Muscle for life

3 Motivating Reasons to Start Working Out Today

3 Motivating Reasons to Start Working Out Today

Looking for motivating reasons to start working out? Here are 3 powerful ones, and they’re far greater than merely looking good.


It’s called working out” for a reason. It’s freaking work.

It takes time. It makes your body hurt. It means a little less sleep or a little less time for relaxation.

Why are some people so obsessed with it? Why do they rarely hit the snooze button or find reasons to stay at home after a long day of work?

What motivates them to work so damn hard?

Is it vanity? Do they need to feel better than others? Is it the narcissistic lure of “aesthetics,” and flattering stares and praise?

Or have they discovered something else? Are there deeper reasons why they’re willing to suffer through pain, injuries, weakness, and sometimes misery, whether in sickness or in health?

Well, as one of these “obsessed” people, I can admit…looking good is definitely part of it. Anyone that says otherwise is lying. Guys and gals alike like having lean, defined muscles, and the type of physique that makes people say “wow.”

But there are much more powerful reason to work out.

What usually starts as a physical makeover always, in time, turns into a  mental, emotional…and what some might call a spiritual…transformation.

In this article, I want to explore these 3 of these deeper motivations to start working out today.

Motivating Reason to Start Working Out #1:
It Makes You Happier

I don’t mean this in a philosophical way. I mean it in an immediate and emotional sense.

The activity of exercise will make you feel happy. I guarantee it.

How does this work, exactly? It’s actually physiological.

Exercise causes your body to release feel-good hormones like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, all of which play a marked role in your mood and general sense of wellbeing. This is so powerful that research indicates exercise alone could be enough to treat and prevent depression.

It’s really this simple: start working out today and your endocrine system will do it best to make you chronically happier.

Motivating Reason to Start Working Out #2:
It Makes You Smarter

Like the “happier” effect, the “smarter” effect is also very real, and very quantifiable.

By “smarter,” I don’t mean “kinda feeling smarter,” I mean measurably better brain function.

“Even ten minutes can change your brain,” says John Ratey, Harvard Medical School psychiatrist and author of the book Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain. According to Ratey, exercise induces chemical changes in the brain that actually help it make new cells, and new connections between cells.

What does that mean in practical terms?

Ironically, it turns out that the gym is one of the best places to build your brainpower as well as your muscles.

Motivating Reason to Start Working Out #3:
It Makes You Better at Life

I believe that if you can create the body of your dreams, you have what it takes to create the life of your dreams as well.

How could that be?

Well, I think that achieving your fitness goals can fundamentally change you as a person. I think it can show you how to overcome your fears and weaknesses, and teach you a lot about how to succeed in all areas of your life.

In fact, I think working out teaches us 3 powerful life lessons:

Working out regularly teaches us that he or she who exert effort reaps the rewards. And the greater the efforts, the greater the rewards.

Many people are secretly terrified of having to exert effort in life. They’re always looking for shortcuts. They want more for less; they want to work smarter not harder; they figure there’s gotta be an easy road out.

Well, it’s all bullshit.

Whether you want to make good money, a good marriage, or a good body, here’s a rule you can count on:

In life, there are only shortcuts to mediocrity. If you want more, you’ll need to do more.

You either do the work or you don’t. Do it well and you can win. Working out is a daily reminder of this, and well, it can just make you into a tough son of a bitch that just won’t give up.

Working out regularly teaches us to learn the process of arriving.

How many people have you known that fantasized about accomplishing things, but quickly grew bored with the “drudgery” required to get there?

Well, this prevalent and pathological obsession with instant gratification is a surefire way to fail at, well, just about everything.

Whether it’s weight loss or work, it always take longer to succeed than we want. Well, the better we can squash feelings of restlessness, impatience, and frustration, the better our every endeavor in life.

How does working out help with this? Well, it teaches us to enjoy the process of arriving, and disabuses us of the idea that satisfaction only comes from having, not doing.

Work out regularly, and you’ll learn to appreciate the process of making slow, steady improvements that, in time, add up to major change.

Apply this mentality to other areas of your life, and wonderful things can happen.

Working out regularly proves that you can do more than you think.

If you’re like most people, a decision to do something creative or constructive is met by internal forces that seem to want you to fail.

You’re too dumb, they say. Too weak, too lazy, and too afraid. Some people call these voices Resistance. Our ancestors knew them as demons.

Well, regardless of what you call these influencers, they’re very real, and very good at what they do.

If we listen to these whispers, they magnify. If we continue to heed them, they insidiously convince us it’s better to stay small and on the sidelines. To not even try.

Well, when you work out regularly, you learn to smother the voices. You learn that you can set and achieve goals in the gym, and these small victories reinforce your belief in yourself.

The more you win in the gym, the more you believe you can win in life, and this can be quite a game changer.

What did you think of these reasons to start working out? Have any others you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments below!

admin admin

I'm Mike and I'm the creator of Muscle for Life and Legion Athletics, and I believe that EVERYONE can achieve the body of their dreams.

If you like what I have to say, sign up for my free newsletter and every week I'll send you awesome, science-based health and fitness tips, delicious "diet-friendly" recipes, motivational musings, and more.


If you want a "paint-by-numbers," step-by-step blueprint for building a muscular, lean, strong body...faster than you ever thought possible...then you want to check out my bestselling books.

Here's a little sneak peek of what you'll learn inside...

  • The 7 biggest muscle building myths & mistakes that keep guys small, weak, and frustrated. (These BS lies are pushed by all the big magazines and even by many trainers.)
  • How to build meal plans that allow you to build muscle, lose fat, and get healthy with ease…eating foods you love (yes, including those deemed “unclean” by certain “gurus”)…and never feeling starved, deprived, or like you’re “on a diet.”
  • The 5 biggest fat loss myths & mistakes that keep women overweight, disappointed, and confused. (These BS lies are pushed by all the big magazines and even by many trainers.)
  • An all-in-one training system that delivers MAXIMUM results for your efforts…spending no more than 3 to 6 hours in the gym every week…doing workouts that energize you, not wipe you out.
  • A no-BS guide to supplements that will save you hundreds if not THOUSANDS of dollars each year that you would’ve wasted on products that are nothing more than bunk science and marketing hype.
  • And a whole lot more!

The bottom line is you CAN achieve that “Hollywood body" without having your life revolve around it. No long hours in the gym, no starving yourself, and no grueling cardio that turns your stomach.

My book will show you how. Get it today and let’s build a body you can be proud of.

Bigger Leaner Stronger

Bigger Leaner Stronger

Thinner Leaner Stronger

Thinner Leaner Stronger

Want more awesome stuff like this? Enter your email address to get the weekly newsletter.
LIKE MUSCLE FOR LIFE? Let Google know!
Leave a Comment!
  • Markus Riederer

    hey mike, that’s another great article. i fully agree. never missed a single workout for 6 months. it just keeps pulling me into the gym. you changed my life already! 🙂

    • Michael Matthews

      Thans Markus! Great job man. Keep up the good work. )

  • Dan Strohschein

    I love this article. Saving it to future reads.

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Dan!

  • Rob

    I was working out for several years without much success.. after reading and following your book.. I went from having Mediocre results.. to having the nickname ‘Muscles’. Can’t say I ever want to go back to Mediocre ever again.. Muscles sound just so much cooler.. 🙂 Thanks again Michael!

    • Michael Matthews

      So cool Rob! Keep up the good work and keep me posted!

  • Anon


    • Michael Matthews

      Whoops, fixed. Thanks. 🙂

  • Juan Acevedo

    Enlightenment is the word that came up after reading this article. Great Job!

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Juan!

  • Ori Carmely

    I gotta say, your blog posts are nothing short of amazing and versatile. As someone who aspires to motivate/empower others and write great content as you do, I find your posts are always a worthwhile read! Thanks!

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks so much Ori! I really appreciate it!

  • Pingback: Why Managing Time Isn’t the Ultimate Key to Productivity | Muscle For Life()

  • halevi

    Agreed, agreed, agreed! I’ve been doing a slower version of Starting Strength for over 2 years, but I always let other things interrupt my training. Now, I get up early and work out first thing in the day and that makes all the difference. There are no excuses at 6AM.

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! And awesome, keep up the good work!

  • Chad Phillips

    Serotonin is a neurotransmitter and not a hormone. Dopamine may serve as a hormone but the benefits you mention are because of its properties as a neurotransmitter. You may want to use feel good hormones/neurotransmitters . . . or use the more vague term substances.

    • Michael Matthews

      From http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/serotonin:

      serotonin /sero·to·nin/ (ser″o-to´nin) a hormone and neurotransmitter, 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT), found in many tissues, including blood platelets, intestinal mucosa, the pineal body, and the central nervous system; it has manyphysiologic properties including inhibition of gastric secretion, stimulation of smooth muscles, and production of vasoconstriction.

  • Pingback: The Top 40 Muscle for Life Articles of 2014 | Muscle For Life()

  • Thanks for stopping by and checking out my article! I hope you enjoyed it.

    Feel free to comment below if you have any questions. I do my best to check and reply to every comment left on my blog, so don’t be shy!

    Oh and if you like what I have to say, you should sign up for my free weekly newsletter! You’ll get awesome, science-based health and fitness tips, delicious “guilt-free” recipes, articles to keep you motivated, and much more!

    You can sign up here:


    Your information is safe with me too. I don’t share, sell, or rent my lists. Pinky swear!

  • Pingback: Why Managing Time Isn't the Ultimate Key to Productivity | Muscle For Life()

  • My motivation… I insured my back in 2008 on a trek in Nepal. 2 herniated discs. For about a year, my life was hell. I realized right then, that if I don’t have my health – I can’t enjoy anything in life.. my family, my job, etc. I realized that I must not just “not be fat” – but try to maintain serious fitness to weather anything that comes my way. Without fitness, you risk too much in life. The second aspect is depression. I suffer from mild depression – especially in the winter months. Working out is the “only” thing I have found to keep the depression at bay.

Sign in to Muscle For Life
or use your MFL Account