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How do you keep yourself consistently motivated for weight-lifting?

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I was in CC the other day reading a wonderful forum basically related to cross-training and the benefits of weight-lifting for increasing running strength in the joints/injury prevention, which makes a lot of sense...So I had started strength training very inconsistently about a month ago (which was an improvement from no strength training at all for a looong time). 

My weight-lifting/strength training problem has always been that I haven't stayed self-motivated to weight train on my own.  I think it's like I previously had this myth in my mind that weight-lifting did not make much of a difference or that it would only cause bulkiness but not other benefits.  However, thanks to personal training I did with a trainer a few years ago as well as recent CC inspiration, I am thinking that it is very important for me to include it in my workouts. 

SO MY QUESTION IS...What keeps you motivated to lift weights on your own, especially for a full (45-60 min.) workout?

Sometimes I feel silly doing it by myself and don't really have a weight-lifting partner option right now.  The good thing is that I had pretty good weight-lifting training technique from a serious MMA athlete a few years ago.  The bad thing is that I have never had a lot of self-motivation for weight-lifting - don't see instant results, etc.

The other day though, I had an amazing weight-lifting work-out BY MYSELF!  -probably for the first time in my life!  Please be kind in making any judgements to this new solo weigh-lifter.  Anyway, while I had been doing machines a few weeks ago, I felt comfortable enough to switch to free weights and challenged myself with the heaviest I could lift with several areas of my body; I felt great.  I've been sore for the last 2 days (in a good way).  I particularly felt it was helpful to my back, leg joints, and arms.  I would like to improve my consistency.

Why do you keep weight-lifting on your own?

What results have you noticed?

What do you like about it?

Do you feel silly (especially girls)?

Are you afraid of gaining weight?  Why or why not?

I'm open to any thoughts.  Thank you.

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Why do you keep weight-lifting on your own?

- because there is no one else around to kick my butt into doing it. i know the benefits and want to he healthy and strong for life.

What results have you noticed?

- strength increase. weight loss. balance and posture improvements.

What do you like about it?

- that i am using my body for a more primitive (yet far more correct) purpose than sitting on my duff typing.

Do you feel silly (especially girls)?

- sometimes.

Are you afraid of gaining weight?  Why or why not?

- no. i have lost weight. it never really entered my mind that i would gain weight.


How I keep motivated:

   Find a professionally made routine online or get a book like New Rules of Lifting for Women and use the routines in that.

   Keep a log - bring it to the gym, so that you always know what you did last time, and you can seek to improve each time. I think it's in NROL (I've only read the men's version, b/c I stole my bf's) where he says, "Every time you go, seek to do at least one thing better than last time." Maybe it's just going one rep further on one exercise, or increasing the weight for one exercise, but each time, you improve. It also shows you that you really have gotten stronger.

  Weight lifting has given me better posture, my shoulders don't have that office-worker slump that they used to. I am stronger, and I feel a lot more confident about my back not giving out completely before I turn 30. It also gives me a much better high than cardio ever did.

  I only feel silly when I use the lil 10 pound weights to do lunges, because although I could do heavier, I'm still working on my form before moving on to appropriately heavy weights.

  I'm not afraid of gaining weight - it's pretty hard to gain pounds of muscle, and if I actually reached that point, I'd be burning more calories, and therefore losing more than enough fat to make up for it. Plus, the number on the scale is a lot less important than how I look.

  • Why do you keep weight-lifting on your own?
    • Becasue there is no-one else about to do it so i have no choice, ive recently gone to a trainer and although i can't afford alot of sessions every week i find that helps motivate me because i know if i don't improve bettween sessions with her, she's gonna kick my ass.
    • I totally agree with amethystgirl keep a log, i keep a log and it becomes almost a game ... see how much i lifted last week and try and improve it, if i don't log it i'd give up and get lazy this way i have a bench mark i know how much im capable of lifting so i have no excuse not to at least repeat it.


  • What results have you noticed?
    • My belly it looking much flatter,
    • i've lost 4% body fat without actually losing any weight,
    • i have definition in my arms and shoulders,
    •  i no longer have to ask my hubby to lift th boxes down from on top of the bookcase i know it sounds silly but beign strong enough to do it myself was a real achivement.
    • I feel fitter and healthlier and generally have more energy, i can actuall play a game of football with my sons without hyperventilating haha.
    • I had to go and buy 3 pairs of new jeans last weekend because even though the scales are evil non of my jeans fitted they kept slipping down.  That was the greatest motivator ever !!!! losing a dress size even thouh i havn't lost much wieght ... Woot .. great motivator.


  • What do you like about it?
    • I love the way i'm starting to feel the buzz i get from it, i love the ache i know it sounds silly but i take the ache the next day as a sign that i did a good job and then no matter what i do for the rest of the day i know i did one good thing for my body.
    • I also love that all my freinds and family are starting to notice the change in my body, one of my male mates joked the other day that i was gonna start putting th lads to shame soon, i thought it was funny because you could tell by the tone of his voice it wasnt just a joke he was actually starting to feel abit nervous haha.


  • Do you feel silly (especially girls)?
    • I did in the begining when i really wasn't sure what i was doing, i was scared because i thought everyone was laughing at me flinging these tiny wieghts around, but once your confidance grows that pass's i don't feel silly anymore infact i love showing the blokes in our gym up, they all get really nervous when i enter the weight room haha especially now that i out lift quite a few of them.


  • Are you afraid of gaining weight?  Why or why not?
    • i don't really worry about gaining it (perhaps i would be if i did start gaining) but I still get pretty frustrated that im not losing wieght, ive only lost 4lb's since i started and althought rationally and logically i know im gaining muscle just as fast as im losing fat and every other indicator says that im in much better shape than i used to be sometimes i wish the damn scales would just go down.


  • I'm open to any thoughts.  Thank you.
    • For me the best motivation has been the changes i can SEE in my body and the way my clothes fit, if you can keep yourself gonig for the first month you will start seeing the differance and after that i think it get's easier because once you can see your doing yourself good thats motivation enough.

I don't get motivated for 45-60 minute sessions because 45-60 is too long :)  only a pro who knows exactly what and why they are doing what they are doing should be lifting longer than that. 


I don't have any citations here, so here is the summary: your body tires out a lot by the 45 minute mark, and working past then is asking for poor form and injury and wasting time.  not to mention, any lifts you need to do should already be done before you get to 45 minutes.  if you can do your lifting for 60 minutes now, you are probably doing something wrong -- like using weights that are TOO LIGHT, thus wasting your time :)

so your actual time spent lifting shouldn't pass 45 minutes.  the rest of that hour should be spent warming up at the start, and cooling down and stretching gently at the end.

also note that it is the effort you put into it that really counts, not just going through the motions.  for instance, all else being equal, 3 sets produce slightly more results than 2 sets; but a hard 2 sets with all your mind and body working for it will produce better results than a weak 3 sets that you are doing just for the sake of it.

My girlfriend & I are in our 40's and we want get toned to improve musclar structure,but she says that getting ripped is the way to go.GETTING RIPPED. Does anybody know what getting  ripped is?

getting ripped is basically just getting  really well defined muscles,

you can have alot of mucle with a high body fat ratio the muscle is still there but it isn't as defined and it can't be seen as clearly... ripped means showing it off to it's fullest protential which means getting your body fat ratio LOW!!! your looking at about 8%-10% for a man and 12-14% for a woman before you can really be concidered ripped perhaps a little higher it depends how much muscle you have and your build.

Either way gettng ripped takes shere dedication to excercise and diet and isn't for the half hearted.



Why do you keep weight-lifting on your own?

It beats cardio.  I like how strong it makes me feel.

What results have you noticed?

My back is straighter now (take that scoliosis!) and my stomach is a lot flatter.

What do you like about it?

Makes me feel invincible and every time I lift heavier I feel accomplished.

Do you feel silly (especially girls)?

Not really.  It's a good excuse to hang out with all the hot guys at the gym.  And soon I'll be lifting really heavy and look totally badass!

Are you afraid of gaining weight?  Why or why not?

If it was fat it would scare me.  Otherwise I have ceased caring.

Weights, for me help me stay toned, firm, full of energy and strong. I also remember how I felt when I first started, I have sure gained strength and lost so many inches.

I enjoy the mental challenge and the mental aspect of training as well. I focus on the breathing, those muscles need oxygen when you are using them, I also put a lot of focus in using the muscle I am working. The range of motion, breathing and form have to be proper, I like the challenge of perfecting these. It's such a release.

I am not afraid of gaining weight period or because I am lifting. The key that works for me is doing more reps with lighter weight. Not to mention the fact that muscle burns calories so much quicker and efficiently that fat.

Another thing I like about weight-training is that I actually am able to eat more often (not to be mistaken for more food) 5 times a day. I am working on eating breakfast, snack, lunch,snack, and dinner. I get full so much quicker, so I stop when I no longer feel hungry (not stuffed) and I'm hungry 3-4 hours later.....perfect. "snacking" is not bad... it's a word what's more important is the snack I choose. What a great opportunity to get in those servings of Fresh fruits and vegetables.

Ooh yeah, I also like to have music in my that's motivating. It really helps me push through and feel empowered!! Put together your own! For me it put's me in my own world and I can focus on having a Great workout!!!

Keep it up!

^^^good advice right there... I especially like "snacking isn't bad, just choose good snacks!!!" :)

I love your responses, very motivating and well as serious.  It looks like you really take weigh-lifting seriously.  I've actually read some of them a few times, since they are inspirational.  I will most likely read them again in the future when I need motivation.  I am very impressed with your commitment to weight-lifting, and you all certainly have me convinced about the beneifts of weight-lifting.  I actually had never thought about it as a confidence booster with the idea of literally feeling stronger in several ways.  It makes me also think I should lighten up about what others are thinking at the gym, like I shouldn't worry that they are stairing at me.  It also sounds like you have really seen some significant changes with your commitment and discipline.  I will attempt to strive for this.  I will try to be a stronger woman (I'm into feminism as well, so strength-training almost seems symbolic).  Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience about this.  You're all such an encouragement and inspiration.  I appreciate, and it makes me think I can take this serious also.

10 Replies