Staying Motivated

Staying Motivated

Oct 8, 2013

Recently I had a friend of mine message me about a university project he was working on regarding sport psychology. He is researching how successful athletes stay motivated, and posed the question to me. So how do I stay motivated? What puts me back in the gym wanting to work harder than ever before?

I think the major motivating factor for me can be addressed in one word: Success. Success is what we all strive for. Success was my initial goal after first getting into the sport of powerlifting to begin with. When I first got into powerlifting, I wanted nothing more than a shiny medal at some of the  local area meets. At first, I could not achieve placing top 3 at area meets. It was this reason that I worked harder, and eventually made that happen. Soon, my definition of success changed, I wanted to go to regionals. Despite being smashed by my competition, I made that happen by my second year of lifting. Regionals lead to qualifying for state, and state lead to winning state, before I knew it I won my first IPF world championship.

High school freshman squatting 460lbs (top) 837lb squat at the 2013 IPF junior world championships (bottom)

High school freshman squatting 460lbs (top)
837lb squat at the 2013 IPF junior world championships (bottom)

Like many athletes, the idea of success is what drove me day in and day out in the gym. Everyone’s ideas of success are different, but one thing remains constant between people. Ideas of success are always organic. Success is a continually evolving and growing concept that shifts to higher levels as individuals reach current perceptions of achievement. As a high school freshman, the thought of winning 3 IPF world championships 7 years later would have never have crossed my mind. Why? My idea of success was very limited in its scope. It was not until I obtained, success, that new levels of achievement were made clear to me. This allows for near infinite opportunities for motivation.

Even after winning at the highest level, success is still the driving force. The taste of victory is like nothing else, and after experiencing it, athletes want nothing more than more of it. I think after winning IPF Junior worlds in September, I am more motivated than I have ever been throughout my powerlifting career, and the intensity and focus of my training has been unparalleled to anything else I have done. When you are on the top of the hill, there are dozens of hungry, elite-level athletes doing everything they can to climb that hill and roll you back down it. This is very real to me, and motivates me to train harder than ever to make sure I stay on top as long as I can.

It is no secret that athletes are competitive animals. We love success. There is nothing more fulfilling than being the best at a competition, reaching goals, and overcoming obstacles. Success is what drives all levels of athletes, from beginners to elite, to continue in highly disciplined and often strenuous lifestyles.

2013 IPF Gold Medal

2013 IPF Gold Medal


A few tips for staying motivated:

1. Keep things new and interesting

Variety is the spice of life! Training can sometimes get mundane and repetitive, so try something new. Take the time to look up new training and implement exercises and rep schemes you have never done before.

2. Train with friends

One thing that keeps me motivated is training with my friends. You help hold each other accountable, and positive reinforcement is a great motivating force

3. Look to the greats of your sport

The internet is such a great tool, and nothing can be more motivating than pulling up some youtube videos of legends in your sport doing incredible feats. Seeing individuals that have come before you at level of successes you hope to achieve some day can sure  get you excited to go out and give 100% in your training/practice.





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