This week, Michelle Bridges boldly stated that there is no such thing as having motivation when it comes to exercise. She said she doesn’t look forward to exercising, and she doesn’t enjoy it when she’s doing it. Contrary to everything I personally believe in, she said no one will ever be overcome by an urge to exercise.
For my non-Aussie readers, Michelle Bridges is one of the most well-known faces of fitness in Australia. She is a trainer on the Australian version of The Biggest Loser, has a number of diet books and runs a well-known weight loss program called the 12 Week Body Transformation.
I have previously bitched about her selling out here, when she promoted eating Special K multiple times a day as part of a so-called balanced diet. This time around, Michelle had good intentions with what she was saying: there is no magic wave of motivation which is going to hit and all of a sudden make you love exercise and want to jump off the couch to do it.
But to state that motivation is a myth is going a bit far. I’m sure Michelle has plenty of reasons to feel motivated, with the most obvious being that the eyes of an entire nation are on her and expect her to maintain her physique. I find it hard to believe that someone with her body doesn’t love exercise or have any motivation at all to go to the gym.
I’m sure most of my readers already feel motivated to exercise, or perhaps you are reading my blog as a source of motivation. So I questioned why Michelle would say something like that, when I’m sure she must believe it is crap (just like the Special K saga all over again!). I think she is simply continuing to promote this horrendous idea that exercise is painful, difficult and a chore that people should dread. By saying that she’s “just like everyone else”, she’s probably just trying to gain more fans and make people feel better about themselves for skipping a workout.
There are many reasons why I exercise, but being motivated to do so is a huge part of it. As I said in my post last week, I actually do love to work out. For example, this morning I literally sprung out of bed when my alarm went off at 6am. I was super excited to go the gym this morning, because it was back day. I’ve been seeing some awesome progress in my back and my own body is serving as motivation to keep pushing hard. Especially when I think of the fact that I’ll be stepping on stage in a tiny bikini in just a few short months to be judged from every angle. Eek!
There are the obvious things that motivate me. My life seems to be consumed by reading articles and blogs on fitness and following competitors’ tweets on Twitter. My computer background is rotating images of figure competitors, and I have magazine tear-outs of Erin Stern all over the place to constantly motivate me. Whenever I struggle through the last few reps or, like tonight, want to get off the treadmill when I’m only halfway done, I think of how hard Erin trains!
Rob also motivates me. He’s incredibly strong and works so hard at the gym. I worked out with him on Monday and I spotted him while he did a really heavy dumbbell chest press. It was crazy to feel all the tiny muscles in his forearms shake furiously while he was doing it, but it also inspired me to push myself even harder. (As an aside, during this workout Rob pointed out that I’ve been doing a narrow grip bench press this whole time. I’ve been struggling so much to increase the weights on this exercise, and now I know why. Hopefully now that I’ve widened my grip up I’ll finally see some progress in my weak girly chest.)
Would I still exercise if there was nothing to motivate me? Sure – I have done it fine in the past, when there was no competition looming. However, when I have a driving force behind me (a holiday, my wedding) I can train with much higher intensity.
Do you feel motivated and, if so, by what?