If it’s workout motivation you’re looking for, there few people better equipped to dish out advice than the fit women who earn a living from their commitment to exercise. Which is why we chatted with world champion surfers, a big U.S. track star, yogis, and even a professional ballerina to find out how they shake themselves out of a workout slump, and get motivated to hit the gym. Here’s what they came back with.
“I’ve never trained as much in my career as right now after returning from injury and it just feels so good. I get excited to go back. It’s all about getting started and pushing through that day after muscle soreness. If you get a couple of sessions under your belt, and take a ‘rip the bandaid off’ kind of approach, then it becomes addictive. Definitely find a song that pumps you up, play it loud and make sure you mix it up. Training should be fun so be sure to find the physical movements that you enjoy and incorporate them into your workouts. I also have a sweet tooth so the idea of being able to order that brownie after lunch assists in the overall motivation!”—Stephanie Gilmore, six-time world surfing champion
“Take a group exercise class like yoga, barre or dance. I’m not the type to work out alone and I love the energy of being in a room full of dedicated people. You have the support of the group and can encourage each other to keep going. Create a great class plan to keep your workouts new and exciting.”—Judy Thureson, former professional dancer and Fabletics master
“Crank up the tunes! Once I get music in my ears and body I am ready to rock.”–Natalie Uhling, Athlete, Under Armour ambassador, and Instagram star
“Surrounding yourself with likeminded women with the same health and fitness goals is a great way to keep yourself motivated. If you’re someone that loses motivation easily, I suggest finding a workout buddy—when you feel like skipping out on your next workout, they can push you to stay on track. Training with a friend also means you can encourage each other and make sure that you’re working out as hard as you possibly can during your session.”—Kayla Itsines, personal trainer and Instagram star
“It helps to always have inspiration around me. A few things that get me motivated are scrolling through Pinterest’s sports luxe fashion images, buying new activewear, setting a new workout playlist, packing my gym bag for the day (the night before) so it’s staring there at me first thing when I wake up, booking in my workouts for the week and setting alarms to remind me to workout, setting a new workout area at home with a space that’s just ready to walk into and practice in to save time driving to a class, and leaving work early so I have a couple of hours free of an afternoon to get my butt to class. Oh, and Easter eggs as rewards!”—Bianca Cheah-Chalmers, yogi and Sportluxe.com founder
“When it comes to motivation I like to think about results. Focus on how great you feel (and look!) after your workout rather than how busy or tired you might feel before you begin. It’s important to keep things positive and fun so that your workout feels like a reward rather than a punishment or a drag.”—Mary Helen Bowers, professional ballerina and founder of Ballet Beautiful
“I think my biggest source of fuel from a mental standpoint is my faith, which is what drives me. I get stronger every day by learning from my successes and failures and using that to fuel what I do the next day. When I have a big disappointment I come back to where my identity is because it’s easy to have your identity be your success or your failure. That’s not what defines you.
After a workout, I’ll rehydrate and consume Muscle Milk Mobilized Amino and Protein immediately. But I have a big sweet tooth and need to replenish sugars, so I’ll bring a treat–candy, cookies, anything I’ve been craving. I don’t listen to music during a race, but my latest training playlist includes songs from Daft Punk, David Guetta and Jesus Culture.”—Sara Hall, track and field champion
“Plan your weeks training in advance, write it down in your calendar and prepare your sessions to be easy as possible. Put your training clothes out ready already the day before, set up in advance a walking or running session outdoors with your friend, or try to find a type of sport that you are really excited about. Getting started is always a difficult thing but once it becomes part of your everyday routine, you start to automatically find time for it.—Nude Girl Yoga
“Having a list of exercises to get done before finishing a work out is motivating for me when I’m in a rut. If I am traveling my trainer sends me work out programs to follow so that I don’t get off track.”—Nina Agdal, Sports Illustrated model and Vimmia activewear ambassador
“Set specific and measurable goals to keep you focused on progress, such as signing up for a race or a competition. And along the way, set mini-goals (such as, shaving five seconds off a five mile time or adding 10 pounds to your deadlift). When you train with a purpose, it becomes much easier to motivate yourself to work hard to reach that goal.”—Amelia Boone, three times Tough Mudder female champion
“I have inspirational quotes on my mirror that remind me of how awesome I am becoming! A favorite is ‘Do today what others won’t so you can do tomorrow what others can’t.’ Keeping a journal of your fitness activity helps a lot too.”–Christmas Abbott, fitness influencer and Viber public chat ambassador