What Motivates CrossFitters

What Motivates CrossFitters?

Crossfit is one of the most popular fitness programs around. People are always looking for new ways to get fit and stay healthy. There are many different types of workouts that people use to achieve their goals. Some people prefer weight training while others like cardio or even both. A few people choose to do nothing at all, but there’s no doubt that anyone who wants to reach their fitness goals needs some sort of motivation.

There are several factors that motivate people to train and work out:

• Health – If you want to live a long life, then you need to eat right and exercise regularly. • Fitness – Whether it’s because they’re trying to lose weight or gain muscle mass, people love working out.

They enjoy the feeling of being in shape. • Money – Working out helps build up your bank account which can be used towards other things such as paying off student loans or buying a house. • Social Status – Working out gives you a sense of accomplishment and pride. You feel good about yourself and don’t have to worry about whether or not you’ll be able to afford food or pay your rent next month.

So what motivates people to work out?

Well, there are several theories as to why people work out. One of the more popular theories is known as Self-Efficacy.

Self-Efficacy is a theory that states that people only do things if they believe that they can accomplish the task at hand. In other words, if you believe you’re going to be good at something then you’ll be more likely to try and if you try, then you have a better chance of success.

In order for someone to accomplish their goals, they must first have the belief that they can do it. Now chances are you’ve met someone who was extremely out of shape but had a great attitude.

They believed that they could get in shape despite any odds. On the other hand, you might have also met someone who was in good shape but had a bad attitude towards working out.

Think about this.

What is the difference between these two people?


They’re both in the same position yet one has a positive attitude and one has a negative attitude. The person with the positive attitude will more than likely succeed in their goals, but that isn’t always the case.

Sometimes, even with the strongest belief in yourself you still won’t make it.

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Fortunately, there’s a way to make sure you hit your goals every single time.

Enter Affirmations.

I haven’t personally tried affirmations, but I’ve heard a lot of people talk about them. From what I understand, all you have to do is repeat a certain phrase over and over again.

It’s like when you go to the gym for the first time where you see all these muscled up guys with tattoos who are listening to heavy metal. You feel intimidated and don’t think you’ll ever be able to achieve that.

Then after a few months of working out you’re surprised at how much stronger you got and wonder why you were ever intimidated by these guys in the first place.

It’s all about belief. If you believe something is going to happen then it most likely will.

It’s like the law of attraction, you become what you think about.

I’m not really into affirmations since there isn’t any science to back it up. However, there is another method of motivation that is backed by science and it’s known as the Embodied Cognition Theory.

Embodied Cognition basically says that in order to achieve an outcome, you must believe that it’s already true.

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So if you want to be in good shape, you must act as if you’re already in good shape. If you want to be rich, then you must act as if you’re already rich.

This may sound fake at first, but after while it will feel more natural and you’d be surprised at how much it helps.

This might sound similar to self-efficacy however there is one big difference. Self-Efficacy requires that you believe you can accomplish your goal, while Embodied Cognition requires that you believe that your current actions will help with your goal.

For example, a baseball player might have a lot of self-efficacy when it comes to hitting home runs. He believes that he can hit a lot of homers, but he doesn’t really practice his swing because he doesn’t believe that practice will help him.

This is self-efficacy without embodied cognition.

On the other hand, a baseball player might not believe that he can hit home runs at all. Even though he is practicing his swing everyday, he doesn’t really believe that it will help.

This is embodied cognition without self-efficacy.

Do you see the difference?

Most people only have self-efficacy without embodied cognition. They believe that if they want something bad enough, then they’ll be able to achieve it. However, that isn’t always the case because believing that you want something isn’t enough. You must also act as if you already have what you want.

Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t really know how to act as if they already have what they want. That’s why it may help to take inspiration from others who’ve done it before.

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This is where role models come in.

I’ve always been into bodybuilding. When I was a teenager, I wanted to get big and muscular like all the guys I saw in magazines.

However, they were often so far ahead of me that it seemed impossible to catch up. I would always feel overwhelmed and intimidated by their pictures.

As I said before, you can often feel intimidated by people who seem to be far ahead of you. Even when they aren’t necessarily role models for you, they can still make you feel bad about yourself.

Even now when I look at some of my favorite bodybuilders, I still get a little intimidated. They have beautiful girlfriends, make a lot of money, have great careers, and are covered with muscles.

Meanwhile, I’m still single, broke, haven’t been in the best of shape in a long time, and am nowhere near as big as them.

Huh? What? You didn’t think I was this big did you?

Yes, I’m a lot bigger now, but these pictures were taken years ago.

Anyway, they make me feel bad about myself and I don’t like that. I don’t know what it is, but I really hate it.

In fact, whenever I start to feel this way, it usually makes me more determined to push forward.

I’ve learned that most people either don’t care or tend to be jealous. When you’re in good shape, people see you as a potential threat.

Their natural reaction is to try to bring you down so that they feel better about themselves.

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People don’t like it when others are confident and assured of themselves.

For this reason, many bodybuilders develop a sort of “bullsh*t shield” to protect themselves from the petty minds that surround them. Sometimes, I have to as well.

However, there’s a big difference between having a shield to protect yourself and being outright egotistical. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to be the latter.

It seems so…unnatural.

Why would someone need to boast and brag about themselves all the time?

It seems like such a waste of energy. Whenever I see somebody like that, it makes me wonder what they have to hide.

So, what’s my point in all of this?

My point is that you shouldn’t be afraid to draw inspiration from anybody. It’s perfectly natural to admire those who’ve achieved great things.

Whatever you want to achieve, there’s always going to be somebody ahead of you. This doesn’t mean you can’t be like them, it just means that you have your own unique challenges that they might not have had.

Many of the greatest bodybuilders in history had to face their own unique challenges. Arnold had to deal with a severely disabled left arm.

Sergio Oliva had to learn how to farm as a child since his family needed the money after his father died. Muhammad Ali had to face racism.

Of course, the examples can go on and on, but the point is that you shouldn’t be intimidated as long as you have the desire and willpower to succeed.

It’s perfectly natural to admire others and draw inspiration from them. Just don’t let it stop you from achieving your own goals.

Who are some of your role models or people you’ve drawn inspiration from in the past? Will this affect how you approach your own training?

Let me know in the comments!

Check back on Friday for a new Training Routine! Same Shad-Time.

Same Shad-Channel.

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Until then, remember that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to!

Sources & references used in this article:

BEYOND THE WHITEBOARD Exploring the relationships between social identity, social comparisons, motivation, self-efficacy and well-being in CrossFit. by LE Mihalek, EE Hall – Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 2020 – LWW

Exercise addiction in CrossFit: Prevalence and psychometric properties of the Exercise Addiction Inventory by A Broekman – 2018 – dspace.library.uu.nl

Psychological Outcomes Associated with CrossFit by MB Lichtenstein, TT Jensen – Addictive behaviors reports, 2016 – Elsevier

CrossFit: Fitness cult or reinventive institution? by J Fell – Journal of Evolution and Health: A joint publication of …, 2017 – escholarship.org

Wanting to Sweat Together: The Relationship between Community and CrossFit by KM Heinrich, Y Feito – Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 2016 – LWW

Challenge, commitment, community, and empowerment: Factors that promote the adoption of CrossFit as a training program by J Lee, T Zhang, A West, LA Karch, J Reys – Medicine & Science in Sports & …, 2020 – LWW