Some (not me) would consider me, at age 48, an “old guy” so I figured I would share with you how i stay motivated to train and do so hard. There are tips in here that can be used at any age, but some of it I aim at the older crowd on purpose.
The first thing that keeps me motivated is goal setting. However, I have learned something important. The main reason people fail with their long term goals is that they expect perfection immediately. I am willing to take small victories and claim them. For instance, if I am going into a cutting cycle and planning to carb cycle and do cardio on certain days, I look for the successes as I go forward. If I miss a cardio workout, but have a perfect day of eating I celebrate that. I then focus on making sure I rack up another perfect day of eating along with my scheduled cardio workout the next time. This attitude is a building block approach. I don't expect to be victorious at every level right away. I know that I am reestablishing a discipline and so it takes a little bit of time to build momentum. I keep moving forward and eventually the momentum becomes unstoppable.
Pictures – Self
I like to take pictures of my physique and compare them to past pictures. It makes me want to work harder because I can visually see the changes that are happening. Seeing that my hard work is paying off just makes me work even harder. I learned this when I was preparing for my first contest. The better I looked the better I wanted to look.
Pictures – Professionals
I have a picture in my iPhone of Troy Alves that is motivation for me because he just looks incredible in the pic.
I love how symmetrical his physique is in this pic. I am striving to build a similar body (I know, I know, tons of work!) because of how awesome it looks. However, keeping this photo handy motivates me to work harder. While I am completely aware that I will probably never have a physique like this, it doesn't stop me from being motivated by the picture.
It takes great dedication and hard work to get to this level. He didn't get here overnight. I admire the physiques of the professionals because I know what they've gone through to get there.
Use pictures like this to motivate you. Find someone who looks the way you'd like to look. Don't editorialize and decide not to use a certain picture because you could “never look like that.” Dreams are called dreams because they are sometimes impossible. They can still motivate us to great things if we use them properly.
Troy Alves is one of my favorite bodybuilders in large part because of this picture. He has impressed me in the past, but this time he motivated me. That's why i save the picture to my phone. I've been asked why I have it and this is always the explanation I give — “It is motivating to see a guy who can look that good!”
When I am feeling stale in the gym I read training articles with new angles on training. I study them and try to come up with a routine that utilizes the techniques the article discusses. This gives me extra motivation because every article promises something (“Big Biceps in 2 Weeks”, “Huge Quads in 6 Weeks”, etc.) and that motivates me.
I got myself a training partner this year and he motivates me. Even thought we've both gone through back to back injuries and haven't trained together in a month, knowing he is expecting me to hit it hard makes me do it. I am grateful for his friendship and motivation. He pushes me harder than I can push myself.
Get yourself a training partner. It will make your gym trips more consistent and you will work harder while you are there.
There are many ways to stay motivated. Try these on for size and let me know how they work for you.