The Psychology of Fitness Motivation: What Works and What Doesn't



Forget treadmill intervals, burpees, muscle-quaking planks, and that killer final climb in Spin. Nope, the hardest part of working out is resisting every bodily urge to hit the snooze button, dragging your tired, sorry self out of bed, and groggily transporting yourself to the gym—all while trying to tune out the steady brain montage of potential excuses to turn around and go home and sleep for another hour.

But as tricky and elusive as motivation can feel, there's actually a science to our drive (or lack thereof). From the nature of our willpower reserves to the positive impact of working out with a friend, psychology experts uncover new insights about motivation all the time—in turn, making it easier to sidestep self-sabotage before it even has a chance to bowl us over. (Save that energy for your final sprint, ok?)

Step up your motivation with any of the 10 science-backed tricks below.