Forget about Motivation

February 2, 2020 5 Minute Read

By Adam Aurioles, Guest Author

When I first realized that I messed up and needed to get back into the gym, I felt like crap. I just didn’t feel myself. I have always been a big guy but I have also always played a sport, worked out, etc. I didn’t really work out at all my third year of college and the first quarter of my fourth year. I had my final wake up call, it was now or never. The thing I knew I liked was powerlifting. Bench press, deadlifting, squatting. I know what I want to strive to be. My motivation is to be like the great strongmen of the world. Brian Shaw, Eddie Hall, Thor Björnsson, Robert Oberst, etc. Lift heavy awkward things. For me this is fun, that is my motivation. But motivation is not the reason that I have been to the gym 23 times this month.

I go to the gym 5 days a week. I have a rigid schedule for what I do four days of the week. As someone who has lifted before I started on a more advanced program, Wendler’s 5/3/1. The last day of the week is my fun day, doing whatever assistance lifts I want for that week to target different weaknesses I felt during the week. But not once have I thought about my motivation to go to the gym. When I have a gym day scheduled the question in my head is not “do I want to go today” or “how am I going to get the motivation to go today?”. I just go.

This is particularly apt as we wrap up January and many New Year’s resolutions are falling apart. Too many people when they start going to the gym find motivation like losing weight or just being more fit. Motivation is great, but it is not what is important. You will have good days and you will have bad days. Your motivation is not what makes you refrain from cheating on your diet. If you just want to lose weight, in the abstract, you can eat that donut and eventually still lose weight, but you might be set back.

Turn your motivation into goals. Goals are what keep you accountable to yourself. No one else but yourself. Goals will stop you from eating that donut. You will look at things that get in the way of your goals differently because you know it will only make your life more difficult. Your goals will only get further away.

Motivation does not cause you to achieve your goals. Consistency is what causes you to achieve your goals. You need to put in the work for your goals on a consistent basis. This is obviously easiest to figure out for something like going to the gym. Your lifts are quantifiable and you can track your progress. This applies to anything though. Be consistent in what you want and work on it as many times as you can in a week. Become accountable to yourself and you will push through good days, bad days, and mediocre days.

I urge you to watch this video with Mark Bell who is one of the top 10 powerlifters of all time lifting a total of 2,628lbs. He has held numerous all-time world records throughout his career and he expresses the importance of consistency better than I can. He has squatted 1,080 lbs, bench pressed 854 lbs, and deadlifted 766 lbs. That requires consistency.

A disclaimer to the video: Mark Bell swears in the video, not much but it is something to be aware of.

Another fantastic video is Arnold Schwarzenegger talking about his goals and the consistent effort he put in to achieve them.


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