you have to see it every day. Before every workout, spend five to 10 minutes in a quiet place and visualize yourself accomplishing the goals you set. Practice concentrating and creating the scenarios that will make you successful. Then visualize scoring the winning touchdown or hitting the game-winning shot. Think about the feeling that comes with those successes, and visualize what it takes to get there. Approach every workout this way.

3. Always have a sense of urgency

Now that you have visualized your goal, fear can become a motivator. Fear that your vision won't come true, fear that someone else will outwork you and beat you to it. Every time you want to quit—every time you aren't motivated or feel like taking a day off—remember that someone else isn't quitting or taking the day off. Your sense of urgency, fueled by the fear that you will be out-hustled, must be present in every workout.

4. One rep at a time

You have a goal, you have seen your vision of achieving it, and you have a sense of urgency that will drive you to achieve it before anyone else does. Now it's about focus. It's easy to hit the gym without motivation or focus when you've got a million other things on your mind such as school, family, relationships and so on.

Once you hit the gym and are prepared to start your workout, learn to focus on only one thing: the next rep. Not the set you have to do later, not the rep you just did. When you are feeling unmotivated or overwhelmed, just focus on the next rep or exercise and make that the best rep you perform. Repeat that for every rep  and you will always train like a champion.

5. Understand mastery

When you struggle with motivation to work out and train at a high level, understand that you have the ability to master negative thoughts and turn them into positive ones. When you learn to master your outlook—to counter negative thoughts with positive ones—you will begin to master your workouts, your motivation and yourself.

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