I started my fitness journey in 2010 on a treadmill. In 2012 I went on to strength training and in 2014 I became a certified fitness trainer.
During that time, I have heard and probably said every single fitness motivational quote that exists. And since I have heard and/or said them so often, they almost seem like clichés at this point. They've lost some of their "oomph", at least for me.
Some of my “favorites” are:
"Never miss a Monday"
"Sweat is weakness leaving the body"
"Summer bodies are made in the winter"
"Did you die, though?"
"The only bad workout is the one that didn’t happen"
"Someone busier than you is working out right now"
"Excuses don’t burn calories"
"A one-hour workout is only 4% of your day"
"No pain, no gain"
"Make progress or make excuses"
I absolutely, 100% understand the point of these motivators. I know that if you start the week off right, then your are more likely to follow through for the rest of the week. I know that in most cases, a workout will not literally kill you. I also know that if I want abs in the summer than I should start working on them in December. I know all that, and you probably do too. But guess what? There are times when you may have to miss a Monday; and even though a workout is only 4% of my day -- there may be times when I just don't have an extra hour; and if you still believe that pain equals a good workout -- then more power to you. Soreness is normal, pain is not ... learn the difference.
Oftentimes I would read quotes such as these to get me going. I get it. However, I also realize that some of these motivators can have the opposite effect if they aren’t presented in the right way. Sometimes, it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. Sometimes, it’s the mindset of the person receiving the message.
It is possible that hearing these messages over and over again will not motivate someone to do something but instead make them feel resentful if they are unable to work out or make them feel guilty because they couldn’t make better food choices at that particular time.
Motivation should not be about making a person feel bad because they missed a Monday. It should not be about shaming someone into doing something. Motivation should be positive, encouraging and uplifting. I have been in the presence of trainers that seem to have traded positive reinforcement for so-called tough love. It doesn’t work in the long term.
When you approach your workouts, your main focus should be consistency. Ask yourself, “Did I do something challenging today that moved me closer to my goals?” Consistency is what creates results, not mindless clichés.
At the end of the day, motivation comes from within. If you don’t have the desire than no quote is going to get you off the couch. You can be inspired by someone else – usually by what they are doing, not by what they are saying – but you have to look to yourself for motivation.
So, if you missed your workout today, don't worry. There is always tomorrow -- or next Monday.