How to Stay on Track With Your Fitness When You Don't Have Motivation

Is your motivation and willpower low? Use these 6 motivators to help give you the boost you need to keep pushing through on your fitness!

How to Stay on Track With Your Fitness When You Don't Have Motivation
Photo by John Arano / Unsplash
Evelyn Valdez Evelyn Valdez
7 min read

Using the Fit With Iulia app is one way to stay on track and be consistent with your regular exercise routine, but regardless of having weekly goal-focused workouts planned for you by Iulia, there are certain times in life when it can be hard to stay motivated to work out! Having strong feelings of stress, anxiety, sadness, can easily deter you from your healthy lifestyle. This is exactly why you shouldn't only rely on motivation. Motivation is fleeting, it doesn't stick with you 24/7. Having self-discipline is one way to stay on track with your fitness and health, but certain emotions are so strong that they can even take over your self-discipline! During times like these, it can be hard to have the same discipline and motivation to work out and eat healthily or follow a regular workout routine as we did before.

So, what do you do during these periods of low motivation and willpower?

Have a few motivators that you lean on when times get tough! Yes, we said you shouldn't rely on motivation, but when times are tough it's good to have a few motivators that get your willpower, discipline, and fitness back on track. And to help, we have 6 motivators that you can use to help you stay motivated to work out and continue hitting strides on your fitness journey!

Reflect on your goals and progress

One of the best ways to motivate yourself is to reflect on your actual progress! When you're feeling low, revisit the fitness goals you first set when starting your journey. Chances are you've already accomplished some of those goals, and if you don't remember them because you didn't write them down then reflect on your progress and celebrate every little win you've accomplished. Like losing five pounds, beating your mile time, being able to lift heavier than before, moving up from dumbbells to barbells... Whatever progress or improvements you've made, acknowledge them, and pat yourself on the back!

Doing this will help you see how far you've come, and give you a boost in motivation thus giving you the confidence to keep pushing through! For those who have never written down their goals or tracked their progress, then it's time to start doing it! That way when you've hit that slump again you can look back at everything you've accomplished.

Pump yourself up

Pumping yourself up could be playing your favorite music playlist, or giving yourself some self-love through a pep talk! This might not seem like it would be a huge motivator, but honestly, it works! If you feel like driving right past the gym or are thinking up excuses at home as to why to skip, hype yourself up! Put on your favorite playlist, but make sure it has songs that make you happy and get you ready to crush anything that life throws at you. Self-talk is also a good motivational tool you should definitely give a try sometime! On your drive to the gym or while you're at home start talking to yourself to pump yourself up, say things like "You got this.", "Let's crush this workout.", or even list out the reasons you're working out!

These might sound silly, but they might just help give you that extra push of motivation you need to crush your workout!

Have inexpensive, but effective home workout equipment

Invest in a few home gym basics, like a yoga mat, pair of dumbbells, or a set of resistance bands! Being semi-equipped at home will help reduce the number of excuses you have for skipping your sweat session. Sometimes actually getting to the gym or a workout class is the hardest part, and if you really don't feel like driving or dealing with a crowd, then workout at home! You can create HIIT workouts using only your body weight, or if you invest in equipment, then you'll have even more to work with!

Simply adding a set of resistance bands and a pair of dumbbells to your home gym can make all the difference! Not only will they help you maintain your strength at home, but you'll want to get your money's worth so they'll help motivate you to actually work out at home on the days you can't make it to the gym.

Reach out to your workout buddies

Having friends who work out is great! You can reach out to them for advice, organize to meet at the gym, share healthy recipes, etc. So if you already have workout buddies, reach out to them and be honest with them about your struggles. They will most likely give you some good advice, hype you up, and support you. If you don't feel comfortable with telling them about your struggle then just reach out to them and suggest doing a new workout together, go on a hike, play a sport, or cook a healthy meal together. That way it feels more of a social outing than a healthy one.

Unfortunately, not everyone has friends who are also their gym buddy. But that's okay, your friends can still support you! Reach out to your best friends, tell them about your goals, and ask them if they'd be willing to try a new group fitness class with you, or do something outdoors. You can also just ask for support and give them updates on your training and nutrition. If you live at home, ask your family members for support! You can ask to refrain from buying certain foods or ask them to hide any foods that trigger unhealthy habits, and ask if they're willing to eat similar foods as you. Usually, it’s much easier to stick to healthy eating when the people around you are doing the same.

Add a competition element

A little bit of good, healthy competition never hurt anybody! Plus, one particular study shows that it can help push you a little bit harder! This study looked at a huge group of runners and found that the more miles the runners saw their friends logging, the more they were likely to run more miles. [1]

So, grab your workout buddy and incorporate a bit of healthy competition in your strength training or high-intensity cardio workouts. You can do this by trying to achieve a one-rep max on an agreed weight, this will help you motivate each other to be consistent and make progress on your lifts. You can also apply this to your running, or cycling buddies, try to achieve a target mile range!

Don't have any workout buddies up for some competition? No problem! Another great way to add a competition element to ramp up your motivation to work out is by taking part in a fitness challenge! Iulia has put together two Summer Challenges that are available on the Fit With Iulia app now. The Home and Gym Summer Challenges feature a 9-week workout plan (3 months) designed to help you lose body fat while maintaining your muscle gains. Iulia implements the appropriate training splits, and rest days, and gives you recommended reps and sets for every given exercise to ensure that you're training every muscle group to its best abilities for maximal results. Aside from that, the app features will allow you to...

  • Track your progress for every given exercise. Do this by swiping up on the exercise and inputting the weight used, and amount of reps and sets completed. Next time the exercise is performed, the information inputted last will repopulate.
  • Choose exercises that fit your fitness level. Swipe up on any given exercise and select the button "Alternative" to reveal a list of alternative exercises, in case the exercise is too difficult or lack of equipment.
  • Stay on top of your diet by calculating and tracking your macros. Use the Kitchen feature to calculate your macros as accurately as possible, and continue tracking your targeted macros by using our very own Food Journal!

This will give you exactly the motivation you need to stay on top of your workouts!

Keep it simple

Lastly, if having motivators don't work and your willpower and motivation are still low then give yourself a break and keep things simple. Your daily routine (on a good day) probably consists of a tough workout, healthy foods, and home-cooked meals. Unfortunately, some days are going to be perfect, and some are not, but if you want to make sure you stay on track with your routine even when your motivation isn't at an all-time high then lower the bar and keep things simple.

Sometimes feeling tired and unmotivated is our body's way of telling us to slow down. So try to keep things simple on the days, or weeks, when your motivation is at its lowest. Instead of doing your usual strength training or cardio workout, try something different and less strenuous like stretching, yoga, pilates, bodyweight exercises, or just go for a walk outside. It's not your usual fitness routine, but at least you'll still be physically active. If you're not up for cooking your usual meals try something that doesn't require a lot of work like eating yogurt and fruit, avocado toast, or even order a healthy meal from one of your favorite food spots.

By doing this you're not completely giving up on your health. You might not be sticking to your usual plan, but at least you're trying instead of giving up. Plus, a few days of not giving it 100% is not going to ruin your progress. If anything, you'll be feeling refreshed and motivated after a few days of giving your body and mind a break!

At the end of the day, our emotions can get the best of us, they can appear at any time and rob us of our motivation and willpower. That's why we shouldn't just rely on those two things throughout our journey, but use certain motivators (like the ones above) to help pump you up for your workout. And remember to focus on creating better healthy habits that stick with you through those low moments, track your progress, and write down your goals to look back at, reach out for support, and keep things simple for those days that you just don't feel like getting out of bed! These motivators/strategies will help you to stay on track even when you don't feel like it, just remember, doing something is better than nothing.

And if you need a workout buddy or something that will help you stay consistent with your workouts try the Fit With Iulia app! Aside from Challenges, you can follow Iulia's weekly goal-focused workouts and use Kitchen to track your macros and stay on top of your diet. Plus, you can explore the app for free. Activate a 7-day free trial upon subscribing, this will give you a week to explore the app and see if Fit With Iulia is the right fit for you – if it's not, simply cancel before the trial ends to avoid the subscription charge.

So, if you want to take part in Iulia's Summer Challenges, or just need effective, goal-focused workouts then activate your 7-day free trial and start getting fit with Iulia!          

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