As a Personal Trainer and a Powerlifting Coach, talk of motivation is something that I hear a lot. Whether it’s clients telling me there struggling to motivate themselves or telling me how motivated they are. How they watched an inspirational video and now can’t wait to smash training, or they’ve had a hard day at work and can’t find the motivation to go and train, it’s something that affects people training one way or another all the time.
It’s probably my biggest peeve about being a trainer as well. As any PT will tell you, you’re not always blessed with clients who actually want to learn and train. Beyond reminding clients of their goals, as a coach, I have always struggled to play cheerleader. Clients that paid for Personal Training sessions, for me to constantly cheer them on and pat them on the back all the time, sharply realised I wasn’t that sort of coach. I believe as a coach you have to be honest at all times. I got into coaching to help people achieve their goals by equipping them with the right knowledge and guidance, not to cheer them on and inflate their ego.
(I should point out, that I have hired several trainers to coach me over the years and I expected the same from them. The desire to train has to come from me and me alone. Their job is to help me by giving me the right tools to achieve my goals).
Ok, so what is motivation?
The direct definition from the dictionary is:
1) A reason or reason for acting or behaving in a particular way.
2) Desire or willingness to do something; enthusiasm.
According to the American Psychological Association, the more motivated you are, the more you learn and remember what you’re learning as well as being able to push yourself harder in physical tasks.
As we all know motivation comes and goes just as quickly. Two people learning something new or training towards something could be driven by very different motivations. The ones with the greatest reason to be motivated to do it will be the ones that stick at it.
Before starting training, I think you should find a reason, a desire to why you want to train, why you choose that particular way to train (e.g. Bodybuilding, CrossFit, Strongman, Running, etc.) even as far as why you choose the gym or the setting in where to train or where you’re going to train. The deeper the meaning to you for all these questions will be the difference between being able to stick at something or quitting when things get tough. Because without true motivation and reasoning to do something when it gets tough, nine times out of ten, you will quit. You will hit stumbling blocks; you will be one of those people on Facebook putting statuses like ‘Back at it after a bad week’ every other week.
To sum this blog up, I have no problems with motivation. After all, it drives everything we do or don’t do. I have issues with the way people use motivation. To do something well and for a long period of time you need motivation but it has to be the right type of motivation, it has to be a deep desire, it has to have a deeper meaning.
Otherwise, if it's something trivial, and you can’t connect a deep enough reason why you want to do it, the likelihood is that you won’t! So the next time you’re feeling unmotivated to do something… So what, do it anyway J