Sure, it would be nice if you bounded out of bed in the morning and into your running shoes. Or rushed home from work and went straight to the gym multiple times a week—no bribes or pep talks required. But let’s be honest, that doesn’t always (uh, rarely?) happen. However, some people have found that one no-excuses method to moving more. They get their butts in gear, even when it’s tempting to stay on the couch. So we asked Daily Burn 365 trainers and fitness pros what their clients say is the best workout motivation. Next time you’re thinking of skipping out on fitness, steal one of their secrets.
1. “I’m doing it for them.” You often hear that exercise should be a time you invest in yourself. It’s all about you. But sometimes, it’s even better to look at the big picture. Figure out who else your health benefits—whether it’s just for bragging rights or something more. “One client told me, ‘I’m exercising to prove to my wife that I can do this,” says Daily Burn 365 trainer Prince Brathwaite, who’s also the CEO and founder of Trooper Fitness. Another said, ‘I want my kids to have something positive to look up to.’”
2. “There’s comfort in routine.” No matter how busy life gets, think of your workout as something that keeps your life in line. Amid the chaos, a sweat sesh can feel pretty darn good. “One of my clients who takes barre just finished her nursing residency. After 12-hour shifts, she’d come to class simply because she wanted to maintain a normal life and have something for herself,” says Krystal Dwyer, instructor at Flybarre and CityRow in New York City and DB365 trainer. “That’s motivation. She inspires me.”
3. “Because Jon Snow is waiting.” Rewarding yourself for a workout well done is the way to go. (Err, as long as your prize isn’t always a double scoop of chocolate chip cookie dough.) Bentley Garton, elite trainer at LA Rox and Daily Burn Fitness/Nutrition Coach, had a client with a unique prize in mind. “She would only let herself watch the latest episode of Game of Thrones if she had done four workouts that week,” she says. You might prefer a new sports bra or an hour of Instagram surfing and that’s good too. Whatever gets you to the finish line!
4. “It makes sense financially.” If you pay for a gym membership or monthly subscription, you better use it, right? Sometimes thoughts of throwing cash away can help you get up and at ‘em. “One client sat down with her husband and made a chart with the total cost per month of a gym membership and what that would make each visit cost—for instance, one trip would cost the full monthly amount,” explains Cheri Paige Fogleman, a New York City-based fitness instructor and Daily Burn 365 trainer. “So she turned it into a game and challenged herself to get the average cost of each visit as discounted as possible.”
5. “It’s on my schedule—in pen.” You know you should put your workout on the calendar and treat it like any other really important, non-negotiable appointment in your life. Well, Becca Pace, owner of In Your Pace Fitness and Daily Burn 365 trainer, has many clients who take that to heart. “They’ll tell their bosses and co-workers that they have a ‘meeting’ every week. Then they can run to class during their lunch hour,” she says. Everyone deserves a break.
6. “I’m helping the world.” With apps like Charity Miles, you can log your activity to raise money for more than 30 non-profit organizations. Knowing that your sweat turns into real equity may help you get to the gym more often. At least that’s what it does for a bunch of Erika Shannon’s trainees. “A few of my clients are currently participating in a fundraiser where every time they check in on social media at a gym or fitness studio, they raise money to help build schools,” says the DB365 trainer. “I love it!”
7. “I sure look the part.” Gone are the days of baggy throwaway tees and shorts you found at the bottom of the hamper. “I hear from women all the time that if they look good, they feel good. So they’ll wear cute workout outfits to feel better heading into a class,” says Lauren Danzinger, creator of Sweat Sessions in New York City, a program that offers complimentary fitness classes for New Yorkers. Permission to buy those sweet sneakers you’ve been eyeing (as long as that means you’re inspired to wear them).
8. “Well, I’m already in my leggings.” If you pop out of bed, brush your teeth and head out for a workout class, you won’t know what happened until you’ve got weights in hand. “One client told me she sleeps in her workout attire so there is no excuse not to make my 6:30 a.m. class,” says Dara Theodore, trainer for DB365 and the Fhitting Room in New York City. “It might not be the best pajama choice, but it works!”
9. “I don’t have a backup wardrobe.” If you have to force yourself to break a sweat in order to fit into certain clothes, then do what works. That’s what one client of Daily Burn Fitness/Nutrition Coach Sarah Snyder thinks. “When she purchased a dress a couple sizes smaller for an upcoming occasion with no other options, she had to make it fit,” she says. The horror of the outfit being too snug in all the wrong places encourages her to torch those calories.