How to Motivate Yourself for the Gym

During the last couple of years, I made the decision to put my gym membership on hold. As much as I enjoyed going to the gym, my husband and I had some financial goals that were more important to us and I knew that I could always exercise outside. 

I have enjoyed running outside (even in the cold), but we've also been blessed, here in Kentucky, to have the last couple of years of mild Summers with low humidity. However, this Summer has taken on a new vengence with humidity soaring and temperatures of hotter than hell. 

As much as I hate to admit it, this has taken a toll on my training and exercise routine... I have always said I am much more a Winter person rather than a Summer person.

That said, I have decided I want to renew my gym member, especially since my husband and I achieved our financial goals more than a year ago (yay!). In preparing to return to the gym, I have found myself feeling more motivated and enthusiastic regarding changing up my routine, a new scene and the opportunity to take advantage of workout equipment and group fitness. I thought I would share a few ways I plan on trying to prepare for the gym and amp up my motivation for something new!

New Workout Gear

This is seemingly one of the best ways I find to motivate myself. Nothing is more motivating than having some new duds to sport, along with helping you to feel more comfortable. Another note, I prefer wearing capri style leggings to the gym in the summer, simply because I feel like it gives a bit more coverage. Nice for when you want to sit down at some of the equipment that has you awkwardly facing the rest of the gym!


Pack Gym Bag

My gym bag was a wreck after months of not using it for more than just tossing in a running outfit and other random things. I gave everything a good clean out and stocked my bag full of the essentials: hair ties, shampoo/soap, loofah, shower bag, shower shoes, water bottle, baby wipes (for, YOU KNOW), deodorant and emergency snacks. (P.S. I love this bag and you can find it here.) 

Mental Prep

I also think there is a certain amount of mental prep that goes into going back to the gym or starting the gym for the first time. One of the most prevalent concerns I hear from my Madden Wellness clients is worrying about what others will think of them. Seriously, I can't speak enough to this that I GET IT! There can be a lot of pressure if you're a beginner at the gym and everyone else seems to know their way around the equipment and be at the top of their fitness game. I think this is kind of like the first-day-of-school scenario. You really have to do some self-talk here and acknowledge that probably MOST people at the gym have these SAME concerns. You also have to realize WHY you're there. And hopefully, you are there for YOU...not everyone else. Remember that!

New Goals

With a change in workout venue, also comes a change in goals. I'm excited to have the opportunity to be able to utilize the group fitness classes, the strength training equipment and the stair master. After MANY months of running, I'm looking forward to incorporating new workouts and changing up my routine a bit.


Whether you're slaving away at the cardio machines or banging it out in the weight room, you probably know those repetitions and miles can become pretty monotonous. I can't say enough about equipping yourself with some new workout playlist music with some of your favorite up beat songs. Podcasts have also became another huge favorite of mine for helping to pass the time at the gym and really stay in the zone. 

Group Classes

Although, not for everyone, group fitness classes can be a great way to spice up your workout routine and get out of a rut. Group fitness is a great way to be introduced to new exercise routines, as well as get connected with your gym community. I plan on utilizing my gym's Spinning classes, as well as their Crossfit classes. 

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Amber Madden is a Licensed Counseling Associate specializing in Eating Disorders and Obesity. She is the Clinical Director at Madden Wellness Counseling, PLLC. She utilizes her skills in addiction to assist her clients in with Binge Eating, "food addictive" patterns, and develop a positive approach to overall health and wellness. She has a passion for assisting clients in achieving their health goals and learning to love nutritious foods and exercise. For more information visit