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Off-Topic What's your source of motivation?

Boris Bachmann

Level 7 Valued Member
Once they are feeling good about their start- then the possibility of forming a habit or realizing that it's possible to achieve something more with their bodies - may potentially create a positive reinforcement loop...

What do you all think?

And... if in agreement: what is that "something "?
Let me start by saying that motivation is overrated and finish with competence precedes confidence and commitment. I wrote both of these a long time ago (before many books came out) and I still think they were two of the best things I ever wrote on the topics of motivation and discipline.
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Team Leader Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Sinister
  1. Remove barriers to entry.
  2. Find and reinforce things about it that are enjoyable.
  3. Find and solve things about it that are unpleasant.
  4. Cultivate the feeling (from self and others) that "This is what I am supposed to be doing right now."
  5. Celebrate accomplishments.
  6. Get support when needed for the journey (trainer, coach, training partner, attend an event).
  7. Communicate about the benefits to others. Articulating it reinforces it.
  8. Don't stop! It is part of who you are.
  9. Keep records - logs, photos, videos. They are so informative.
  10. Don't put limits on what you can achieve. You get to decide what you are capable of.
 

GeoffreyLevens

Level 6 Valued Member
I started training to be better at surfing and later, at snowboarding and martial arts. Now I'm "old" (72) and continue because I very much enjoy throwing weight around and always feel much better after than before a session. Also, maybe my main motive now is anti-fragility, prevent sarcopenia and geezer disability. I live in a senior apt building and daily see examples of people that don't train at all and that is a shot of fear motivation.
 

Alan Mackey

Level 6 Valued Member
I've had several discussions with folks I know about training, of late, and they go like this:

"I wish I was as disciplined as you, but..."
Or
"I just need someone to do this with.."
Or
"I can't get started..."

And I started to realize that part of what sets all you giryas apart... is that you all are disciplined and self motivated...

Two sets of questions for you all!
1. Where does your motivation/discipline/just-do-it - it come from?

2. For those folks who don't have what it takes in #1: What is a good, low-barrier (bodyweight, I think) entry "program" that will result in a positive feedback loop to encourage them to stay the course, and hopefully dig deeper over time?

As I mentioned below - I had thought to try @AleksSalkin 9 minute challenge - but folks got kinda turned off by the baby crawling ... so I need something else as a starter...

The second

As Pavel said once:

117112697_3090190714409573_5651427225325563742_n.jpg
 

Steve W.

Level 8 Valued Member
Well, here's my take, although it might not be applicable to someone who has never been been active or athletic.

I've always been active and athletic, so that's just what I consider normal. I guess I could reflect on my "motivation," but motivation is not something I ever really think about consciously. I also don't think in terms of "discipline," which I think of as being able to force myself to do things I'd rather not do. Since I think of training as something normal and enjoyable, it doesn't take discipline to do it.

Now, that being said, I still have had many periods of time of varying length where I have not trained consistently, for various "life get in the way" reasons. But I don't really dwell on the specific circumstances. I don't feel like my "motivation" or "discipline" was lacking. I just look at the behavior. I either trained consistently or I didn't, not I was motivated or unmotivated, or disciplined or not disciplined.

By now, I have a simple strategy for coming back from a layoff and rebuilding the habit of training:

1. Do "not nothing" every day. Take it slow or hit it hard, but don't do nothing, and don't dwell on whether the "not nothing" was a little something or a lot of something.

2. Don't skip days or take rest days. Even if I know I've overextended myself or a recovery day would be appropriate in a normal training plan, I don't take a day off. I might take a minimal easy day, or even hit it hard again and worry about catching up on recovery once I reestablish the groove of consistent training. When I'm trying to establish consistency, I prioritize consistency over recovery.

3. Once I reestablish the habit of doing something every day, I pick a plan to follow, preferably an established plan written by someone else, with a specific duration. For instance, I had a long layoff the first year of the pandemic. Then in the summer of 2021 I started training again, did a run through DFW, and then several runs through The Giant and the PlanStrong-based 5TRM plan from an article on this site, focusing on C&P. I have mixed and matched other stuff around these plans, but the plan was the main focus.

I think this helps because it takes a lot of decision-making out of the equation. Once I decide to do the plan, it's already decided. Not having to think about WHAT to do makes it easier to just do it. Plus, an established plan is likely to work, which is self-reinforcing, and recovery built into the plan doesn't undermine the newly established habit of training because you're following the plan, not failing to train.

One last thing, I've found that having a dog has been very helpful for my physical well-being (not to mention mental and emotional well-being). With my dog, I go on a minimum of two half-mile walks every day, rain or shine, 365 days a year. In the context of training that's not much (it's not even as much exercise as would be ideal for the DOG), but it creates a decent baseline of non-training physical activity that is utterly consistent.
 
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Bauer

Level 7 Valued Member
Echoing Boris Bachmann, I don't think of it in terms of motivation or discipline, although people usually describe me as "very disciplined"or at least "very persistent".

Seriously, I just try to do what I consider reasonable and try to find enjoyment in it. I don't believe in struggle and willpower. I believe in feeling good and being consistent with the things that contribute to it.

I enjoy being stronger and having less aches and pains. I enjoy being there for my family. I enjoy the feeling of competence and progress when training is going well.

I try to be mindful of the things that make me feel good and then stick to them. It feels good to feel good, as Tim Anderson likes to say.
 
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Stephen B.

Level 4 Valued Member
I train because I want to achieve my goals, or because it’s expected of me by myself or others. Right now, I’m training towards a BJJ competition in October.

I don’t know what I would do with myself if I didn’t train. It’s just part of my life now, I don’t think I could go back to playing video games and watching shows and be satisfied. Like many of us here, I’m a little bit obsessive. Lifting and sports make up enough of my life that I never forget about them or consider skipping them unless I’m forced to.

Wrestling workouts are a different animal— it doesn’t take long for my priorities to go from becoming a better wrestler to just trying to survive. My wrestling coach Justin is helping me a lot to develop that breed of mental strength.
 

Kev

Level 6 Valued Member
I don’t really have any motivation for training. I just have a need to lift and move and generally exert myself. I think it takes more effort to not keep in shape. That might sound crazy but I’ve witnessed often the sheer effort the obese and out of shape put in to maintain their condition and it’s far more exhausting to me than any amount of exercise I’ve ever put myself through.
 

Ege

Level 5 Valued Member
This is a great thread. The variety of answers is amazing. Maybe that is why it is too difficult to “motivate” someone who does not train. It is all very personal.

I did not exercise until I am 47, and I had all the opportunity to train in a very convenient way all those years. I have started to train 2 years ago while my life is the most hectic and training is maybe the least convenient.

The only explanation I have is exercise makes me feel good while exercising and afterwards. I don’t know any other thing that improves life quality to this extend. It makes you feel better regardless of your existing physical condition. You might have injuries, you might be old, you might be disabled, you might be stiff, in pain, etc if you exercise you feel better. And there is nothing else you can buy or do that will surplus this feeling good that comes with exercise.
 

TedM

Level 5 Valued Member
Wow. I feel kind of honored to get a peek into how you all think and feel about this topic.

A real flood of authentic expression.

I need to think of how I can apply this to my friends and family.
 

Ege

Level 5 Valued Member
I've had several discussions with folks I know about training, of late, and they go like this:

"I wish I was as disciplined as you, but..."
Or
"I just need someone to do this with.."
Or
"I can't get started..."

And I started to realize that part of what sets all you giryas apart... is that you all are disciplined and self motivated...

Two sets of questions for you all!
1. Where does your motivation/discipline/just-do-it - it come from?

2. For those folks who don't have what it takes in #1: What is a good, low-barrier (bodyweight, I think) entry "program" that will result in a positive feedback loop to encourage them to stay the course, and hopefully dig deeper over time?

As I mentioned below - I had thought to try @AleksSalkin 9 minute challenge - but folks got kinda turned off by the baby crawling ... so I need something else as a starter...

The second

I have tried to motivate my girlfriend on AS challenge, she started only to quit before she sees any benefit, and she was not consistent to see the benefits even while doing the protocol which is designed to do daily.

My children’s case is different. My son is self motivated at age 8, for my daughter it took us a long time to find a sports that she enjoys.

I guess in order to motivate someone one question to be asked, is what do you think you would enjoy most? And then encourage to do that and maybe find a program for that activity they think they like.
 

North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
Maybe what really sets most of the people on here and more generally that have had long term success is that they have had success. This is one if the reasons why beginners should not ease into it any more than necessary. Once you can see it is possible to directly and fairly rapidly change your physique and overall strength/endurance it can be addicting.

Beginners have no experience of this, have no notion of feeling and looking “heroic”. I try to steer folks toward a fairly laid back comprehensive approach that be aggressive or not, most don’t want to hear it.

Also, endorphins/adrenaline.

Ultimately am pretty sure I’d need hypnosis regression to really explain why I won’t stop training, or just look at the imagery of my early youth - challenge accepted:




 
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