When I'm out on the "lecture circuit" (out back of the 7-11), I'm always hearing you sad sack types whining about why you just can't get in shape. "I don't know how to get motivated," you sad sack types whine. "I don't have the motivation," you continue. It makes me so sick I just want to vomit out the 36-ounce Red Bull I just drank—for motivation!
Look, I'm not going to lie to you, like some of those "other" professional fitness columnists I could name, but won't, because I don't read much about fitness (boring). The secret of motivation is not some psychological bullshit. I don't want to sit you on a couch and grab a notepad and raise my eyebrows expectantly as you explain to me how you were molested long ago. That's not what I'm here for. I'm here to motivate you to achieve hardcore fitness extreme in a dynamic paradigm. In this paradigm of hardcoreness, motivation is not some sort of trick that you do with your brain. News flash, genius: this is fitness. Brains have nothing to do with it. Carl Jung was a stone cold pussy, I bet (not familiar with his work). There is only one foolproof method that I know of to motivate you to achieve your physical fitness goals in a consistent and hardcore manner, unless it is raining out:
Sorry, "diet gurus" and Good Morning America "Seven Minute Ab" bullshit-of-the-month specialists with telegenic faces—motivation is not some Stuart Smalley self-affirmation bullshit that Sally Jesse Raphael's favorite life coach is only too happy to sell you for three easy payments of $19.95. Motivation is more caffeine. "Oh, I can't get up early enough in the morning to go to the gym, I'm so tired." Really? More caffeine. "Oh, after work I don't feel like going to the gym, I just want to 'veg out' on my sectional sofa." Really? More caffeine. "Oh, I already went to the gym once today, I think that's plenty." Really? Have you tried taking a nap to rest your weary muscles momentarily in preparation for Round Two—and more caffeine?
Sometimes I see people dragging ass at the gym and putzing around and just generally not looking like they possess the Eye of the Tiger when it comes to attacking their workouts with a level of intensity fearsome enough to prevent them from having many friends because nobody really wants to hang out with them when they have that crazy look. When I ask them how much coffee/ energy drink, NO-Xplode they had before coming to the gym, they say "none." Man, what?! Sometimes I wonder why I even hang out with you in these hypothetical scenarios! These "average Joes" want to complain about lack of motivation in their dreary workouts and yet they haven't even done the one most basic motivation thing that you should always do. Caffeine before your workout and a protein shake after your workout makes Jack and Jill go up the hill—to success, as the proverb goes. Look it up.
Some of these expert or "dork spurts" as I like to call them jocularly will tell you that even if you don't feel like working out, you should just put on your workout clothes and get ready to go, and this will make you motivated. Yeah, motivated to sit on your couch watching the Adult Swim network's programming in a pair of gym shorts. Better idea: get adequate rest. Eat a healthy diet. Make time in your schedule. Visualize exactly what you want to do at the gym today. Then put on those workout clothes. And then drink a comically huge glass full of a highly caffeinated beverage. Then you'll want to go to the gym simply to avoid the creeping insanity of being trapped in your apartment while wired. Caffeine may or may not help you in the gym, but it absolutely will help get your ass to the gym. Which is where you belong. As long as you don't plan on doing stuff in my area of the gym, because I'm using that.
Unless you have consumed at least 200 milligrams of caffeine already I don't want to hear you complain about motivation.
But you know who probably would is your doctor, specifically your cardiologist, who can tell you whether all this caffeine will cause you to die or not. Because remember: your heart is a muscle too. The biggest muscle of all—in a Tiger. (Figuratively speaking.)
Image by Jim Cooke.