5 Motivational Tips You Need To Know to Build Muscle

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So now that you’ve learned about nutritional principles and weight-lifting strategies, there’s just one more tool you need to equip yourself with before hitting the gym and reaching those fitness goals that you’ve only dreamed of before… and that’s motivation.

Now I’ve always believed that motivation is a mindset and that people who weren’t motivated were just weak minded and willed… turns out motivation and motivational tools can be taught and they’re just about the easiest thing to learn!

So whether you’re struggling just to get into the gym in the morning or you’re seeking that extra mental push to put you over the top and get that one last rep, or your diet is taking its toll, here are the top 5 motivational tools I use when I feel my mental game slipping:

Motivational Tip #1: Set Definitive Goals

Do you know why most people fail to achieve their New Year’s Resolutions to “lose weight” or “gain muscle” or “get healthy”?

Because those goals are so broad that people often don’t know where to start… and then they get discouraged before they’ve even lifted a finger.

Half the battle is in setting your goal. Instead of saying “gain muscle”, you should be saying, “I want to gain 20 pounds in the next 6 months and keep my body fat the same”.

Instead of saying I want to get healthy, maybe say, “I want to be able to run an 8 minute mile” or “I want to train for a 5K marathon 2 months from now”.

Motivational Tip #2: Set Short and Reachable Goals:

Now that we’ve established a clear goal for ourselves, we can further refine and better outlook by breaking that goal down further into a bunch of sub-goals.

So instead of saying “I want to gain 20 pounds in the next 6 months and keep my body fat the same”, tell yourself, “I’m gonna gain 5 pounds of muscle this month”.

We’re all driven by success and its success that fuels us. Setting achievable goals isn’t cheating. It’s being smart by allowing yourself to achieve a larger goal in stages!

Motivational Tip #3: Get a Workout Partner

And make sure that partner has similar goals to you. There have been number of mornings when I haven’t wanted to get out of bed or it seemed hard to do the last rep on every set.

But having a workout partner makes me get up because I have a responsibility to them… and it’s that same workout partner that helps me eek out those last one or two excruciating reps.

Motivational Tip #4: Keep Things Fresh

One of the best motivational killers is getting into a routine.

If you’re in the gym every day and you’re doing the same workout week after tiresome week, things are going to start getting boring… and when they do, that’s when motivation levels drop and people quick.

Change up your workout every week and do get a new scheme every 2 or 3 months. It’ll give you and your body something new to tackle which will help keep you going as well!

Motivational Tip #5: Take a Break

Here’s a secret that I’m sure a huge number of fledgling gym rats don’t know… your muscles don’t grow while you’re working out… they grow WHILE YOU’RE RESTING.

So take a week off to recharge both your body and your mind every 2.5 to 3 months.

It’ll give you an appreciation for the extra time you have and at the same time it’ll allow your body to grow and recover from the pounding you’ve given it!

Until Next Time,


4 Steps to SUPERCHARGE Your Motivation and Build Muscle Fast

Below-the-knee amputee Fields runs for berth in 2012 Paralympics 090721
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Since 90% of building muscle, gaining weight and ultimately transforming your body is mental, if you can't motivate yourself to push through the pain and fatigue of your workouts, consuming all of your muscle building meals, and all the obstacles that will come in your way then you might as well through in the towel now.

Occasionally I run surveys on my blog and one of the main things that are holding guys back is lack of motivation. And since motivation is so important.

I wanted to give you 4 steps to motivating yourself to huge muscle gains...

Step 1 – Find Out What You Respond to (What Lights a Fire Under You)

Every one is different. What I may respond to might be completely different from what you respond to as far as motivation goes.

For example: I respond to negative thoughts. For instance, when I'm weight lifting, and I'm trying to push myself to the Max, negative thoughts from high school usually pop into my head.

Thoughts of seeing people laughing and making fun of me, the embarrassment I’ve been put through (because I was skinny) and all the hurtful experiences I’ve gone through for obvious reasons light a HUGE fire under me.

It honestly gives me motivation to keep pushing even though my muscles are on fire, I'm tired, fatigued and feel like quitting, like people laughing at me in high school. And that’s what you need to find.

So the first thing you need to do is to find out what lights a fire under you, what do you respond to?

It can be anything from negative thoughts (i.e. - bad experiences, people you don't like) all away to positive thoughts, like girls you like or find attractive, how you felt when you achieve something BIG, someone you admire, family etc.

Step 2- Write Down 5 thoughts / Experiences / Things That Make You Want to Keep Going

Once you know what you respond to. Now it's time to list them. They did time now to write down at least five things that light a fire under you.

Keep in mind it to be a mixture of positive thoughts, negative thoughts, people in your life, people you admire, people you don't like, personal experiences, etc. for example your list could include things like:

  • the time, you won first place in a race
  • a cute girl in her class
  • your mom, your dad
  • a bully that you don't like
  • the time you fell playing football and everybody laughed

Step 3 -FEEL IT!

Now that you have these images in your head, it's time to channel them into motivation.

Just imagine how these thoughts come to life if you QUIT

For Example: If your thoughts were of people who made fun of you…

How much more would they make fun of you if they saw you quit or give up ?

…or, if one of your thoughts was of a girl you like or find attractive…
How would she look at you if you quit... if you reached your goal ?

…or, if one of your thoughts was of someone you care about or look up to…
How disappointed the people who look up to you would feel if you quit?

… or, if one of your thoughts was of someone who actually looks up to you…
How let down would they feel if you gave up?

Step 4 - Rewind and Press Play

Now it's time to Play these thoughts in your head over and over again:

  • while you're working out
  • when it's time to eat a meal and you don't feel like it
  • when you don't feel like pushing yourself in the gym
  • when you progress to a new weight and you're not sure if you can do it
  • pretty much any time you face a new obstacle
  • and especially during times when you feel like quitting or slacking off

Remember building muscle and gaining weight is 90% mental, if your head isn't in the game then your results will suffer, everything will feel worse than what it really is, and every obstacle will fill so hard to climb.

So use these tips build your motivation and become an unstoppable force.

Train hard,