Motivation is Power
I realized from all the years as a trainer, athlete, and a dedicated gym goer, that motivation can rise and fall.
Motivation is literally turned to demotivation with the 4 "weights" in the diagram. Pain, low energy, lack of knowledge and a lack of results account for most if not all the reasons why people will never start, or will quit the gym.
What could happen if you could dial the demotivation all the way down? Won't your motivation levels climb again? Perhaps there is a way to boost motivation with a few strategies.
Citing my own experience, pain comes in 3 forms. There is chronic pain, acute pain and "old man ache". By the way, women get old man ache too. (Old man ache is feeling pain but not having any real reason on how it got there-especially in the morning.)
Generally, all pain is helped by lowering systemic inflammation. Systemic inflammation is when certain chemicals in your body are elevated that aggravate certain cells and organs. To lower this, the most controllable influencer to change is that good old diet. Strategies for this include lowering dietary sugar, getting some Omega 3's in capsule or food, and avoiding or reducing processed foods. Sometimes a low liquid intake can add to pain and so can excess body fat. Nutrition supplements can also be used help reduce inflammation.
In Summary: Reduce sweets, get Omega 3's, and eat natural food. Drink plenty of fluids especially water and have a plan to lower body fat to feel better.
If pain is chronic or beyond "it is stiff or hurts a bit" then perhaps a trip to the doctor is needed. A doctor can give the expert opinion to know if it is something you can work through or if more medical intervention is necessary.
For most of the people I see, pain mostly seems to be in the shoulders, low back and knees.
Don't give up as these areas are often the result of muscle imbalances with muscles being tight and/or muscles being weak. The more years you spend on this planet, the more exact you have to be with your workouts and balancing your body. As an example, a tight lat muscle(wing muscles on a bodybuilder) is often the culprit of AC joint pain(the boney joint in the front of your shoulders.) A weak Vastus Medialis (tear drop thigh muscle on inside of knees) is often the root cause of tendonitis of tendons that attach to the knee cap.
I have met people over the years that quit their sport or recreational activities they loved because the pain just could not be endured. Besides a prescription pill, their MD. was not much help either. Balancing muscles is something not figured out too easily on your own. Buy a book, watch some videos or hire a pro to help you. There is a remedy out there, don't give up.
Let's face it, we are not always ready to open our front door and run down the block. In fact, that "get up and go" is a measurable variable used in some studies when assessing energy levels in people.
Low energy is tied to diet, sleep and stress. Some of the same dietary suggestions that apply to pain also apply to energy. One of my mentors used to say if it flies, swims or runs across a field, you can eat it. Add vegetables and that sums up most of what helps the body stay healthy and have energy.
As for sleep, a quick scan of the internet will show 35-70% of people do not sleep enough. Often, I have to explain what good sleep is to clients. Good sleep means:
-you fall asleep rather easily,
-stay asleep and
-wake up sometime past 7 hours.
(Of course it is assumed you want at least 7 hours of sleep.)
If you have one or more of these issues of sleep, do realize there are remedies. For example there are lifestyle adjustments such as lowering the lights in the house and shutting off your phone near bedtime and nutrition interventions such as optimizing your body's magnesium counts that help with falling asleep. Staying asleep during the night may mean optimizing the intake of antioxidants.
A friend of mine decided to eat better and then decided to join a gym. He had some good results and then decided to add a jiu jitsu membership to his program. That would not have happened with if he had never changed his eating habits.
LACK of RESULTS/LACK of KNOWLEDGE
These two are closely related. Generally, a lack of results is often the result of a lack of knowledge.
If you put the time and effort in, a result is expected. If no results come, well it is hard to keep trying. We have that pleasure response in our brains represented by a neurotransmitter called dopamine. If we do well at something, the dopamine is secreted. If we do poorly at something, well, no dopamine. It is very hard to stay with something that you don't progress in.
Some people have very little knowledge and will not even try. Some people know a good amount and then get stuck. In the gym world, getting stuck is known as a plateau. Plateau is a very dreaded word.
The remedy to either problem, is really just to ask for help. Not being able to progress, may be best corrected with a set of fresh but experienced eyes. Yes, sometimes that costs money but frustrations can lead to quitting and a sense of failure. There are smart people out there and some dumb ones too. Ask targeted questions about your specific needs and wait for targeted direct answers.
You can read books and check out videos but there is nothing really like being guided by a professional with what you personally need.
To get to your goals in the gym or even get to the gym, take a look and see what is holding you down. I did keep things relatively simple and yes, there are plenty other variables in every part of this article I did not mention.
My goal for you was to improve your sense of motivation. If any of these issues are demotivating you, take a good look and work to lessen the effect with some of the suggestions above. There are remedies to any problem you have. If you still are not moving forward, reach out for help.