25 Ways to Stay Motivated During Workouts (That Actually Work)

stay motivated during workouts

Staying motivated an entire workout feels great.

But let’s be honest:

We all hit a “wall” at some point.

To stay motivated for the duration of a workout is a tough challenge.

There are going to be times during your workouts that you’ll feel like quitting.

To help you I have put together my 25 favorite techniques to stay motivated during workouts.

I’m sharing so many techniques that I have learned because there is no one-size-fits-all formula for working out.

Let’s face it:

Everyone has their own preferences and fitness goals.

By learning many ways to stay motivated during workouts you will have an arsenal of knowledge at your disposal if you do decide to break through the “wall”.

Here is a basic overview of my favorite tips to stay motivated while working out:

stay motivated during workouts

1. Have a long-term goal

Having a long-term final goal is vital to stay motivated during workouts.

People who exercise without a goal in mind do not maintain the same consistency and effort when compared to people who have clear goals.

I know many people who just decide to go to the gym without any goals.

Often times this leads to no or little progress because their mind isn’t set on a long-term improvement that they want to make.

You must:

“Begin with the end in mind”Steven Covey

2. Reach for many small goals

When it comes to fitness nothing happens overnight.

Big goals take a lot of time, energy, and effort.

Break down big goals into smaller goals and go after them in short periods of time.

This can help you see progress quicker and be more motivated to push yourself to reach small goals every single day.

3. Routine

Having a clear workout plan for every workout will help with motivation.

When you know what you’re going to do you will be less likely to become unmotivated in the middle of a workout.

Tips when creating workout plan:

• Create a routine for each week
• Make plans for which exercises to do on each day with time slots for each exercise. (My days typically include 5 minutes of stretching, 30 minutes’ lift, 45-50 minutes’ cardio + Abs.)
• Write down your small goals and keep track of them on the plan
• Be realistic and make it stick to your life schedule

4. Change pace

When you plan workouts, it is important to change what you’re doing.

When I workout I usually begin with lifts. Then I will finish up with cardio and ab exercises. Sometimes I mix up the order or change the times I do the workouts to work to my schedule. If I know I have a busy day I will do cardio in the morning then lift and do abs later.

Sometimes a long workout of the same thing is daunting, but changing it up will help motivate you while working out.

5. Take Breaks Mid-workout

If you go hard at the gym at the beginning and you may burn out quick. One of the best ways to burn fat and train is interval training. Quick bursts of exercises followed by a rest period.

Common mistakes that people make is that they exercise for too long and burn out or they do too many exercises too quickly. This causes quick exhaustion.

It gets worse:

You might not be reaching your full potential while losing motivation at the same time!

Taking small breaks or longer ones if needed can help motivate you to push through and get a better workout in.

6. Activity you enjoy

Nobody is motivated to complete a workout they completely hate.


To be motivated during a workout you need to find an activity or exercises that you find enjoyable.

Many people think that to burn calories they must run or bike. There is a whole horde of other ways you can work out that you may enjoy more!

7. Read workout quotes

motivation quote

Workout quotes can give you the perspective of a champion.

Reciting a quote to yourself at the beginning of a workout can get you motivated to push through any challenge.

Here is one of my all time favorites:

Going in one more round when you don't think you can. That's what makes all of the difference in your life. - Sylvester Stalone #MotivationClick To Tweet

8. Count reps or Timers

Being organized and tracking numbers can help some people stay motivated. By counting reps or timing certain exercises it allows you to track what you’re doing and reach for new personal bests.

I write down personal bests of weights and the number of reps. Another thing I do is write down the estimated calories burnt if I am on the treadmill or bike machine. Always seeing improvement is very motivating.

9. Stretching

Stretching in between exercises can increase blood flow to muscles you are utilizing.

When you stretch, you lengthen muscle fibers in your body and it can increase blood flow to your muscles.

This leads to less fatigue, increases the amount of reps you can do, an overall better feeling and even more motivation to crush the next set.

10. Reward yourself after a workout

Having a reward ready for yourself after a workout can really help you push through a tough workout.

One of my favorite rewards is a piece of an 85% cocoa bean dark chocolate bar after a workout.

Fun facts:

Dark chocolate contains fat and if you eat it with a protein shake it will help your body better digest the protein. Dark chocolate comes with various other health benefits as well!

11. Partner

Partner workouts or someone helping to track progress, can get you to go to gym more.

12. Videos

Working out alongside a video is like having a personal trainer that will not be breathing down your neck. I am constantly finding new videos and exercises to switch things up in my routines.

Playing a video while exercising provokes me to:

  1. Complete the workout in the video
  2. Work as best as I can to the level of the person in the video

An example video of one of my favorite ab exercises is right here:

I simply follow the workout. This ab exercise, in particular, is very good and I contribute a lot of my ab progress lately to this video.


The best course of action is to find videos that work for you.

There are a ton of options to choose from.

13. Music

While working out to music you enjoy or that can hype you up can help you stay motivated.

It can allow you to focus on the task at hand instead of having your mind wander in the middle of a workout.

14. New exercises

Learning and testing out new exercises is a great way to stay motivated.

Even better:

By taking on a new challenge and learning something new it makes you want to complete the workout to see the results.

Recently I have been using resistant bands and I have been incorporating exercises with them in my workouts. They add a new level of difficulty because my body is not used to them.

Introducing new changes to the body while working out is a major contributor to seeing progress and shooting for new challenges once you’ve conquered older ones.

15. Positive thinking

Truth is:

Negatives thinking needs to go. When you think negative thoughts, you disregard everything positive from an experience.

The power of positive thinking is an incredible tool to help push you through workouts.

16. Work with a pro

Working with a personal trainer or someone with credentials in any exercise can motivate you during a workout.

By learning from them and following a specific plan you are able to stay focused and motivated during a workout whether it be them urging you on, or your mental toughness stepping it up to impress the trainer.

17. Getting Positive feedback

Getting feedback is a great way to track progress. Seeing what you have achieved allows you to stay focused on working toward the next benchmark. Here are some great forms of feedback to boost motivation

• Reaching top speed on the treadmill
• Number of calories burnt on a machine
• Moving up weight
• Compliments from other people

Negative feedback can be useful as well. If you are slower or cannot lift as much, it motivates you to get it back.

Some of my hardest/best workouts are after I feel that I may have lost progress on a vacation or holiday break.

18. Stay accountable

People who share their fitness goals and know what they want are usually more motivated than people that do not. Many people want to impress and gain satisfaction.

Trying not to appear incapable in the eyes of even a friend you told your goals to can act as strong motivation for some people.

Methods to stay accountable include:
• Sharing goals with friends/family
• Post goals on social media
• Write down your goals somewhere you will look every day

19. Get distracted

Getting distracted during passive exercises like walking on a treadmill or riding a bike machine can be beneficial. I am on a bike machine right now writing this post!

When I will finish writing this sentence I would have burned calories while doing something else I wanted to do. The time doesn’t go to waste and I am still working out.

Some great forms of distractions include:
• Reading
• Music
• Studying
• Writing
• Games
• Anything you enjoy! Get creative!

20. Focus on specific muscles

By focusing on specific muscle groups in your workouts you will not be as tired and can take on more when you key in on groups.

I like being able to go all day on chest day knowing that the next day I am doing legs and can rest my arms. This motivates me to get through the workout and perform to my fullest.

21. Outdoor workouts

Who doesn’t get sick of the same old gym sometimes? Our natural environment is outdoors. If you find yourself getting sick of the gym change things up and try to do exercises outdoors.
I personally love swimming, jogging, sprinting, swimming, sports, and other activities to get my daily exercise in.

It does not all have to be at the gym!

22. Proper Rest

I will admit it.

I am guilty of not getting enough sleep the night before I work out.

If I am tired I hit the wall fast in the workout.

The best time frame for an amount of sleep for an active adult is anywhere from 7-8 hours of sleep.

With enough sleep, you will take away the tiredness factor which hinders my progress from time to time.

23. Healthy pre-workout meal

When I have a nice healthy salad or a superfood juice before a workout I feel great and ready to go.

My natural energy levels are so high that I feel great going into the workout.

If I ate processed foods like I have done in the past right before a workout I feel sluggish and less motivated to get the job done I the gym.

Eating healthy beforehand followed by a strong workout will encourage you eat clean after the workout as well to keep consistency and help you reach your goals with proper nutrition.

24. Do not make excuses

There is always a way to fit in a workout even in the busiest of days.

Here is a great example of a 10 minute workout that anyone has time for.

There is no excuse to give in if you can physically still make it through a workout.

25. Financial commitment

Nobody wants hard earned money to go to waste!

Any commitment to supplements, new foods, a trainer, or even a nice gym will make you more likely to stay motivated throughout workouts.

After all, you are investing time in yourself! Might as well invest a little money to help get the results you want!

That’s not all:

Working out is a journey.

Anyone can accomplish goals with the right knowledge to help get yourself through.

I leave you with this:

1 hour workout no excuses

A 1 hour workout is 4% of your day! NO EXCUSES!Click To Tweet

Sources: 1, 2.



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