Muscle for life

Get Workout Motivation: 7 Ways to Get Fired Up

Get Workout Motivation: 7 Ways to Get Fired Up

Looking for some workout motivation? Well, by the end of this article, I bet you’ll be itching to hit the gym…


There’s a reason why you rarely see fit people walking around the city:

Sticking to a workout program and diet can be damn hard.

You don’t get to eat all the food your friends eat. You don’t get to drink a bunch of alcohol. You often have to sacrifice free time or sleep to fit workouts in.

I’m sure you can think of many more inconveniences and difficulties.

Anyone can drum up enough emotional resolve to get started, but staying the course is another matter. It takes deep, lasting motivation and dedication. How do you develop this?

Yeah, yeah… I know. It’s a healthy lifestyle.

By hitting the gym regularly, you’ll live a longer, healthier life; you’ll be more energetic; you’ll ward off disease; you’ll be less likely to get sick; you’ll be less stressed;  and all that other good stuff.

But let’s be honest.

Those reason aren’t incredibly motivating after a long, stressful day, with your couch beckoning and TV glowing.

Well, in this article I’m going to share some of the things that motivate me whenever I’m on the fence.

These emotional triggers will help you remember why you started working out in the first place and will get you fired up to get your butt off the couch, into the car, and onto the bench.

Enjoy a natural, healthy high.

I’m not just talking mental satisfaction–I’m talking the physical high that results from exercise.

In fact, the brain-altering chemicals released by exercise act similarly to opioid drugs, making a workout a healthy, natural way to just feel damn good every day of your life. 

So, next time you need some motivation to get your workout in, just think of how physically satisfied you feel after!

Silence your critics.

While I’m all for “doing it for you” and not having to “prove yourself” to anyone, we all take satisfaction in doing what other people say we can’t.

And we’ve all known people that were compelled to criticize and doubt us whenever we undertook a positive endeavor. You know the type: you tell them you’re starting a new workout program, and they question why, roll their eyes, snigger, or otherwise tell you they just don’t think you can do it.

Well, you can use them as workout motivation: get in the gym and prove them wrong, and relish the look on their faces as you lose fat, build muscle, and build the body of your dreams. 

In fact, why don’t you take a minute right now to write down a list of the people that you want to silence. Who cares who they are and why you chose them–just write them down. Then, the next time you’re thinking of skipping a workout, scan back over the list for a nice jolt of motivation.

Get a little sexier.

Let’s face it: the number one reason most people start working out is to look better to girls or guys.

That’s why I started hitting the weights nearly 12 years ago: my original goal wasn’t just to become “cuter,” but sexy. You know, that primal, universal, irresistible kind of attraction that bypasses all critical filters and makes people physically want you. (Hey, I was a teenager–cut me some slack)

Well, I don’t really care about that anymore, but it was a strong motivator in the beginning. Nevertheless, even the humblest of guys can’t help but smile when a beautiful girl wants to feel his arms, and even the classiest of girls can’t help but enjoy it when all eyes are on her at the beach. And there’s nothing wrong with either of these things!

Well, when you’re training correctly and dieting properly, every workout you do results in minor improvements that, over time, transform you into a bolder, sexier version of yourself. 

And don’t think this only matters if you’re single, either! While emotional connection is vitally important for a good relationship, research shows that ongoing physical attraction plays a major role in relationship stability.

So, if you’re having trouble dragging yourself into the gym, realize that the workout you’re about to do is going to make you a little bit sexier. And enough “little bits” add up to a whole new irresistible you.

Build your self-confidence.

Lifting weights doesn’t just build muscle, it builds self-confidence as well.

Sure, some people turn to the dark side and become egomaniacs, but us mentally balanced humans just become happier, calmer, nicer and nicer-to-be-around people.

The self-confidence boost extends to all areas of our lives as well. Don’t be surprised if working out regularly also makes you want to push the envelope in other areas of your life and strive for more…and believe you can actually do it. 

So, just as you make yourself sexier one workout out a time, you also make yourself more confident and secure. 

Watch this video.

Seriously. Just watch it now.

So…are you ready to lift?

Being strong is awesome.

While we may not be able to fulfill our childhood fantasies and become full-blown superheroes, we can become super-strong. And imagine we’re superheroes. 🙂

Whereas I started working out to look good, I now love getting stronger. I can’t think of a better start to my day than the intense rush that comes with deadlifting, squatting, and benching hundreds of pounds.

So, next time you’re looking for some workout motivation, just think about lifting some heavy ass weights and feeling you’re king (or queen!) of the mountain.

 Mental toughness is even awesome..er…

How many workouts have you missed because your mind seduced you into thinking you were too tired? How many reps have you missed because a voice in your head said you had done enough already? These aren’t physical failures–they’re mental ones. And they relate to something much bigger than working out.

If I were to choose one trait that sets extraordinary people from ordinary…in any field or activity…it wouldn’t be intelligence, wisdom, talent, luck, or genetics. It would be mental toughness. The will to finish what has been begun. The discipline to not give in to temptations. The willingness to make sacrifices. And the ability to maintain high levels of performance when things are going well (the avoidance of complacency is an often overlooked, but important part of long-term success).

It’s no surprise that mentally tough people make better athletes, but research shows that people with high levels of perseverance and grit lead the pack in just about any endeavor, from spelling bees to military boot camps.

The bottom line is the more mentally tough we are, the better our lives will be. You can’t develop true commitment to or consistency with anything if you have a weak will. And you can use your workouts to help build up your will and thus become mentally tough.

You see, when you show up to the gym every day and put in the work, no matter the reasons to do otherwise, no matter how much mental resistance you feel, no matter how drained your body is…you’re transforming more than your physique. You’re transforming your very being. 

So, when you’re starting to convince yourself to miss a workout, stop for a second and recognize the simple fact that you don’t want to go is why you have to. If you don’t, you’re making yourself mentally weaker; if you do, you’re strengthening your will.


Did this help you get some workout motivation? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

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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.

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  • Abhijit

    You hit the nail on the head as Ulisses Jr. would say ha. ‘Builds your self confidence’ – couldn’t agree more! When things are not going well, I still make it a point to go to the gym and the sense of accomplishment after finishing a intense workout is unmatched. Makes you feel like a badass. I am not sure if I can imagine life without lifting.

    • Michael Matthews

      Haha thanks! I totally agree.

  • Mr. X

    This is a brilliant article – one of the best ones I have read on a lot of sites. You have a great way with words; like the fact that you keep it simple, and stay away from the flowery BS. Good work – I am a fan of your posts.

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks so much! I really appreciate it.

  • Barney Jason

    Very motivating article ! Love your all your articles and I agree 100% that the mind and willpower is the most important factor in becoming better in the gym and in life and of course to stay motivated.

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks man! I agree!

  • Adriana

    Thank you, Mike! This is just what I needed. I fell off the wagon about 3 weeks ago, and I’ve been feeling horrible about it. I just kept focusing on how hard it is to get up at 4:30 and completely forgot about the payoff.

    And it’s good to see you back on the forums! I thought we’d been abandoned. 🙂

    • Michael Matthews

      Great! I totally understand–I’m an early riser too. Keep up the good work and keep me posted.

      And yeah sorry about that! I somehow totally forgot to check them for a few weeks, haha.

  • Clare

    The ‘little bit each day’ helped a lot. Sometimes without seeing results for a while is when I start to lose the motivation….this in my head will help immensely. Thanks x

    • Michael Matthews

      I totally understand. Keep up the good work. 🙂

  • Paulo Ferreira

    Wonderful article, Mike :)This goes really well with my personal mantra for exercise motivation:
    – A bad workout is ALWAYS a thousand times better than no workout at all;
    – No matter how bad you feel before a workout and think you’ll feel while exercising, you will ALWAYS feel better than you thought you would be after completing it (the aforementioned natural high).
    -Think of the resistence to train not as your own weakness, but as an evil twin living inside you who wants to see you fail. Then kick his butt. 😉

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! I totally agree on all 3 points!

  • marshall5686

    Another insightful article. I look forward to that hour in the gym. It is “Me Time.” I struggle more with dieting properly. Staying mentally tough all-day and not giving in to temptation. Damn those hours between dinner and sleep.

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! Haha plan in some food for that time if you want. I like to have a final high-protein snack like low-fat cottage cheese or Greek yogurt.

  • Marco

    Hi Mike, regarding “research shows that ongoing physical attraction plays a major role in relationship stability”:
    I followed the link, and the article says that it is based on a yet unpublished study commissioned by a pharmaceutical company focusing primarily on the treatment of dermatological and aesthetic conditions. I wonder how credible that source is…

    • Michael Matthews

      I totally agree. I don’t think it automatically negates the research though as it does just align with common sense, I think?

      • Marco

        No, of course it does not negate the research – the likely biased study just does not tell us anything valuable about the topic. I do not think you should cite the study, especially not without a note about its background. As a reader, I rely on you citing credible studies. I neither want nor can check every cited study. In this case, I just happened to be especially interested.

        I am not sure about the common sense part. I think relationships are such a diverse and mysterious topic, so that common sense may mislead us.

        • Michael Matthews

          I totally understand. It’s not the type of thing I would normally cite to be honest. Duly noted. 🙂

          That said, I would still maintain that when physical attraction disappears, a relationship takes a turn for the worse…

  • Adel-Alexander

    If I have to be honest, I think your physique look way better than Arnold’s physique. 😛

    • Michael Matthews

      Haha blasphemer! 😉

  • Danielle Martinson

    Motivation is always tough in the beginning but once you start to see progress, feel stronger and more confident, that is all the motivation you need. I guess the trick is sticking with it long enough to see the progress. That’s where most people fail.

    • Michael Matthews

      Very true!

  • Lansdale Robinson
  • Pingback: Why Searching For Motivation Is Keeping You Fat, Unhappy, and Stagnant | Muscle For Life()

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

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  • Patrick King

    I made a commitment 6 years ago to get in the gym at least 4 times a week. I’ll admit it was tough at first. The couch really looked comfortable at 6:00 in the morning. After about 3 or 4 months I had to find an excuse to not go to the gym. It became an obsession and I loved the high of racking up 300 lbs on the bench or squatting 450. Thanks Mike for your books an inspiring me even more.

  • Great motivational video and article I have to say. I’m having a very difficult time keeping my interest in working out. I’ve been hitting the gym solid and following your routine since December 2014. But because the weight loss is not going as fast as I’d like (essentially I’ve maintained my weight due to misuse of food/beer), it’s been getting even more difficult for me to continue to want to do it.

    Anyway, thanks for the motivation.

  • Jenny Lear Brinker

    I like your writing. It is VERY motivating and will keep reading your articulate for inspiration! Thank you!

    • Thanks Jenny! Glad you’re enjoying it.

      LMK if you have any questions.

  • Great article. It really is about mental strength and lifting is great for that. It builds discipline and willpower. To be successful in life, these things are of utmost importance. Lifting is a great way to become more disciplined in other areas of your life as well. For me going to the gym and physical activity is a kind of foundation for my life. It keeps me healthy, happy, and gives me mental strength.

    I’ve been wanting to ask you a question about age and muscle building. I’m 36 and although I don’t think that is too old to have my dream body I was just interested to hear what you have to say about this subject. I know your testosterone decreases quite rapidly past 35 and that there are natural ways that you can increase your testosterone like HIIT and other things which you listed on your other article.

    I read you can increase your testosterone or growth hormone by at least 200% by doing HIIT. But how does that compare to the growth hormone you had when you were say 25? Is it still a lot less at 36 or can you increase it to about similar levels through following the right practices?

    Sorry for the longish comment and thanks in advance for your reply!

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