Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Motivation- Don’t like the gym, Blame your brain

I will probably make a video (I love vids) for this at some point this week but if you are having difficulty working out it could be the way your brain is wired. Aka Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Motivation.

If you are more intrinsically motivated then you workout because it’s just something you find enjoyable. Now if you are wired on an extrinsic level that means you hit the gym just to avoid someone else punishing you. It could be a friend, nagging spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend. Simply you may feel like working out is forced.

So the key is finding an activity that feels less like a chore because our intrinsic friends workout more on average.

For example, I hate running. I always have even though I used to enjoy basketball. I hate the treadmill. So I avoided the elliptical too because I thought it was the same as that stupid treadmill (and a little girly too :)). But I gained 15 more pounds than I wanted and needed to shed it.

SOooooo I tried the elliptical. I found out it was less pressure on my knees and actually kind of fun because I like the swinging action you get with your arms. Three months later it is still my main source of cardio.

You just have to find the right activity for you and stop worrying about what everybody else is doing or what they are thinking. No one will make fun of you when you get that #revengebody.



  1. I never really thought about it much, but your right. I always wondered why other women hated working out with weights especially. I always loved it and I let very little interfere with my gym time, including other people at the gym. I would wear headphones, sometimes listening to nothing at all, just to discourage “chit chat” with others.

    I was there to do a job, and wanted no distractions to interfere with my planned workout. Guess I was definitely an intrinsic sort. What do you think?


    1. Angi,

      You are definitely the intrinsic type, for sure. I had to laugh when I read that you have worked out with headphones on but not listening to anything in particular. That’s funny because I have done the same thing! Just to avoid any distractions. I’m on a mission when I work out. I can appreciate that. It shows your level of dedication and just how internally motivated you are,

      Thanks for stopping by!


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