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Gym Motivation - 34 Orthodox and Unorthodox Ways Get Motivated to Workout (Part III)

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Gym Motivation
(Unorthodox Suggestions - Continued)

Here's Part III of our "Gym Motivation" series.

In Part I, we discussed 14 ~somewhat Orthodox suggestions that will help you get your ass to the gym until it becomes a habit. 

In Part II, we discussed 9 Unorthodox suggestions - most of which - you won't find elsewhere.

It's been a pleasure to reflect and discuss these recommendations.

I needed it.

At 31, a shell of my former self (in terms of strength and size), I need all the motivation to hit the gym that I can get.

These days, training for 40 minutes at moderate intensity seems harder than training balls-to-the-wall for 2 hours like I used to do.

The gym isn't my first or second priority anymore but I certainly need to have a decent body so people don't treat me like a peasant.

But more importantly - I hope our recommendations help you.

meathead cartoon

Unorthodox Ways to Get Motivated for the Gym

#23 Convince Yourself That You Love The Gym

I'm not one for affirmations. They simply have not worked for me.

I'm only suggesting this method because Victor at Bold and Determined swore that it was a game-changer for him.

When he first got started, he hated the gym and dreaded going.

By simply telling himself, "I love the gym..." anytime negative thoughts came into his head - he overcame his dislike of the gym.

In fact, only a few months later, he says that he became "addicted" and "obsessed" with going to the gym.

Victor discusses how this worked for him in 25:30 of the "Exclusive Podcast With Victor Price of Bold and Determined (Part I)".

Again, I'm not one for affirmations or how they are traditionally applied.

In a case like this, I could see it working because going to the gym shoots your body full of happy endorphins.

Now, who doesn't love that? 

#24 Use YouTube to Motivate You

There's so many fantastic motivational videos on YouTube that will make you want to run to the gym immediately (and run home).

If your iPod or audio player has video (.mp4) capability - by all means, put them on there and take them with you.

If I'm dragging, I personally like watching college football strength and conditioning videos and NFL draftees training for the combine.

I don't know about you... but watching videos of "Fitness Chicks" really seem to motivate me to hit the gym.
(not female bodybuilders)

If you needed to know-

You don't have to be an IFBB professional bodybuilder to sleep with fitness girls, but they definitely hold guys to higher physical standards.

I've always been obsessed with a girl's 'hamstrings'. Really.

Some people will say that, "doing things to make girls like/attracted to you is pathetic."

I think it's a damn good motivator.

Everybody who has a decent sex life does SOMETHING to impress the opposite sex, why not look good?

A lot of guys prefer watching videos of professional bodybuilders or motivational videos that feature various 'speeches' or monologues.

WHATEVER WORKS FOR YOU.

In a world of so much Hollywood fluff and so little substance - if it motivates you - then it's good.

 Youtube logo

#24 Buy New Gym Apparel/Accessories

Call me a little princess but I've always found that I'm more motivated to hit the gym if I have some new gym clothes.

Truth is, I've been basically wearing the same gym clothes for the past 4 or 5 years.

What has changed is the "accessories" that I wear (some are also useful for workouts).

Wristbands, hats, straps (never gloves) - it's all good and gives your gym look some stylish edge - if it's done correctly.

More obscure motivators have included this inexpensive cologne and simply getting a new water bottle.

For our general recommendations for this season, check out-

If it's not clear - we suggest wearing ATHLETIC ATTIRE (GYM CLOTHES) to the gym. To some extent your gear and how you look should motivate you.

Don't dress like you are going to a club.

#25 Go Tanning

Call me a little perfect princess again but going tanning (or simply getting a tan) always seemed to motivate me to work harder in the gym or stare at myself in the mirror between sets.

Go tanning after you train (if you aren't terribly sweaty) and follow our tanning recommendations to keep your skin in good shape-

Although tanning (recklessly) gets a bad rap - the process actually can be healthy for your psyche and sex appeal.

It's a little known fact that tanning stimulates endorphin release and gives you a natural high that is further enhanced from a hard workout at the gym.

Again, check out the tanning guide if you don't know what you are doing.

Tanning [in moderation] in a high-quality bed with specific lotions on specific areas can be very beneficial and very safe.

We err on the side of caution.

Going to the beach or sitting poolside can certainly replace the tanning bed - the same safety rules apply.

Check out "Melanotan II" if you want to get super tan in like 7.4 minutes. 

 beach cartoon

#26 Hit the Gym on "Stim" Days

While pre-workout formulas and fat burners such as Lipodrene can be fantastic, nothing beats a "real" stimulant.

The mind-muscle connection is unreal and you might find that you are ~5% stronger on your compound lifts.

Specifically, compounds such as Adderall, Ritalin and Modafinil will make you absolutely tear up the gym.

I'm not suggesting that you take one of these prescription medications specifically for the gym, I'm suggesting that you hit the gym on the days that you do.

I'm serious when I say that.

I don't recommend using any of these compounds as a "pre-workout" supplement - they aren't for that purpose and you don't want to get dependent on these compounds.

Don't snort 15 mg of Ritalin for your 'pre-workout stack'.

When I plan long "Work Day," I'll take the stimulant that my doctor has prescribed, hit up the gym for 45 minutes, have a fantastic workout and come home and get to work.

#27 Schedule Something Else That Will Be Fun For Later That Day

As mentioned in "21 Things You Can Do Today To Stop Being Negative", I think it's critical for highly self-motivated, hard working guys to make sure they -

  1. Have something fun to look forward to. (on a 14 day basis)
  2. Have fun. 

Most guys have the WORK part down.

Not as many have the PLAY part down.

If you have a tough day of leg training ahead of you - plan something NEW or FUN for after.

It could be hitting up an all-you-can-eat buffet with your training partner.

It could be shooting guns at [targets of] people you don't like.

It could be anything - so long as it's not a total hassle.

A girl I used to date was a NPC Fitness competitor.

Her body was killer, her face - just as good, some of you guys may even recognize her.

We'd make a point up hitting up the gym 1 or 2 times a week together, usually for leg training.

We'd kill ourselves - our legs were softer than Sugar-Free Jello but more pumped than organic chicken sausage left in the microwave for 5 minutes too long.

Afterward, we'd drive to my place and order $80 of sushi and smoke cigarettes together.
(this girl used a lot of adderall while cutting - she was an absolute chimney because of it. she turned out to be absolutely nuts as well.)

 cartoon street festival

#28 Intentionally Schedule Time Restrictions

Over a decade of training, I've come to realize that I workout HARDER when the rest of my day is busier - especially when I can only stay at the gym for a limited amount of time.

Time restrictions ensure that I train FASTER and usually harder.

Pick a time when you need to be at the gym and a time when you absolutely have to leave the gym.

Truth be told, you DO NOT NEED 2 hour workouts.

In fact, if you aren't juicing and your workout is beyond about 50 minutes - you are probably overtraining. 

The "Get Huge and Ripped!" workouts you see in 'Muscle & Fiction' magazine are designed for guys that are taking 3 grams of testosterone, at the very least.

Excluding grueling Summer 'two-a-day' practices, most college football teams train at 5:30 or 6am for a total of about 35 minutes.

After a quick warmup, they do POWER exercises that usually feature no more than about 5 or 6 reps - with rest periods of about 90 seconds in-between.

It's fast, it's intense, it's hard, but it's OVER before they know it.

IN and OUT.

DO WORK.

LEAVE and GO HAVE A LIFE.

#29 Public Declaration (Forced Accountability) 

This suggestion is not for everyone.

But it's undeniable that it has worked for so many people, including myself.

It works like this - 

Make a public statement (social media is good in this case) that you are GETTING RIPPED, ideally targeting a specific body fat, waist size or weight.

ANNOUNCE IT TO EVERYONE.

Not that it matters too much...
(stay with me here...)

Of those who respond -

Most people will respond in a favorable way and give you some support. Helpers.

A fair amount of people will root against you (usually silently). Haters.

Although 'it doesn't matter what people think', YOU have put yourself on the line and should feel some additional accountability to follow through.

Relish the opportunity, learn to thrive under pressure and get the job done.

If you feel "gay" or like an attention whore for making a public statement about your upcoming transformation, you can note something like-

"In the next 8 weeks, I'm going to lose 20lbs. I wouldn't normally do this but I struggle with my fitness goals. In order to be accountable and assure my success - each week, I'm going to post a new picture of my progress and my body weight. You will see how hard I am/am not working. Wish me luck!"

Copy and paste that into Microsoft Word and print up a copy for EVERY ROOM in your house.

This type of "Public Declaration" can be used for any goal.

It's particularly good for fitness goals because you literally have to expose yourself and you can't fake it.


cartoon transformation

#30 Put Your Money On the Line (Forced Accountability)

If you aren't one for Public Declarations, you can still put yourself on the line.

Find someone that is supportive of your fitness goal and give them $400 and a list of milestones -

  • July 1-15 (Lose 2% Bodyfat and/or 5lbs.)
  • July 16-30 (Lose 2% Bodyfat and/or 5 lbs.)
  • August 15 (Lose 2% Bodyfat and/or 5 lbs.)
  • End August (Down 7-8% Bodyfat and/or 18-20lbs.)

In this example, if you achieve the milestone - you receive $100 back.

If you don't - your friend gets the cash.

If you achieve your final milestone (your final goal), you get the entire $400 back - even if you missed one of the milestones.

If you want to work out some sort of 'reward' for achieving your final milestone - sometimes that makes it more fun.

I never personally needed something like this - but I required nearly all my personal training clients to do something like this.

Works good.

Just make sure your fitness milestones are healthy and realistic, check with us in the 'Get Ripped' section of the forum.

#31 Significant Punishment (Discretion Advised)

About a year and a half ago, I read an article about how the Soviet prison system used to rehabilitate drug addicts.

Basically, they would beat the hell out of them. Over and over and over.

Not only did "patients" usually face the acute withdrawal from their substance of choice - but physical and psychological torture that even the most hardened criminals in the USA will never see.

Though hardly ethical, the Soviet "program" boasted undeniably higher success rates than traditional Western rehabilitation. 
(again, this was for hardcore drug addiction, not alcoholism, which was rampant in the USSR)

Even most hardcore drug addicts swore to their sobriety and managed to stay clean. Some claim they were grateful for their 'treatment'.

Simple recreational drug users that got misplaced in these hellholes were scared to death to ever do anything wrong again.

I'm not saying that you should have your friends lock you in a closet and beat you with clubs every 90 minutes but rather agree to significant consequences that someone (who cares about you) is willing to enforce.

My friend Curtis, who is mentioned in "Sense of Entitlement (Advanced Confidence)", would have a girl burn him with a cigarette if he missed ONE gym day. He only missed 1 day in about 7 months and reached his goal of benching 355 lbs at 195lbs (natural). The girl, who didn't get along with him, was happy to burn him with her cigarette. Interestingly enough, she was his sister.

Even that is quite extreme and this type of thing isn't for everyone.

You can't deny that FEAR is a good motivator though. 

 cartoon torture

#32 Experiment With Brain Cocktails

I'm just getting back into nootropics (smart drugs/supplements). There's a lot of new ones.

While some are overrated in anything but MEGA doses, others can really do the trick and zero you in or pump you up.

I always thought piracetam (with a stimulant) was pretty good but I'm a bit out of the loop.

The guy to ask is "Pill Scout".

He runs a cool blog and has done research on plenty of compounds that both you and I have never heard of.

This is right up the GLL-Lifestyle alley and we are big fans of Pill Scout.

Check out his blog -

#33 Make Up A Goal/Challenge - Fight Somebody, etc.
(even if it's completely stupid)

Sometimes it helps to think WAY outside the box.

Back way in 2002(?), I organized a boxing match between two of my friends that really didn't like each other.

They had about 6.5 months to train for the match fight that I would officiate on my lawn.

One of the guys actually trained pretty hard and developed some boxing skill and put on some strength/size.
(he was the bigger, stronger kid in the first place)

The other kid waited until the night before to "train".

Needless to say, he got his face bloodied and got completely demolished in front of a crowd of 25 people and several girls that we used to mess around with.

Even if you don't want to get bloody (or smash someone you don't like) - challenging a buddy to a friendly wrestling match or something like that can provide motivation.

Effeminate guys will say that this "macho" type of challenge is stupid and immature.

I say - stupid immature guys have cooler lives.

king hippo

#34 Fast Kratom

If you follow a "Kratom Lifestyle", then this is a given.

For those that don't know what I'm talking about -

There's this thing called Kratom.

It does a lot of stuff.

Increases productivity, social behavior, motivation, well-being.

Decreases fatigue and anxiety.

There's certain types (usually Thai) that specifically increase productivity and motivation - making it ideal for the gym.

Although Kratom is a natural herb (comes from the coffee family) and not in the same league as prescription ADHD stimulants, I wouldn't suggest using it regularly as a 'pre-workout supplement' unless you are following the lifestyle.

In which case, it's very good.

Conclusion

Thanks for reading our series on "Orthodox and Unorthodox Ways to Get Motivation to Hit the Gym".

Although not all these suggestions will be new ideas to you, we hope that some of them are. More importantly, useful.

The Internet is home to an avalanche of "same old crap that tries to pass itself off as insightful" on this topic.

We take pride on being different. 

Remember, while some of these measures can develop into daily habits - most are to give you a BOOST OF SHORT-TERM MOTIVATION so you can get to the gym.

Your natural masculine desire to challenge yourself, the endorphins released during a workout, the post-workout afterglow and perpetual feeling of being strong, fit and sexy - should be more than enough to KEEP you into the gym. 

The key is - GETTING IN THERE.

The rest will take care of itself.

If you use any Less Orthodox ways that get you amped up for the gym -- tell us below.

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  • ElBurritoGrande

    Ok this one little thing. "Bad wrap" does not exist as an expression, it's "bad rap" and comes from the "rap sheet" of someone which is police lingo for "Record of Arrests and Prosecutions" (RAP). Weird that you wouldn't know that being the son of someone in the force ;-)

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  • good call, i changed it :)

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  • Conor

    What do you mean the girl was a chimney cuz of adderall? Is it good for cutting?

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  • yeah, any stimulant will be good for cutting, but its also the gateway to addiction/dependence

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  • Some great ideas here, YouTube is generally my go to.
    Although, all of these are essentially external motivation.. to continue on a consistent basis everyone needs to find motivation from within (training to perform better at their sport, wanting to be in their best shape for a family reunion etc.)

    Just my 2 cents.

    SJ
    www.ignorelimits.com

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  • Florian

    Thanks Chris, I just did #17 on Facebook... in the past, I've also used a slight variation from #1 - basically, I did not have a gym buddy, but a friend and me had a bet who could lose more pounds after three months. That worked pretty well.

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  • Hooray

    having a gym partner sounds fun. too bad I don't have any. I usually do fun stuffs alone after working out. it does keep me motivated knowing that what I do is not all work. but most of the time I'd just lay in bed because of the intense workouts I've done during that day. I seldom go to the gym just for maintenance purposes, nothing serious. I'll keep in mind the other motivation ideas you have when I get serious with working out.

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  • Zoiberg

    Excited with the upcoming tanning guide. hope it will be around soon. Thanks for the valuable tips chris! Appreciate it all the way man.

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  • hercules

    For a moment I was like no way I'm going to fight someone, but then I thought why not? As long as it's a friendly match and doesn't involve grudges and death. LOL!

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  • Misery

    I was doing pretty well on the gym last year for about 6 months. After that, I stopped for no reason whatsoever. Maybe I got bored with it. I figured I can maintain the body I achieved during the 6 months of training but I was wrong. Now I'm lumpy and depressed because of how awful I look. I'm not obese, just overweight, but still it makes me sad. I've been trying to look for reasons and motivation and this site served me well. For some reason I've been going to the gym for about a month now after discovering the site. This part III of the series nails it. Love the idea of how betting money on your health can motivate a person to strive even harder.

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  • Hellminator

    Why are you excited to go to gym with the new stuffs you have (clothes, shorts, shoes, wrist bands, gloves, etc)? Is it because you like to show off? I'm guilty as charged. Ha! Ha! Ha! When I started working out, I used X Large sized shirts. But when the progress seemed evident I downsized to Medium. That's when the compliments rained and it FELT GOOD. I always buy new stuffs to reward myself of doing a good job, and also being disciplined. Staying fit is not that difficult nor simple. If you wanna be fit then you have to go there and be fit, no excuses and delays. Love what you do and it won't be working out, instead you'd be considering fitness as a playful thing or a hobby.

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  • ocean prince

    Being fit, healthy, and more attractive to girls are enough reasons to go to the gym. Those dudes that devour donuts and stay a couch potato should start changing their life. But what's with the skin tanning dude?

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  • 5Tails

    Wow! Surprised that you also intentionally restrict the time spent on the gym. I've been doing that kind of thing for years. Definitely is worth it because you train harder and faster. I personally don't like to spend too much time on the gym. And by doing my research back then, I found out that doing 2-3 hours of gym is overworking which is not a good thing for the muscles. I also put a certain day where I'd just lay on bed and rest. Resting is when your muscle tissues repair itself. Healing is a big part in body building, that's when all the magic starts to happen. Awesome series man! Keep us posted with more awesome stuff.

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  • nyx

    I like #10 and #20 because it's simple and keeps everything on the mind. Setting yourself to a goal and enforcing yourself that you love something changes the game. It's definitely worthwhile that you post some motivational pictures and shit just to keep ahead of your league. If you're that determined you can possible do everything. The trick is that you should feel that you have already achieved the goal you dreamed of, even if you're just starting it. Feel the good vibe and success like you're already in the shoes of the future you.

    It works not just on personal health and fitness issues, but also in finance, business, relationships and everything else.

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  • Al Rod

    Just as when I thought I had it all. I've been training for over a year now and haven't gone through some of your tips to keeping oneself in the gym. This site is spot on! I'd be betting on some gym buddies of mine so they'd be beat up and pretty much work double time. I hope they're in for some forced accountability.

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