There are so many days when I honestly think I would rather stick a needle in my eye than go to the gym.”
So says Jillian Michaels. And if the “The Biggest Loser” trainer gets too tired to exercise, what hope is there for the rest of us?
The mother of two says when it comes to motivating herself on days she doesn't quite feel up to hitting the gym, she'll give herself 15 minutes to work out. If she's enjoying it, she’ll keep going. If not, well, on to better things.
How can the rest of us get the drive and energy needed to peel ourselves from the couch and get physical? We asked 10 celebrity trainers on how they keep themselves motivated:
Leave Your Phone in the Car
You’re in the middle of hitting the treadmill and then suddenly your friend texts you about getting together at that new restaurant everyone’s talking about. You then decide to browse your emails and oh look, that dress you’ve been eyeing on is now on sale. Don’t forget to call mom…wait, whatever happened to exercising? Daniel Meng, the “trainer to the country stars” whose been working with Kenny Chesney for 12 years, says phones are a major distraction and should be kept away as far from you as possible when exercising. “I leave my phone in the car and give myself a little ‘me’ time with my headphones on and a plan that won’t be interrupted,” he says.
Create a Mantra
“I like to pick a mantra for myself, like ‘I won’t settle,’ and carry that into the shower, on my drive and into everything I do that day, including my workouts, food choices and conversations.” says Brett Hoebel, a trainer on “The Biggest Loser: Season 11."
Working out solo may give you leeway to procrastinate, but if you’re surrounded by others who’re pumped to get fit, you will want to make the effort, too. “Group exercise classes are popular because they create a sense of camaraderie,” explains Josh Holland, Madonna’s personal trainer and a wellness ambassador to Technogym. “It’s more fun and easier to get excited about a workout when those around you are into it too. I call on my trainer friends all the time to try a new workout. It’s helpful to have someone pushing you to achieve more.”
“There are many evenings when I’m feeling super wiped after a long day,” says model-turned-trainer Kristin McGee, who has worked with Tina Fey and LeAnn Rimes. “My secret motivation is to roll my yoga mat out in the morning so when I come home it’s calling my name.”
Wear Your Swimsuit
“Spend as much time in your bathing suit as possible so you are constantly aware of your figure,” says former “Survivor” finalist Matty Whitmore and trainer at Spectrum Athletic Club in Los Angeles. Consider wearing your swimsuit around the house, reminding yourself how amazing it will feel once you get rid of that pesky pound or two.
A cup of coffee can be a great way to perk up in the morning, but if you really want to burn some calories, you may want to trade it in for something better. “So many people, myself included, start to hit a wall in the late afternoon and decide one more cup of coffee will do the trick,” says BUTI fitness founder Bizzie Gold, who has trained Julia Roberts and Jennifer Love Hewitt. “When I’m feeling truly tapped out and exhausted, I’ll find a juice bar that is within walking distance. Caffeine makes you feel awake for a short period before you crash an hour later. Having a juice containing a good amount of greens mixed with pineapple, apple or orange will give you a sugar boost as well as nutrients to pull you out of your slump.”
For the days when nothing can motivate you to get on your feet, try “wogging.” “This may sound lame, but if I’m not feeling motivated or just really tired, I will call a friend to see if they will ‘wog’ (walk/jog/walk/jog) with me around the neighborhood, on a hike or by the beach,” says Jennifer Cassetta, who holds a black belt in VSK Jujitsu and has trained Jenny McCarthy and Bethenny Frankel.
Remember the Feeling
Prepping for the gym may feel like a chore, but remember how toned and energized you feel afterwards? Jill Miller, a yoga and fitness therapy expert who has trained Kelly Osbourne, believes that excitement of looking and feeling svelte is enough of a reward. "In all honesty, what motivates me is how I great I feel during and after workouts,” she says. “Movement resets my nervous system and emotions just as much as it benefits my body. I am motivated to feel glee and relaxation as much as I am driven to feel mobile and strong.”
Ok, so it should be done in moderation, but just because you want to trim your waistline doesn’t mean you have to give up on your favorite treat altogether. “What motivates me to exercise on those days when I just don’t feel like doing it is my piece of chocolate at the end of the workout as a reward,” reveals Simone De La Rue, a fitness expert who has helped sculpted the bodies of Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway, and Karolina Kurkova. “It’s often difficult to get started, but once you have finished you will feel so much better, and so will your sweet tooth.”
One thing many celebrity trainers agree on? Having the perfect soundtrack before and during your routine. On your way to the gym or home, play your favorite dance hits. This will re-energize you after a long day at work and chances are you won’t want to take that cat nap after all. Keep the party going while you work out and enjoy every moment of your sweat session.