17 Workout Motivation Tips From The Experts

Everyone has days when they struggle with fitness motivation, particularly if lockdown means you feel a little out of practice. If you’re looking for some fresh focus, then help is at hand. Here some of the UK’s leading fitness experts share their tips on how to stay motivated.
UPDATED JULY 2020
1.

FOCUS ON THE JOY

“Fitness, movement, running – all of these things are supposed to bring joy to your heart. What keeps me motivated? Joy. The thought of getting to the top of the hill and smiling; the thought of the finish line; the thought of lifting a bar I never thought I’d get over my head. Sometimes, it's just the thought of getting out and breathing good air, heading to the woods for a run and seeing a butterfly.” – Cory Wharton-Malcolm, head coach at Nike Running & founder of TrackMafia

2.

PUT IN THE LEG WORK

“It’s so important you choose exercise you love, that you would never miss, that makes you happy not sad. You have to search; you have to try different fitness styles. Put the leg work in until you find the one style that works for you.” – Hollie Grant, founder of Pilates PT

3.

THINK LONG TERM

“Often we get stuck in an all-or-nothing mindset with fitness. I encourage people to think long term with fitness as it takes away the need – and pressure – for perfection and instant progress. Start by asking yourself how you would choose to move your body if it had no impact on weight or appearance. Get creative with your answers – being active goes far beyond the gym!” – Tally Rye, PT & author of Train Happy

4.

FEEL INSPIRED

“We are much less likely to work out consistently if the workout feels like a chore. Whether it's joining a studio class at Boom Cycle, letting the energy of the crowd inspire you, or a digital session like Apex Rides, doing something you look forward to is key.” – Hilary Rowland, co-founder of Boom Cycle

5.

TAKE ACTION, NOW

“The most effective way of creating motivation is to just start. Once we overcome that initial inertia, momentum builds. Feeling the benefit of taking that first step is empowering, and that is where our motivation sparks and takes over. As with most things in life, exercise becomes easier to maintain once it’s a habit, so commit to that first step.” – Luke Worthington, human movement & elite performance specialist

6.

REDEFINE ‘WORKOUT’

“Broaden your mind as to what a workout should look like. We’re so easily led to believe that it has to be a run, lifting weights or a sweaty HIIT workout, but sometimes my workout is a power walk around the park followed by 20 minutes of dancing in my lounge.” – Cat Meffan, yoga teacher & founder of Soul Sanctuary

7.

MAKE A PLAN

“Schedule in your workouts ahead of time. I like to sit down on a Sunday, look at the week ahead and pop my workouts in like an appointment I can’t miss. Go one step further by planning specific workouts – think Monday 8am Leg Workout, Tuesday 6pm Abs & HIIT. Adding this structure can help motivate you to stick to your fitness routine.” – Zanna van Dijk, PT & co-founder of Stay Wild

8.

FIND YOUR ‘WHY’ 

“Why do you want to go to the gym? Is it because you want to lose a few pounds or do you just love the feeling that exercise gives you? Whatever your goal, it’s important to make exercise a habit and not a chore. Find your own reason as to why you want to exercise and let that be the driving force to get you up every day to smash your goals.” – Ellie Hoad, online fitness coach

9.

TRAIN HARD, RECOVER HARDER

“Planning your recovery like you plan your training will enable your body to get better at the things you are asking it to do. No one wants to have all their motivation and good intentions squashed by getting injured or burning out. The key areas to focus on for optimum recovery include nutrition, sleep, hydration and mobility work, and active recovery like walking, Pilates or swimming, which helps flush toxins out.” – Gaby Noble, founder & teacher at Exhale Pilates

10.

BE KIND TO YOURSELF

“If you don't feel like it, sack it off! Enjoy the time relaxing, then come back the next day or a few days later. Being harsh on yourself will only get you into a cycle of feeling like a failure. There’s a difference between discipline and being mean to yourself.” – Grace Beverley, fitness entrepreneur of TALA, B_ND and Shreddy

11.

SET SMALL GOALS

“I like to set myself little goals, so my workout has a sense of purpose. Seeing if I can improve my performance by wearing my HR monitor or tracking my average watts in a Digme ride class keeps me really motivated. When I get closer to these little goals, it gives me a real sense of achievement.” – Chloe Laureyns, instructor at Digme Fitness

12.

FIND YOUR TRIBE

“Whether you regularly attend a yoga glass with a couple of friends or are part of a running club, it’s great to feel part of a community. I’ve joined P.volve and tune into two of its Zoom classes a week. You get the sense of being part of a tribe, with a studio vibe at home, and the instructor is still able to see you and correct your form if needed.” – Naomi White, health & wellness communications specialist

13.

BUILD A POWERFUL MORNING ROUTINE

“If your morning is sharp, your mind will be sharp for the rest of the day. If your mind is sharp, you will be more productive, stress less, train better, eat better and you will feel better. When you continually feel better about yourself, you are more likely to stick to a consistent exercise routine. To kick off your morning strong, guard what comes into your mind. If you meditate, journal, move your body, you cannot fail to elevate your emotional state and motivation will follow from the get-go.” – Kirk Miller, body transformation specialist

14.

WORKOUT WITH A FRIEND

“Not only does it make it a lot more fun, but if you book in a workout with a friend they’ll hold you accountable to actually doing it. Now that there are so many online options, you can also train with friends around the world.” – Chatty Dobson, yoga teacher & owner of FLEX Chelsea 

15.

CREATE A VISION

“Although exercise may be all about moving the body, you won’t get anywhere unless you move your mind first. Create and see a vision of what you feel is the very best version of yourself. This encourages long-lasting change, growth and discipline. The truth is, motivation isn’t something that just happens to you, but something you create for yourself.” – James Middleton, PT & online coach

16.

ROUTINE IS KEY

“Planning and preparation really helps me stay on track. Like everyone, along the way I can get side-tracked if I’ve not properly planned out my schedule. It’s a less reliable system to try and stick to in-the-moment decisions. The more I act, the more I’m motivated.” – Louisa Drake, founder & creator of The Louisa Drake Method

17.

TAKE TIME TO REFLECT

“Finding that balance between what’s right for you (and your body) and what routine is needed to make the changes you want to see is a challenge. Off-the-shelf exercise plans, diets and popular fads won’t motivate you in the way that listening to your body, reflecting on the milestones and holding yourself accountable will.” – Stefanie Williams, founder of Fit With Stef 

 
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