Staying Motivated - Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic
By Jesse Grund, Certified Trainer
At the beginning of my professional training career, I saw a startling trend in new clients. A client walks into the door of my training studio with a goal in mind that directly reflects how he or she sees themselves in the mirror. They jump out the gate with gusto, dedicated, persevering through tough workouts and big changes in their lifestyle, all in the name of aesthetics. More often than not, he or she hits a lull, whether that is a plateau in progress or professional/personal issues, something begins to become priority over that goal. That goal becomes less important and just surviving the week becomes of paramount importance, and the next thing you know, he or she has given up working out all together. Sound familiar? It happens far too frequently in our population and the bigger shame is that there is a simple solution to the problem.
Let's go back to the beginning with that client. They walk in the door with the goal of six pack abs. We call that an extrinsic goal, or a goal that motivates an individual based on outward reward or to avoid punishment. ""I'm working out so I can see my abs,"" is a perfect example of being extrinsically motivated. The problem with extrinsic motivators is that they are usually done in an activity we do not enjoy and have no interest in, other than the reward itself. The ""six pack"" becomes our motivating factor; however, no matter how strong that motivation is, it will never carry you through the stressful and tough times because we simply do not enjoy what we are doing!
If we change the mindset and then change the motivator, what happens? Same client, with the same motivations walking in the door. Six pack abs is not a bad motivator, but there has to be something deeper! Why has this client waited so long to try this? What stopped them before? Why have they avoided exercise? The answers to these questions will reveal what intrinsically motivates them! Intrinsic motivations are when we do something just for the enjoyment of it, or the reward is simply doing the activity itself. How do we avoid ""burn out"" in ourselves and in our clients? Find something that motivates or drives you! Maybe it's the mental clarity that comes with exercises, the ability for a mother to keep up with her kids, or a professional knowing they need to offset all the sitting they do, it's important to always find something that motivates us beyond what we see in the mirror. That motivator will drive us through the plateaus and to physical transformations no matter what life throws at us. So if you are wondering how to achieve those big goals, find your deep motivator, let it be your driver, and the aesthetic goals will be your destination.
As an educated and experienced business owner, Jesse coaches and teaches with companies like TRK and Stick Mobility. ""I have been blessed with an 8 year career in the health and wellness field, given the opportunity to coach everyone from World Champions to Superheroes, and present on stages like IHRSA and the PGA Show."" Learn more about Jesse at https://unconstrength.com/few-words-about-us/
Experience: NCSF Certified Personal Trainer, NCSF Certified Strength Coach, NASM PES, NSPA Program Design Specialist, NSPA Sports Nutrition Specialist, Stick Mobility Certified Coach, Gray Insitute Certification Applied Functional Science, FMS Certified, FCS Certified, USAW Sports Performance Coach Level 1, TRX Certified (Black Rank Coach), Viking Ninja Certified Coach, Onnit Battle Rope Certified Coach
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