I recently came across an article from A Sweat Life on workout motivation. Basically, they broke motivation down into intrinsic and extrinsic.
Intrinsic is when the motivation to workout comes from inside. You workout, run, go to the gym, whatever because you enjoy it.
Extrinsic is when the motivation comes from an external source like signing up for a race or rewarding yourself for completing your workout.
Yeah. I know. Shocking. But it’s nice to have a reminder!
Anyway, the article goes on to give some examples of motivators that work for each type of person.
But what if you fall into both categories? Actually, I think this is the best way to be. If you’re only extrinsic you might find that you’re a one-and-done kind of person. We all know them. We may have even been them. The person who signs up for a race, does it, and never runs again. Or, in my case, the person who did two triathlons and is debating whether or not to do more because I have no desire to go swimming.
Although, let’s be honest. Getting your picture in triathlon promo materials is pretty awesome.
If you’re only intrinsic you might find yourself getting bored with the same routine. You might need something external to get you motivated again.
I fully believe I fall into both camps. I currently don’t really have any extrinsic fitness goals. Sure, I’m signed up for a half marathon and I might sign up for another one because I do like running them, but I don’t have a time goal.
Sure, I lift a lot of weights but, unlike last year when I wanted to be able to deadlift twice my body weight and do a pull-up, I don’t have a lifting goal. I just really like to lift! For 45 minutes I don’t have to think about anything other than picking up something heavy.
In fact, I think my only extrinsic goal is to build up muscle so that it’s actually visible on a day-to-day basis. And this is such a long-term goal that if I was only focused on it I’m sure I would have quit my current workout regime a long time ago.
So, personally, I think that whether you find you are more motivated by intrinsic or extrinsic motivators you have to love what you’re doing or you won’t find a way to keep doing it. Not rocket science, right?
Right now, for me, that’s focusing on lifting with a bit of cardio thrown in. In the past it was just running with very little else. And it might change again in the future. Who knows?
What about you? Do you find you are more intrinsically or extrinsically motivated to workout?
I also recently listed to a great podcast about how little changes are the key to creating a routine and how that routine can keep you motivated. Give it a listen, especially if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed in the whole health and fitness arena.
Oh! In addition to listing this week’s workouts below, I also added a Recipe of the Week section! Let me know what you think of this addition.
This week’s workouts:
- Monday – Chest/Shoulders/Triceps + 20 minutes HIIT on the treadmill (1 minute fast, 1 minute recovery)
- Tuesday – Workout with my trainer (5×5 deadlifts @ 210 lbs, 5×5 bench press @ 80 lbs, 4×5 front squat @ 90 lbs, 4×3 pull-ups)
- Wednesday – Back & Biceps + 20 minutes HIIT on the stairmill
- Thursday – Legs
- Friday – Rest
- Saturday – 10 miles
- Sunday – Rest
Recipe of the week: Honey Mustard Chicken with Turmeric
I have several recipes that I make on a regular basis but at least once a week or so I try to add in something new. Last week that was this Honey Mustard Chicken with Turmeric.
And it was so good that Jason requested it again for dinner this week.
I am NOT a food photographer so don’t expect pictures every week. Instead, how about the tweaks I made to the recipe?
Actually, the only tweak I made was to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of bone-in, skin-on. Also, I just seared them in a pan with some Pam spray to cut down on the fat. They won’t get super crispy because they don’t have skin, but it’s really okay.
Also, because they don’t have a bone you won’t have to bake them as long. I did 15 minutes or so.
Served with some steamed broccolini with salt, pepper and a squirt of lemon juice and you have dinner in about 30 minutes!
According to MyFitnessPal, one serving (two pieces of chicken) is 320 calories with 12 grams of fat, 14 grams of carbs, and 34 grams of protein.
And the leftovers? Make the perfect protein to add to salad for lunch the next day!