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  • Writer's pictureJesse Liu

Motivation for Working Out

I’ll be honest that working out is not the easiest thing to do, even for those who love working out. In fact, working out is extremely tiring and physically demanding. However, it is important to stay motivated while working out or to have motivation for working out because staying in physical shape has a lot of benefits.

First of all, good physical health comes from exercise and leads to good mental health. We already know that physical health and mental health are interdependent, so exercising on a frequent basis will not only keep you fit, but also mentally strong. From a personal perspective, I had very few, if any, mental health or physical issues in high school, when I swam 6-7 times a week (for varsity and club swim teams) and lifted 3-4 times a week. I was in peak physical and mental condition, and life was amazing. When I got to college, I’ll admit that I exercised less, and my mental health worsened during my first few years in school. It wasn’t until I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and I gained a lot of weight (both from eating more and from medications) that I decided to exercise more on a frequent basis. I immediately saw positive results from a return to the pool and more visits to the gym, as I lost a lot of the extra weight that I gained, turned that lost fat into muscle, and felt more mentally strong.

The first step to gain motivation for working out is to determine your ultimate goals for working out. Are you trying to gain more muscle, lose more fat, or gain muscle and lose fat simultaneously? Understanding your goals will help you decide what kind of workout to engage in. Obviously, cardio workouts will coincide with weight loss while lifting and strength training will be geared towards muscle gain. However, I recommend engaging in a combination of strength training and cardio workouts because doing so will make your body more physically balanced.

Next, after you have determined what kind of workout program you will engage in, it is essential to establish and get into a routine in order to reach your goals. I’m not saying it is necessary to hire a trainer; that is your ultimate decision whether or not to do so. But you should figure out how many workouts you should engage in per week, cardio or strength training, in order to meet your goals. Once you determine your routine, make sure you completely ADHERE to it. No cheating or working out at anything less than maximum effort. If you skip a workout or do not work as hard as you are supposed to, then you will not achieve the results that you want to.

Going off the paragraph above, you need to fully understand that hard work is absolutely required for results. This notion holds true for any goal, whether it be academic, physical, or professional. As my friend, Wesley Hu, graduate of Columbia University, and bodybuilder, once stated, “When you train, train hard. If you did 50 pushups yesterday, you could try to do 51 today. But more is not always your limit. You could challenge yourself by doing more of the same exercise, or by trying a new variation of the exercise, or by concentrating on a specific element of your technique.” In other words, it is essential to find your limit when it comes to working out, but going that extra mile will be essential in getting those desired results. Or varying your training can produce those desired results as well.

As previously mentioned in my second blog, titled “COVID-19, Fitness, and Mental Health”, I have a workout, named “Jesse’s Quick Beast Mode Workout”, which I try to complete everyday. While I have sets of 50 pushups, if I am feeling ambitious, I will do extra push ups. Here it is again:

Cycle 1: 50 pushups and then 200 raised leg crunches

30 second break:

Cycle 2: 50 pushups and then 200 bicycle kicks (100 bicycle kicks on each side)

1 minute break:

Cycle 3: 50 pushups and the 100 Russian pretzel twists (with or without a medicine ball)

30 second break:

Cycle 4: 50 pushups and 100 standard crunches

I hope you enjoy my Quick Beast Mode Workout! Thank you for taking the time to read my blog about staying motivated for working out. If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me via email at Feel free to subscribe to my blog at the bottom of the home page, and share my blog with family and friends!

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I've been living with bipolar disorder since 2018 and I'm trying to overcome it by helping others with mental health issues/conditions!

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