How Do You Stay Motivated To Work Out When You're Aren't Seeing Progress?

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There’s a common expression among fitness subreddits and lifting forums: The day you start lifting is the day you become forever small. In other words, you might not ever feel satisfied after years of hard work or when you reach your goals.

And when you’re not seeing progress—whether that means your lifts have stalled or you’re not satisfied with what you see in the mirror just yet—it’s easy to want to give up altogether. We’ve written before about how to stay motivated when you’re in a slump; sometimes, it just takes recognising that progress isn’t immediate and doesn’t work on a linear basis.

It could take months before you might see the progress you want, and even then, you’ll run into periods where everything is hard and lots of carbs are just so nice and delicious, especially when eaten at midnight.

I still struggle with my relationship to progress and motivation. Some days, I feel I could lift a car if I tried (I definitely can’t, but hey, goals are goals) and other days, I feel like it’s my first day at the gym all over again. Naturally, my self-image takes a hit and I criticise my body unnecessarily.

To avoid spiraling into a place of self-loathing, I’ll rely on my lifting journal. It’s one thing to see my numbers plateau for a few weeks, but seeing that I’ve made significant, overall progress for months is a small reminder that I have my bad days—but I also have a lot of good ones, too.

How do you stay motivated when you fall into a slump? And how do you track your progress day-to-day?


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