Getting Motivated for Lifting

Getting motivated before your lifts, in the right way for you, depends on personal preference.

Some suggest against getting too psyched. They argue it may induce a super-level of performance that overburdens the body. While this is an exaggeration as long as you avoid too much exercise, it could over-stimulate you and take away your focus. Too much excitement hurts your skills and remains a valid reason to be cautious. You must strike a balance: feel determined enough to improve yet calm enough to apply good form.

These steps either affect training right away or indirectly affect results in the long-term.


Two major approaches emerge, loud or quiet. Both can work. Some cross-over exists that fits both styles.

  • A good general warm-up will raise the heart rate. This promotes blood flow everywhere, including the brain. This improves focus.
  • Perform warm-up sets. These prepare you physically and mentally.
  • Visualize success as specifically as possible prior to the set.
  • Listen to hardcore music.
  • Stay quiet and retreat into your inner world.
  • Skip a workout. A lack of effort may show signs of overtraining. Never lift regularly through soreness. Reevaluate your program.
  • Imagine your heroes watching you. Would you disappoint them?
  • Use a physical action. Slaps from a partner or a loud clap are some examples. Use common sense though and stay safe.
  • Avoid distractions. This may allow you to enter the zone, whereas you completely immerse yourself your activity, with experience. This is one reason why private gyms in a basement or studio can allow such great results.
  • Start pacing back and forth.
  • Modify your breathing. More slowly to calm and faster to excite.
  • Use auto-suggestion with endless positive talk prior to the lift. Tell yourself your goal and repeat positive affirmations (I will do it, I will do it, I will do it) over and over again.
  • Channel frustration and anger into the lift.
  • Remove emotions and act precisely.
  • Think speed. When the lift slows due to fatigue, you must intend to move it fast. Try to push or pull through sticking points, like following through when throwing a ball.
  • Squeeze the bar tightly.
  • Consult previous records and know you must beat them.
  • Inhale smelling salts (ammonia). I don’t suggest this but admit its possible value.
  • Develop a cue that triggers the utmost focus. A shout or a simple phrase or quote. Consider making it simple: BEGIN!
  • Associate with your activity. Focus on the feelings and sensations. Do not try to tune out pain and discomfort. The field of psychology clearly establishes avoidance as a poor strategy. Accept the hard work and thrive instead.


  • Cultivate intrinsic motivation. Enjoy the process and not just the results. This will to succeed will come naturally as you form a habit. If not, you have a much deeper problem. This will also develop flow, or the feeling of deep immersion in a task. You will become a happier person should you develop flow. All forms of flow improve quality of life. Occupied people have little time for negative emotion.
  • Train in familiar environments when possible. Workout at the best time of day for your schedule. Morning, afternoon, and night all can work.
  • Set clear, measurable, and realistic goals. Build upon those successes and keep going. Keep the end in mind but start small.
  • Sleep and eat well enough.
  • Seek a mentor with a similar personality. He or she may provide helpful nuances. Try to learn and not default to pre-conceived notions.
  • Establish accountability. Consider working out with a friend or personal trainer. Record progress and tweak variables toward success.
  • Design a successful program. Nothing keeps you motivated like something that works. Program yourself for small jumps and avoid greed for progress.

No Tips Can Replace Consistency

Things get tougher as you grow stronger and fit. Experience will grant you confidence regardless of any methods you employ though. Take imperfect action today and stop trying to find secrets and shortcuts. Implement these tips to gain a slight edge but stay consistent  foremost.

Never miss a useful bodybuilding insight.