Lots of people say the hardest thing about kicking off a fitness regimen is simply getting started. So of course, you’ll always get credit just for showing up for a workout. But once you’re there, why not turn your effort up to full volume? By working harder through each routine (we’re talking moving quicker, dropping lower or jumping higher), you’ll score the results you want — in less time.
To get you motivated to blast past your limits, we asked Daily Burn members what drives them not only to get up and move more, but to work harder while they do it. Whether you need to eke out those last few burpees or sprint a little faster, let their words inspire you to reach goals you didn’t even think to set.
My Workout Motivation Comes From…
1. Looking Forward, Not Back
“The real reason I do it, the real thing that keeps me going: I don’t want to go back to my old self. I really dislike my old self… [I was] lazy, ate garbage, too-big portions, had no energy to do anything with my kids or wife, and walking was a big task. Reminding myself of what I used to be fuels the fire, which burns hotter every day. I had two injuries over the past few months, [but those] didn’t keep me out. Lower body injury? That’s OK. [I worked on my] upper body and upper body endurance. I finally have a new mindset. It used to be, ‘It’s hard, I can’t.’ Now it’s ‘Let’s see what we can do, I got this.’ That’s what pushes me to be my best. Going forward…not backward.” —David Wray, De Pere, WI
2. Getting Stronger Each Day
“I know people say it often, but I push myself harder because it makes me feel better. Each workout gets me closer to my goals of regaining mobility, which with my health issues, is a constant battle. I’m so proud of my ‘non-scale victories,’ because I never thought I would be able to achieve them again. I’m excited for the day when I might surpass myself before [I got sick] — and not just regain what I lost, but obtain the unknown.” —Pinky Barney, Bremerton, WA
3. Finding Friendly Competition
“I am highly competitive, so working out in a home environment has been an adjustment for me. When I would work out in a gym, I was always ‘racing’ the person on the treadmill next to me… And in group exercise classes, I always wanted to at least keep up or, if it was a bootcamp-style class, be ahead in my reps. I’ve found working out at home, it does help to exercise with my children or husband, but they aren’t always willing. Upbeat music gets me moving and I find I will even do squats and other bodyweight exercises when prepping dinner if I have music playing. Consistency keeps me going, too — just being in a routine. As for the ‘races’ on the treadmill, now I compete for the most steps on Fitbit!”—Cindy Diehl, Richmond, VA
4. Knowing What’s On Deck
“It’s sports psychology for me. If you tell me how many sprints I’m going to run, I’ll run them harder… If I know we’re doing this for a minute or a ladder or this is coming next and I can take a breath, I’ll push as hard as I can. Most trainers are really good about that.” —AE Graham, Nashville, TN
5. Getting Cheered On
“The motivational talk helps me — ‘try just a little harder,’ ‘push just a little more.’ I find the specific instructions — ‘squat one inch lower,’ ‘speed up these last five reps’— are great because I know exactly what I need to do to push myself. I also like it when I am moving through a specific movement, stretch or hold and the trainer reminds me to consider how I have improved since the first time I tried that exercise or even the most recent time I did it. Noting those gains, even if modest, remind me that I am making progress!” —Heidi Zwart Healy, Elgin, IL
6. Finding Your Swole Mate
“My husband and I work out together. We inspire each other to exercise even when we really don’t have the energy. We’ve both gotten in really good shape with Daily Burn over the past year and a half.” —Becky Leigh Jones, Poestenkill, NY
7. Trading Intimidation for Motivation
“Motivation from the trainers. I love the encouragement, especially from Prince [Brathwaite, a Daily Burn 365 instructor]. It’s not scary yelling, which is what has kept me away from the gym, but it pumps me up and helps me do my best. If I could have found that in a gym, I would have stuck with it.” —Sarah Best Adam, Sydney, Australia
8. Getting in the Zone
“I work out much more intensely when I am alone. It’s so much easier to push my hardest when I don’t need to be self-conscious about my weird facial expressions, my bouncing flab and the fact that I drool when I’m really exerting myself (yeah, that really happens).” —Diane Shiffer, Albion, NY
9. Finding Catharsis
“I am very serious about this: When JD [Roberto, host of Daily Burn 365] is in the studio and I see him go just a bit faster, groan a bit more, hear him yell… he makes me push harder! Also, I push harder when I have some personal negativity going on. I like to think of it like a cleansing, I guess. The more I push, the more I get rid of these feelings!” —Antoinette Pierce-Ludes, Summerville, SC
To join the Daily Burn 365 community and get a new workout every single day, head to dailyburn.com/365. You’ll get 30 days FREE!
Note to reader: The content in this article relates to the core service offered by Daily Burn. In the interest of editorial disclosure and integrity, the reader should know that this site is owned and operated by Daily Burn.