Tip: Stop Looking for Motivation

If you always need to be externally motivated, you're not a lifter. You're a hobbyist. Here's why.

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You Shouldn't Need Any Motivation to Lift

I don't get the need for motivation when it comes to lifting. Do you need some sort of external motivation to take a shower or brush your gunky teeth? I wouldn't think so because these are things you do routinely as a part of just plain living.

It should be the same for lifters. If you need motivation to go to the gym, you're not a lifter – you're a hobbyist. In two, three, or five years, you'll likely ditch lifting and find some other "hobby," whether it be bird watching or collecting ceramic ducks, bottle caps, or panties that you filched from the public Laundromat, dividing them into subcategories of floral prints, pastels, and slut tones.

Maybe you need me to make you a poster that shows Mark Dugdale, Amit Sapir, or Phil Heath wearing whiskers and cute little kitty ears and hanging precariously from a windowsill with the words, "Hang in there!" printed at the bottom. Sheesh.

Love It or Leave It

Maybe I'm wrong, but I like to think that for most of you, lifting is just part of your life. Yeah, like brushing your teeth. More than that, though, you probably lift weights because there are few things you'd rather be doing. You, in fact, love it.

You love how it makes you feel. You love how it makes you look. You love the sometimes solitary, sometimes social aspect of it. You love the feel of the cold metal against your calluses and the way it makes your heart pound and how the sweat forms a Rorschach test on the front of your T-shirt.

You love mastering new exercises and movements, and every week you love lifting more than you did the previous week. And maybe even more than loving lifting, you love the feeling of having lifted because no matter what happens afterwards, you've already had a productive day, a good day.

Motivation? Ask me if I need motivation to love my wife, my dogs, the occasional friend, the smell and taste of good food, glorious nature, great music, terrific books, or life itself. The answer is no, and the same goes for lifting.