The Missing Fitness Link

What’s missing from most workout programs, fad diets, and other fitness advice out there? Simply put, mental training.

Written by Greg Marshall | The Gym

 We are going to dig deeper than just the weights, cardio, and nutrition, and talk about discovering the inner motivation for you individually.

What is mental training?

Mental training is honing your mind to dig deep and figure out “why” you do things. It is a core function of success in your fitness journey and in your life. Mental training can cut to the core of your fitness problems. 

Some of the best athletes, actors, moms and most successful people in the world are successful because they have discovered the missing link. They have trained themselves to believe in their goals. They are sure to bring their best self each and every day, and understand that there will be setbacks, failures, and other things that will challenge them mentally—but they will persevere and come out on top.

Discovering Your Why

It is hard to motivate ourselves if we are just telling ourselves that we should do it, or be better. That is not enough—we need to strike our core and feel it from our soul.

Some questions to ask and discover your “why”:

Who was your role model growing up?

Who is your role model currently?

What makes you feel the most positive about yourself?

What makes you feel negative and unmotivated?

What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?

What kind of people do you associate yourself with?

Who do you want to associate yourself with?

You’ll find that the answers to these questions often tie into the real reasons why you’re working out.

Coming Up With An Action Plan

Once you discover your “why” then your job is to map out what your goals are that you want to accomplish and then tie them in together to your “why.” As opposed to just doing the mechanics of a workout program (weights, cardio, nutrition), you’ll see the power of knowing why you’re really at the gym, as your experience will be significantly different.

You’ll be more motivated.

You’ll stick with your program better.

The workout roller coaster will flatten out.

Bottom line: not truly knowing your “why” makes it easier to just give up. Here are steps to making your plan:

Write down 3-5 motivating factors for success. Put them somewhere you can see them daily. Also write them in a notebook, to review in the morning and in the evening to keep track of your progress.

Find a partner or support group. This helps you be accountable, and this person can also remind you of your “whys.” Choose someone supportive yet candid.

Set up a reward system. This is an often-overlooked part of a fitness program. It is easy to get caught in the trap of setting “moving targets” as goals. An example of this would be: when I lose ten pounds I am going to buy myself a brand new pair of shoes, but after you reach ten pounds, because it may have felt too easy, you dismiss the accomplishment and push it to fifteen pounds to get the shoes. Do not fall for this trap.

Create a vision board of photos that symbolize the “whys” that you chose. Choose wisely. The pictures should depict the emotions that are most important to you, and serve as a constant reminder of why you are changing your lifestyle.

BIO: Greg Marshall
Personal training manager at The Gym at City Creek in Salt Lake City, and author of Body Fit : A Beginner’s Guide to Fitness, Greg is a leading fitness voice locally. To contact Greg email him at

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