Fitness Workout Motivation: Uplifting Tips + Quotes

Smiling young African American woman in sportswear doing pushups during an exercise class with a group of friends at the gym

Key Points

  • Fitness workout motivation dwindles because of burnout, a poor exercise environment, or a negative mindset. 

  • Nurturing your mind and body, altering your perspective, and enjoying exercise are essential to regaining fitness workout motivation. 

  • Motivational messages positively impact the quality of your workouts.

Imagine a life where workouts are the highlight of your week. You count the hours until it’s time to take that dance class, hit the spin studio, run a few miles, and sweat your stress away. Is that level of fitness workout motivation even possible?

Being kind to yourself, disciplined, goal-oriented, proactive, and surrounded by positive energy are great starting points for staying motivated. Keep reading to learn daily tips and inspirational quotes to enhance your fitness workout motivation

Why Do You Feel Lazy and Unmotivated To Workout?

It happens to the best of people. You make the workout plans, experience a brief surge in motivation, and tell yourself it’ll be different this time. One way or another, you’re reigniting the flame of your fitness journey — ASAP!

Fast forward to the next day, and you’re entirely zapped after work. Your boss made you wear, like, seven hats. You barely had time to eat anything, let alone take a full lunch break. All you want to do is scarf down a pizza, cozy up on the couch, and fall asleep to your favorite movie. 

The workout can wait until tomorrow, right?

Feeling lazy and unmotivated is very common, and it typically results from burnout, a poor exercise environment, a negative mindset, or a combination of all three.


Burnout is severe mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion from having too much on your plate for too long. You feel depleted and often numb toward responsibilities, relationships, and hobbies.

Inadequate sleep, work-life imbalance, loneliness, and neglecting self-care cause burnout. Mental health problems such as stress, depression, and anxiety are major culprits.

Physical vs. Mental

Physical burnout happens when you’re always running on empty, battling a busy schedule, and overextending yourself. It especially applies to full-time parents and 12-hour shift workers.

Mental burnout occurs when you experience difficulty making routine decisions or performing daily tasks. You’re irritable, constantly distracted, and short-tempered. You probably can’t shut off your mind at bedtime, either.

Woman laughs in workout clothes

Fitness Burnout

Fitness burnout is a culmination of physical and mental stressors that remove the joy and satisfaction from exercise.

Health and wellness expert Jillian Michaels warns, “Fitness burnout can be caused by two things: overtraining and under-recovery.” 

These stressors lead to fatigue, dehydration, and — worst of all — illness. 

Failing to set clear health and fitness goals, lacking diversity in your training routine, and having unmet weight loss expectations also tempt you to bail on exercise.

Pro Tip: Laziness isn't the same as exhaustion. Struggling to squeeze workouts into an already hectic schedule? You’re not lazy; you’re just tired. There’s a vast difference between being unable to exercise versus being unwilling.

Poor Exercise Environment

Your exercise environment must encourage joyful, habitual workouts, whether it’s your home, the gym, or a fitness studio. How do you feel when you enter the room? Confident and inspired or anxious and discouraged? 

Appropriate materials and equipment, a comfortable exercise space, clean facilities, and a supportive community are necessary. These factors either continually reinforce or progressively hinder your desired actions. 

Make your success inevitable by switching to a new workout spot or revamping your exercise room at home. Connect with people who build you up, push you to grow, and share your challenges. 

Negative Mindset

A negative mindset manifests in a variety of ways. If you question your worthiness or readiness to start exercising again, you may subconsciously procrastinate and self-sabotage.

Maybe you suffer from a fear of failure, lead a sedentary lifestyle that’s hard to break, or underestimate the consequences of your delay. In each of these cases, you hold yourself back.

Are you exercising for the wrong reasons? If you desire to improve your health, gain natural energy, and de-stress, then you're on the right path. If your only focus is losing weight, you may dread your workouts.

Perfectionism is also a significant hindrance. When you have an “all or nothing” mentality, it's easy to get discouraged when you don't see results fast enough. If you do something wrong or have an off day, you beat yourself up — to the point where you’d rather skip workouts altogether. It beats enduring another round of self-deprecation, right?

The little details matter. Not having the perfect workout clothes, exercise plan, or time to hit the gym is overwhelming. The result? You kick the can down the road, waiting until every last star aligns.

Woman holds a plank during workout at gym

What’s the Best Workout Motivation?

Getting to the gym is tough, even if your gym resides in your home. Regardless of what’s causing your fitness slump, don’t lose hope. 

Here are nine strategies to get your workout motivation back.

Tweak Your Inner Voice

You’re not merely working out to look a certain way. You’re exercising to feel strong, capable, energized, and self-connected. Adopting this mentality helps you combat excuses. Tiredness, lack of time, and bad weather don't control you.

You don’t have to feel like exercising to do it. Showing up is half the battle and is much easier to do with discipline and a positive attitude.

The other half of the battle is how you talk to yourself during a challenge. At your workout spot, train your voice to root for you — to believe in your dreams and potential.

Avoid comparing your performance or progress to others. Your journey is uniquely yours. Own it. 

Most importantly, remind yourself that you don’t have to exercise but that you get to exercise. It’s a win to be healthy enough to train; it’s a gift to be able to push your body. 

Train When You’re Unmotivated

Sounds counterintuitive, doesn't it?

Either cave to your excuses or show up despite them. Motivation rises and falls daily, and it looks different for everyone. 

Training when you don't feel like it makes it easier to do so in the future. How so? You become addicted to the benefits of working out.

You receive a thrilling endorphin rush and an “on top of the world” sensation. The ability to channel your frustrations into movement brings you back for more. 

When you crave the results, the process is worth it.

Woman does push ups on kettlebells

Develop Process Goals

A process goal is a specific, achievable action entirely within your control. An outcome goal is a desired result that’s much harder to control. 

Pretend you’re in school for a moment. Committing to studying for an hour every morning is a process goal. Acing your upcoming exam and maintaining a 4.0 GPA are outcome goals. Your study habits are easy to manage, but your professor’s grading choices are out of your hands. 

The same goes for your fitness ambitions.

Process goal: Exercise four times a week for 30 minutes each day.

This plan is 100 percent doable. 

Outcome goal: Lose 15 pounds in four weeks.

This goal is not guaranteed, right?

In addition, a process goal mentality is far better for mental health. 

Make Fitness a Priority

Kansas State University’s exercise scientist Katie Heinrich says, “The number-one reason people give for not exercising is time. You have to decide to put exercise into your day, it’s not just magically going to happen.” 

Give fitness a distinct and unique place in your life. Make it fun, rewarding, and — most importantly — mandatory. 

Prioritize your fitness appointments by plugging them into your calendar. Set reminders on your phone or hang notes on your wall. Be willing to make sacrifices for your training when necessary. 

Woman works out on lat pulldown machine

Use Your Imagination

Your imagination is a powerful tool that fosters a creative and positive approach to your experiences. 

Anticipate the natural energy boost and sense of accomplishment you get from exercise. Think about how amazing your mind, body, and soul will feel after a rewarding session.

Are you a group fitness fanatic? You already know about the serious FOMO you get when you miss an awesome class. 

Plan post-exercise rewards that excite you; treat yourself to a well-deserved coffee, recovery massage, dinner date with a friend, or shopping trip. You finally have an excuse to snag that gorgeous pair of shoes you keep eyeing.

Attack Your Setbacks

Identify any obstacles that tempt you to ditch your workouts last minute. Be honest with yourself and find realistic solutions.

Bored with your fitness activity? Try a new studio and experiment with different classes. Exercise at a new time of day or switch up your playlist to create a fresh, exciting experience.

Returning from a workout hiatus? Start small and gradually increase your exercise intensity, duration, and frequency. Gauge how your body responds and have loads of grace for yourself. Prep your pre-workout meals, clothes, and accessories the night before to eliminate last-minute overwhelm. 

If you’re still unmotivated, recruit a workout buddy and take an inspirational instructor’s class together. It’s nearly impossible to feel stuck when surrounded by people who uplift and encourage you to do hard things. 

Pro Tip: Design your weekly workout schedule in advance. Pick times when your energy and incentive are highest. 

Two woman laugh and stretch during yoga

Love Your Workouts

Falling in love with fitness is vital. Find a training style, instructor, studio, or workout tribe that makes you eager to return for another session.

Adoring your workouts makes a world of difference. Plus, having fun makes the challenging moments suck a lot less. 

Let Music Move You

Music determines whether you enthusiastically finish a workout or painfully trudge through the last few minutes. 

Let your music move you — physically and emotionally.

Choose songs with a meaningful message or download remixes that have sick beat drops. Curate a playlist that progressively flows from one vibe to the next. 

Treat Your Body Like Royalty

Ahem, because it's royalty!

Outside of exercise, eat nutritious foods and stay hydrated. Allot one to two days for weekly recovery. Get regular massages and chiropractic adjustments, and routinely stretch to keep your muscles from getting tight or strained. 

Love your body, and your body will love you.

Motivate Yourself and Others To Push Hard

Fitness instructors, gym rats, and everyone in between:

Sometimes all you need is to hear a message that truly resonates with you — something that speaks to a situation from your past or present. Heck, it may even prepare you to conquer a future challenge head-on.

Motivational quotes range from purely fitness-driven to even more profound, heartfelt words that reach far beyond the workout room. 

Woman works out on overhead press machine

Short Fitness-Inspired Quotes

  • “You can throw in the towel, or you can use it to wipe the sweat off your face.” -Juma Ikangaa

  • “Believe you can, and you’re already halfway there.” -Theodore Roosevelt

  • “Willpower is like a muscle; the more frequently you train it, the stronger it gets.” -Kerry Gene

  • “Don’t stop when you’re tired — stop when you’re done!” -Marilyn Monroe

  • “The struggle you feel today will be the strength you feel tomorrow.” -Robert Tew

Heartfelt and All-Encompassing Motivational Quotes 

The following three quotes come from Sophia Nicole, Founding Coach at AARMY.

  • “Are you experiencing a setback? A difficult moment? Live in that moment. Remind yourself it’s not a loss; it’s a lesson. You cannot live a full, beautiful life without a lesson, a slip-up, and a moment of grit. Easy doesn’t make for a memorable, gratifying experience. Show up when it’s hard.” 

  • “A push is not forever — but what comes out of it — the work ethic, growth, and self-confidence? That’s forever. Don’t give up! That burn in your muscles will come to an end. Either way, you’re going to remember how you showed up for it.”

  • “Your workout doesn’t have to be perfect to be worth your time. It doesn’t have to be just as good as somebody else to be worth celebrating. It doesn’t even have to be better than before in order for you to feel good about it. You’re here. You showed up today. That’s the win! Don’t let anything take that away from you. You’re working on you. Celebrate that.”

Have Faith in Yourself and Your Progress

The only workouts you regret are the ones you never do. On the other side of your exercise hesitancy is a stronger, healthier, and happier you. 

Although it feels like a slow process, you can condition your brain into loving and enjoying your workouts. Guard your mental and physical health, find a supportive environment, and embrace a positive mindset.

Follow the above tips and be patient with yourself along the way. 

Subscribe to Fit&Fab for more fitness, lifestyle, and health information.

Was this article helpful?

Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.

Top 3 Stories