Successful Training Will Not Happen Without Motivation!

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bodyweight training motivation for functional strengthExercise motivation is the single most important part of either the success or failure of your bodyweight training program. You can set all the goals you want and make all the plans you’d like, but when it comes down to it, motivation is what will make you succeed.

Why is Motivation So Vital to Success?

Without the proper motivation, you will end up disillusioned, frustrated, and you will simply quit.

In order to get the best results from your training, including increased functional strength, the most critical, number one thing you must have is motivation.

If you were to take motivation to the extreme and suppose there was a magic pill that didn’t cost a fortune. All you had to do was take this magic pill five times a day and you would achieve the best training results you could imagine, some people would still fail.


Because without motivation, some people would not have the persistence to take those pills five times a day or wouldn’t even buy them in the first place!

Unfortunately, fitness training is not something we MUST do each day. Unlike putting food on the table or paying the mortgage, you don’t have to take the time to exercise and build functional strength and big muscles if you just don’t feel like it.

It’s easy to think “I really don’t feel up to training today” after you have worked all day and your favorite TV show is on. “I’ll just do it tomorrow.” This is the reason why motivation is the single most important part of any training program. You can’t develop functional strength, big, powerful muscles, and overall fitness if you are sitting on the couch instead of training.

Some of the most successful, driven people in the world aren’t fit. They can have more motivation and a desire than many others to succeed in every area of their life but fitness. Because they lack exercise motivation, they do not put training high up on the list of priorities in their life.

As a result, whenever something else arises that is more “important” to them than fitness or training, the exercise program goes out the window. Once you allow this to happen, it’s very hard to get back on the right track.

In order to succeed in your fitness training, you must put exercise motivation very high on your list of priorities. If you don’t have your health, how long will you be around to enjoy life?

How to Stay Motivated

There are a number of techniques that can help you stay motivated and ready to continue with your training. These are some of the best training aids you’ll find, but it doesn’t have a lot to do with your actual exercise.

A Fitness Journal

Before you get started, you need to start a fitness journal. Write down how much you weigh now, your body fat percentage, your measurements, and your goals. Each day, keep track of the exercises you did, including the number of reps and sets.

A good habit to get into is to record how you felt while training, too. Perhaps you felt like a million bucks and you completed every set in record time. Maybe it was a tough day because of a late night. You can see how you are progressing and when you feel very unmotivated, you can look back over the previous entries to see just how far you have come.

Frank Zane, one of the most amazing bodybuilders of all time, said that his training journal was the most important part of his success. It gave him the motivation to keep training, even when he wanted to sit on the couch, too.


Take pictures before you start. Take a few more about a month later. Start an album of these pictures. You will be able to see the visual effects of your training program on your body. You will see how much you have improved and this is a great motivator to keep training. If you would like, keep some of those pictures up on your wall where you train. You will be able to see the changes your body is going through and the success you have achieved.

Books and Films

If you find you are having trouble staying motivated, try to watch a great inspirational documentary or film. Read an article or a book about someone who really inspires you. It doesn’t have to be about functional strength, muscles, fitness, or training. It can be about someone who has really overcome many obstacles in their life. This can really help put any setbacks you are experiencing back into perspective.

Take Five Minutes

Take five minutes after you have finished your training and think about the session. Did you give enough? Are you really building functional strength and muscle mass? Could you have worked harder? Think about how far you’ve come and what lies ahead for you in the future.

Endorphins and a Natural High

When you get a buzz or a high from training, it’s due to the brain releasing endorphins. It’s better than any drug. It lasts longer, too. Try to reach this in every session. You will know that you are pushing yourself to your limits, but more importantly, you are succeeding!

When you lose motivation, it’s time to take a look at that exercise journal and find one of the first entries. For this day, and this day only, simply do the exercises you did that day. The same reps and sets, too. Once you are done, you’ll realize how easy that was and how far you have come. It’s one of the best sources of motivation you’ll ever experience!

Visualization and Why It Works

Many of the top trainers and athletes use visualization to improve their performance and increase motivation. You can do this before or during your training session. It works to help you achieve your personal best while training.

If you find you are just not able to do the number of reps you want for a certain exercise and you feel as though you are going to be stuck at that number forever, visualization can help you move past this number.

For example…

You can do 18 pull ups. However, you always fail at 19 and you absolutely cannot get to 20. You want to hit 20 because it will increase your muscle mass and your functional strength. Here is how to overcome that situation with visualization.

Before you start, take some time to sit down and make yourself comfortable. Take some slow, deep breaths. Imagine that your entire body is relaxing, almost to the point of liquidity. When you reach this point, start visualizing the pull ups.

Imagine that you are doing each pull up and counting as you complete another one.

You know that when you get to 16-17 reps, it’s going to start to hurt. Acknowledge that pain and don’t deny it. You might even find that the slow burning in your muscles is almost pleasant.

Imagine now that you are working through that pain. You may have to visualize hanging from the bar to rest a second before you start those last two difficult reps. The point of this visualization is to get you past the point of this pain and the mental block of not doing two more. It will help you reach that important goal of 20 pull ups.

Does Visualization Really Work?

It works up to a certain point. You will certainly notice an improvement in your training and can be the one thing that gets you by that certain point.

Does it work to the point of making you superhuman, with monstrous functional strength and mega muscles? Nope, unfortunately not. It is a great training tool, though. As with any of the training tools, it will have its limitations. However, if you have ever found yourself stuck, this may be the one tool that gets you over that mountain and closer to your goals.


Finally, the best motivator of all is to really enjoy what you are doing. Don’t just count the sets and the reps. Have some fun with it and push yourself. As you see your muscles grow, your functional strength increase, and you are more powerful than ever before, you will have more motivation than you ever imagined.

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