What’s Your Training Reason?

Good morning! I hope you all had a great weekend Smile It’s still freezing around these parts (actually, below freezing!) so we had a “hunker down” weekend of movies, playing euchre with friends, and cookie baking! Not a bad way to spend a weekend at all in my book Winking smile

I also got in a great full body workout on Saturday, and plan to do another this morning after teaching and training.

When I think back to when I very first started training in the gym – for high school volleyball – I remember the very first reason I started training at all: because it was required of me. Two or so days out of the week, the volleyball team would be up in the weight room, slinging around weights, a practice I took with minimal seriousness.

Then, in college, I worked out to burn off all of the beer I was drinking. I’d run or hop on the elliptical, and then would go to some of the weights, then I’d take the bus home, ready for my next keg stand. After college, my training reasons have been anything to become more flexible and calm, by practicing yoga, and to run a half marathon, by, well, running.


My reason for training (in the present?) I’ve got a few of them.

  • I train for a sense of achievement in my body. It’s a thrill seeing my numbers go up in deadlifts. To be able to pull my body weight above a bar with a chin up. To jump around like a crazy person and feel winded and wonderful.
  • I train to feel bad ass. It’s the truth! I love to lift heavy, and after doing a set of squats, I get the feeling of badassery. It’s a glorious feeling.
  • I train so that I can move better. I’m a huge stickler for form, and the main reason is that I stay injury free. My training in the gym allows me to go on strenuous long hikes, move heavy boxes while moving homes, and hopefully, to ski this winter.
  • And of course, I train for health. I love to lift weights in a way that’s good for my bones, muscles, and heart.


Alas, this post isn’t about comparing reasons, or saying that one reason is better than another. You might be training for a marathon, and run 40 miles a week, while your friend might be training by attending group fitness classes, to socialize.

The one commonality of them all? The presence of a reason for training at all. Having a reason is the only way you’re going to really get what you want out of your workout. I’ve trained without reason before, and absolutely 100% of those training sessions were unproductive. Without a reason, we’re just floundering around, sometimes making it to the gym (or road, or mountain, or wherever you train,) but more often…not making it at all. It’s even much more important than having a program, and that’s important!


Actually, the very first question I ask new clients when I meet with them is: “Why are you here?” They usually reply that they want to lose a few pounds, tone up, or become stronger. Those are all great reasons. But I like to dig a little deeper, as I do, and keep prodding.

“What made you walk through that door today?”

Having a reason not only gets you to your training, but it also helps motivate you to push harder during your training session. When my reason for training is at the forefront of my mind, I might add a little more weight to my deadlift, or video record it, so I can really make sure my form is impeccable.

Going back to your reason also helps you to make sure your goals align with your behavior. If your reason for  training to get strong and lean, but you’re doing endless amounts of cardio and maybe picking up a few light dumbbells afterward, you might need to re-think your behavior (or your reason.) Or, if your reason is for general health and meeting new people, but you come to the gym with headphones in, then again – rethink that reason! And so on.

Tell me your training reason?

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  1. I love this post so much Paige. I love the fact that you point out the commonality we all have is having a reason. For me, lifting heavy has literally given me this feeling of empowerment and confidence I have never before had in my life-being pushed out of my comfort zone and getting uncomfortable. That is my reason-I want to learn and grow and feel as you said like a freaking badass!! :) Have a wonderful day.

  2. LIke you we train to feel our best, inside and out! We love how happy we feel after a workout. Like we accomplished something great ;)
    Purelytwins recently posted..Things that sparked our interestMy Profile

  3. I love this post! My reasons to train have changed many times over the years, just like yours. Today, mine are:
    - to lose some weight.
    - to stay calm and ease my anxiety.
    - to enjoy holiday foods!
    - to get stronger.
    Thanks for the reminder and the great motivation.
    Katie H. recently posted..Weekly Workout Recap: Back in the SaddleMy Profile

  4. keeping up with my CHILD and her energetic hectic busy life.
    Miz recently posted..Adult peer pressure.My Profile

  5. To keep me healthy and to keep my gut moving. Nothing intense anymore; just living life and feeling great through it.
    Sarah Kay Hoffman recently posted..I Give. But I am Not Free.My Profile

  6. I definitely agree that our reasons for training can change over time – I know my motivation changes on regular basis. Right now, my training reasons are:
    – to get more flexible (lots of stretching, foam rolling, and weekly yoga)
    – to feel independent by being able to carry heavy boxes or take in all my groceries in one trip (weights)
    – to give me an excuse to get out of the house on a near-daily basis (I work from home most of the time)
    – to act as ‘me time’ and to calm stress
    – to feel accomplished every time I complete a tough workout or reach a new goal.
    Sam @ Better With Sprinkles recently posted..Elf For Health Week 2 Recap.My Profile

  7. I want to be more fit in general and continue losing weight (50 lb so far), but my main training “goals” right now are to finish a half marathon and a Tough Mudder in 2014.
    Courtney @ Don’t Blink. Just Run. recently posted..The Celebrations Begin!My Profile

  8. For the pursuit of skinny jeans. Amen. Ha, kidding. {A little bit.} What I really love is sweating and getting my heart pumping and feeling the “good sore” the next day! I love getting up and accomplishing something before my day really even starts.
    lindsay recently posted..all the sunshine.My Profile

  9. Love this! I train to stay healthy and to decrease stress!
    Brittany @ Delights and Delectables recently posted..MIMM: Guess Who I Found and Snow DaysMy Profile

  10. dito! i could care less about the six pack these days. I want to feel strong, inside and out! what a great question for your clients too. Dig deep!
    lindsay recently posted..Our Off Season Budget & Home BAKED Holiday GiftsMy Profile

  11. To look and feel and be strong and healthy! I used to think that I just wanted/needed to be thin, now I realize that’s totally NOT what I want to be! I can burpee and squat like the best of ‘em….and that’s way cooler than just being thin!! Great topic Paige :)
    Sammy @ Peace Love and Ice Cream recently posted..Weekend RecapMy Profile

  12. I trained for aesthetics. Training never reverse drinking when I started though. I train now for health and still, to look good. I love being able to hike and keep up with and now pass everyone. I don’t shy away from activities because I can’t.

    Also, I was able to lift several heavy boxes filled with wrapping paper on a top shelf to see their selection. :)
    Julie recently posted..MIMM: Nightlife, Day Tripping, and… ErrandsMy Profile

  13. My training reason changes a bit. Sometimes it’s so that I can accomplish my goals with the marathon or other distance race. Sometimes it’s because I like to feel strong and capable. But mainly it’s because I feel better when I do – both emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Awesome post!
    Sarah @ Blonde Bostonian recently posted..Coffee Date Monday {12.9.13}My Profile

  14. This post inspired me to go to body pump this morning because I know you would tell me to lay off the cardio and use some weights. My reason? You:-)

  15. I definitely think my reasons fall into the “badass” category. I love being able to do things with my body that a lot of people find daunting. It also fuels so many areas of my life. I know I couldn’t possibly be capable of spending days on a backcountry hike without staying fit off the trail!
    Natalie @ Free Range Human recently posted..Snow DayMy Profile


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