We can all relate to the mental and physical hurdles that come along with going to the gym. In a recent YouTube video, exercise scientist Dr. Mike Israetel opened up on the meaning of motivation and explained why goals and training partners are essential to continued success while working out in a public setting.
“If you have to ask how to get motivated to go to the gym… you don’t need to be going to the gym. You don’t want it enough. When you’re sick and tired of looking and feeling like shit, you’ll show up motherfucker. I’ll see you there.”
Mike Israetel is equipped with more than just a witty personality, he built a successful empire in the fitness industry as a leading name, having earned his Ph.D. in sports psychology. A former professor at the School of Public Health at Temple University, Israetel’s ability to relay information about nutrition, exercise, and health has turned him into a notable voice, especially within the fitness community online.
Israetel has collaborated with massive names in the fitness sector, including trainer Eugene Teo as well as Jeff Nippard, a natural bodybuilder/powerlifter who implements a science-based approach to exercise and wellness. With discipline and motivation playing a massive role for those who attend the gym regularly, Israetel sat down to shed some light on the best way to keep yourself coming back for more.
Exercise Scientist Mike Israetel Shares How To Maintain Motivation for the Gym
Israetel defined motivation as a construct of adherence, though admits it makes up a combination of aspects such as inspiration, habit, willpower, and passion.
“Motivation itself is technically in the construct of adherence, it’s just one of the parts of it. There’s inspiration, motivation, there is habit, there is interaction between the sort of willpower and all that Goggins shit which is super valid in context and then there’s something called passion which once you have a passion for something you no longer ask questions of motivation,” said exercise scientist Mike Israetel.
For Mike Israetel, the gym has become a healthy addiction and he uses that passion to regularly exercise.
“People ask me, what motivates you to go to the gym, I’m addicted to going to the gym. It’s like asking a crackhead what’s motivating you to light up that rock?
What? It’s what I want to do! Right? So, there’s a whole rich psychology around just the one part we call motivation but that richness actually informs a lot of things that it’s a good idea to deploy to increase your motivation.”
In addition to passion, the exercise expert underscored the importance of inspiration, adding that one’s social media feed could affect their motivation levels.
“Having good sources of inspiration. If you surround your social media, if your feed is a lot of people who look like who you kind of want to look a little bit like them and they have a lot of positive encouraging shit to say and a can-do attitude, it’s a good start. It’s not going to keep you in the gym, but it might get your ass in there on a rainy day.”
Notably, Israetel shares that motivation is a goal-oriented phenomenon. Once that goal is gone, motivation tends to go with it.
“Set goals. Motivation is in many senses defined as a pull towards a goal. You get rid of a goal, you’re technically not motivated to do shit. Animals are in the lab are motivated in a goal base at least neurochemically, you could have Huberman on here and he’ll tell you it better, motivation is goal-oriented. Motivation is goal-oriented even if the goal is equalized this amount of chemical with one brain cell and another.”
“If you’re goal-less, if you’re going to the gym for some very general construct like get fit, or have abs, or something, you haven’t really quantified in any way at all or really contextualized, it’s easy to be like, eh. You have to be able to answer the question in your head, you’re sitting at home after work, tough day at the job, sitting on the couch, you have to give yourself a reason to get up.”
Lastly, Israetel suggested enlisting quality training partners as they keep you honest when motivation or discipline are lagging.
“Training partners help a lot. You sit down on the couch and your training partner fuckin texts you like, ‘Where you at pussy?’ You’re probably fucking going to show up. If it’s just you, it’s going to be tougher. If your gym is 15 minutes away you’ll fuckin do this in California traffic for 15 minutes, if it’s 45 minutes away, holy fuck that makes it really tough.”
Considering the impressive physique, mobility, and endurance of Mike Israetel, he remains dedicated to spreading health wisdom online. When he isn’t offering informative content on varying social media platforms, you can find him honing his Brazilian jiu-jitsu skills as a successful brown belt.
If channeling your inner David Goggins hasn’t pushed you to try out the gym yet, perhaps Mike Israetel’s tips on motivation are the missing puzzle piece you need to embark on a journey to self-improvement through physical exercise.
“If you’re going to make this a lifestyle, you have to lower the barriers, make the gym cheaper, closer, training partners, exercises you like, and raise the impetus, goals, inspiration, and a fucking goddamn real desire to be there.”
Watch the full video from Chris Williamson’s YouTube channel below:
RELATED: Kai Greene Is ‘Getting It Done’ With New Motivational Podcast