5 Ways to Get Your Ass to the Gym

Tough love doesn’t guarantee abs but it will get you up and at ’em.


What an emotional journey of life we’ve gone through together. First we taught ourselves how to become morning people. Then we re-trained ourselves to become winter morning people, which is arguably a million times harder. And here we are now at a crossroads called Not All Good Intentions Have Lasting Results, and Go Away, Let Me Sleep.

Technically, though, we’re up. We’re up with more attitude than a teenager telling her mom, “I’m up, okayyy.” We are wide frickin’ awake. We’re just not at the gym yet.

Hold your excuses in the same stable with all your horses — they don’t matter. Instead, let’s just get our asses to the fitness classes. Below: five gym motivation tricks that do the trick.

(And I know they do the trick because I actually wrote the above paragraph two weeks ago, and here I am: fitness-ing.)

1) The Night Before: Plan Your Your Workout-fit

A workout-fit is a workout outfit but out-fit as in fit. Damn, I love a word with three puns packed into one. Anyway, the point is to plan an outfit that you’re just as excited to wear to the gym as you are after the gym, if not more so. Consider what you’ll pair with your leggings on the way there (slides? a cool jacket?) and how you’ll progress to break a sweat. What you change into after is entirely dependent upon the day that follows, so remember: the idea is to dress for your gym. Pretend a photoshoot could take place at any moment, mid-squat!

2) The Night Before: Set Your Alarm With This App

I got tricked into downloading an app for $2.00 called Kiwake. The app’s goal is to eliminate the habit of snoozing. Now, I have to be honest with you: I haven’t used it for long enough to fix my recently-adopted snooze habit and the app is a little buggy. So why am I telling you about it? Because there’s a feature on it that requires you to take a photo of something far away from your bed before you go to sleep. My photo is of the coffee maker in my kitchen.

In the morning, the alarm will not go off until you’ve taken a picture of that same item. (No clue how it knows but I assume it’s in cahoots with Snapchat’s face swap.) It is extremely, unbelievably annoying, but guess what: it also works. By the time you’re standing in your kitchen and have figured out how to take a photo so the damn alarm shuts up, you’re awake.

Also: this isn’t a revelation, but you can customize the alarm. I currently have “Feeling Myself” set and (wo)man, does it start the day right.

3) The Morning of: Do a Bit — JUST A BIT! — of Instagram Stalking

I asked the team at HBFIT how they get themselves to work out on mornings when they’d rather eat a foam roller, only I didn’t word it that way. They told me, “Whenever we’re lacking motivation we scroll through Instagram, see all of the fitness girls sweating it out, get FOMO and suck it up.”

Now, I used to do this, too, only I would stay in bed and scroll for the duration of my workout class. Voyeuristic workouts do not have the same benefits as real workouts unless eye-abs count. However, if you give yourself a time limit and factor this into your alarm situation (say, two minutes), scrolling through people who are already at the gym (or have left it) really will get you going, especially if you have a knack for being guilted into things.

4) Have a Mean Friend Waiting For You

Speaking of guilt! Have one of your scarier friends agree to hold you accountable by meeting you at the gym. It’s a mutually beneficial partnership because you’re technically holding her to her word, too, but if she’s the scary one, then you’ll feel the wrath of her getting all “Where the hell were you?!” mad at you.

5) Set an Intention, Like Oprah

Have you ever heard of a fitness artist? Nicole Winhoffer, the creator of The NW™ Method, has “fitness artist” in her bio, so I trust her. She’s also legit in general. I asked her how she gets up and at ’em when she’d rather not. She told me, “I ask myself, ‘What makes me feel good?’ For me, it’s sweating, moving my body, expressing myself and using music to align my mental self with my body. Working out is not a task for me, it’s a way to feel better.”

So, working out can be a task for me, but I liked the idea of asking myself, “What makes me feel good?” so that I had an intention and a sense of purpose beyond, “Look good in jorts.” Because I will tell you: sleep will beat out “look good in jorts” every. Single. Time.

But not if you follow these five steps! Good luck, have at it, and show me your twelve pack in the comments.

Photographed by Krista Anna Lewis


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