8 Funny and Effective Ways to Stay Motivated for the Gym

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1. Have an Arnold Schwarzenegger Movie Marathon

If you’ve ever had someone ask you for “your clothes, your boots and your motorcycle,” you’ve either met a hardcore Arnie fan, or you’ve been the victim of a thorough and strangely perverse mugging. Either way, immersing yourself in the Austrian Oak’s back catalog is an excellent way of reigniting your love of the gym. Choice philosophical words (“The best activities for your health are pumping and humping”) and sound nutritional advice abound (“Milk is for babies, when you get older, you drink beer”), plus watching Arnold’s progression from Austrian farmboy, to Mr. Olympia, to Hollywood superstar, and finally to governor of California, is the single most inspiration gym tale around. So grab yourself some popcorn-flavored whey protein and learn from best. Before you know it, you’ll be back lifting weights and murdering aliens.

2. Get Naked

Whilst we’re on the topic of Arnie, there’s a famous story about his leg training motivation. As a young bodybuilder, he was so ashamed of his inferior calf development that he did most of his photoshoots standing up to his waist in water (seriously). To combat this, he turned all of his trousers into shorts, and forced himself to confront his lagging calves. It obviously worked, so why don’t we expand this concept? By spending as much time naked as humanly possible, you’ll be forced to confront your lagging bodyparts. You’ll confront your cowardly calves, lazy lats and depressing delts, and the money you’ll save on clothing can be put towards the enlargement surgery you now realized you need.

3. Spend an Hour in McDonalds

At ease soldier, we aren’t here to embark on a 50-nugget cheat meal—we’re here to glimpse into the future. See the McDonald’s regulars, rammed into their darkened corners as best as their gelatinous, rolling flab will allow, hoarding a dozen Happy Meals like a confused and lost Gollum in a Lord of the Rings-themed fast-food commercial. Smell the sweat, the tears of self-loathing, the BBQ sauce that wafts out of their every pore, and know that this is your future.

4. Let Your Parents Do That Embarrassing Childhood-Photo Shit

You know what I mean—you take a girl back to meet your parents, and within 8 seconds of introduction, she’s already seen your deepest and darkest Polaroid secrets. There’s that picture of little Jimmy, stark naked and riding the family dog into some imagined battle (all the more upsetting because you were 17 at the time), and a series of photos documenting a brief courtship with the gothic lifestyle, looking vaguely racist in your AFI T-Shirt and matching bracelets. Seeing your awkward teenage build and lacking self-confidence will remind you how far you’ve come, and kickstart your gym routine like nothing else.

5. Be Lazier

It’s true that you feel like an absolute boss when you smash some 6 am cardio, hit some fasted PRs at the gym and get into the swing of your day before most people are even awake—but seriously, who wants to do that all the goddamn time? If you take some time out of the gym, or simply train later, you’re more likely to go back invigorated and actually wanting to work out.

6. Watch Pro Bodybuilding Workouts

If you’re sick and tired of your distinctly average workouts, watch some pro-bodybuilders at work. I’m a personal fan of watching IFBB pro Branch Warren, a shaking, rage-filled creature, more dwarf than human, throwing 45lb plates around like Frisbees. It's lunacy to inject yourself with so many chemicals, but goddamed fun to watch.

7. Break Up With Your Girlfriend

… she’s been cheating on you, bro. With me. Me and my boulder-shoulders, washboard-abs and barbell-sized junk. Not dumbbell bro, barbell. OLYMPIC BARBELL. You got too comfortable with her, you let yourself go. You started bulking ALL-YEAR ROUND. You now look like some kind of powerlifting Bigfoot. We need to get you back in touch with the reasons you started working out in the first place. Chances are that you hit the weights to get better at hitting on girls; to feel better about yourself, and to get girls to feel you better. Well, it worked! You got the guns and got the girl, but now, what incentive is there to keep struggling away at the gym? None, son.

Okay, I'm kidding. I’m not suggesting you immediately abandon your fiancée, but take some time to reflect on why you started working out. Start running again, maybe spend some time in the sun, and for the love of God, invest in eating some fruit—at the very least, I’m sure your girl will appreciate the extra effort.

8. Get More Metal In Your Life

This can be interpreted in one of two ways—either expand your musical horizons, and incorporate some uplifting and goddamn heavy music into your workouts, or undergo an Adamantium-skeleton bonding process and become Wolverine. Whilst rocking a tank-top 24/7, combing your hair into a ducktail and growing the manliest sideburns in existence will undoubtedly increase gym motivation, I’m also quite partial to a blasting out some Avenged Sevenfold before hitting the gym, working myself into a sweaty testosterone–fuelled frenzy, launching myself at the weights section and shouting “I’ll hit you so hard it’ll feel like you’ve kissed a freight train” at any barbells within my vicinity. It really gets the people goin'.

See you next week, bros,
Alex Nerney — Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Nutrition Specialist, Lord of BroScience

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