Move a Muscle, Change a Thought

How do the Motivators stay Motivated?


Believe it or not, even Personal Trainers can lose their steam from time to time. So how do these motivators stay motivated? We caught-up with Scott Graham, NASM-certified Personal Trainer and Jabra Coach Advocate, to find out.

What motivates you in your training? 
What motivates me is that I want to see what my body can do. Whether it's doing a new thing that I never thought I could do before or whether it's lifting a certain amount of weight. I'm always curious to see what it is my body can do and what the limit is. It motivates me in my training and also motivates me and my clients. It's very rewarding for me when I have someone that lifts something that they never thought was possible.

Do you ever have those days where motivation is hard to find?
Absolutely. Especially after working for long stretches in the gym, it can be tough to switch gears and get your own workout done.

Is it common for Personal Trainers to lose their motivation sometimes?
I think it's very common. One can tend to focus more on building a business and always trying to do more in that area, and lose sight of taking care of one's self.

How do they find that motivation again?
For me, it's been important to do someone else's program. If I am deciding what to do myself, I can lose steam pretty quickly. Doing another trainer's program is always a learning experience and has never failed to re-invigorate my training. It's always great to hook up with other people doing the same program for support. A lot of opportunities for that exist via Facebook groups. Another great way is hire a personal trainer yourself. This summer I'm going to hire a coach for Olympic Weightlifting.

Would you say it's ok to lose motivation sometimes? 
Yes, for sure. It's a part of training consistently. Just know that it happens to everyone.
I think it's important to distinguish between a loss of motivation and overtraining and burn out, when you really need a rest. It's important to listen to your body if you've been training very hard and are sluggish during the days. It's time for a rest day. Or two! 

Do you have any insights into how the best athletes cope with lack of motivation?
The best athletes know that they need to work on their recovery just as hard as their training. And having a coach that knows you is key. They will know what you're capable of even when you don't.

How often do you train a week?
6 times a week.

What makes one week better than another?
Well, that's what we are all trying to figure out! I think recovery is the key. I think it's important to alternate heavy and lighter days, to get enough nutrient-rich whole foods to balance you energy output and recover, to get enough sleep, and to try different ways to reduce stress in your life.


How important are rest days?
Crucial. If you just keep tearing yourself down without recovering properly you will end up exhausted, injured, and depressed.

How do you motivate yourself to go ahead with training when you don't particularly want to at that time?
There's a great quote "Move a muscle, change a thought." I just try to turn my mind off and get moving. Light plyometric work--jumping, ladder drills--will kick start your nervous system and change the way you're feeling.

What advice would you give to someone who is motivated to achieve their goals but feels they have to drag themselves to the gym every time?
Hire a personal trainer!

A certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist with The National Academy of Sports Medicine, Scott Graham regularly shares his 30 years of fitness training experience at