5 Forms of Workout Bribery that Work!

How do you motivated yourself to work out? Do you put your sneakers by the door and sinfully avoid looking at them on your way out the door each morning?  Everyone lacks the incentive to exercise every now and then—be it long work hours, stress, or just hitting a wall. Sometimes you just have to resort to good old fashioned bribery—YES bribery! And here are five work out motivators that actually work…

1. Buddy Up for Workouts

I know it’s not a new phenomenon, but chances are that you’ll let yourself down before you’ll let down a respected friend or colleague. Knowing that aspect about yourself—why are you working out alone?

Research conducted by Brock University’s Behavioural Health Sciences Research Lab, located in Ontario, Canada, those who belong to a social walking, running, cycling, or other exercise type club have the extra incentive of others with like-minded goals to encourage them forward. Having a work out buddy will ensure you don’t sleep in and skip your work outs and vice versa.

Workout in shade

2. Take Hostages

What do you truly enjoy after a long, arduous week—is it a pedicure, a massage, a candle lit dinner, a new book, or perhaps a glass of wine or a beer (that last one is totally me). So take a few of your favorite things and don’t be afraid to hold them hostage…unless you do a full week of workouts.

Using a hostage situation to entice you to exercise really works, according to a study published in Health Psychology. The study suggests focusing on an exercise “trigger” that will make you more prone to follow through with your workout. Your Friday runs could be complete with an after party at your favorite cocktail lounge.

Sweating Exercise

3. Rise and Shine

I do this all the time, and although you might believe it’s a little silly—this exercise motivator really works for me. Go to sleep in your workout clothes—minus the shoes, of course, but wear your sweats, socks, and workout bra.

This way when your alarm clock rings at 6am, you’ll rise and shine ahead of the game. Sometimes putting on the right attire is all you need to establish a motivated mindset.

wake 1

4. Pre-Workout Mix

Forget the workout mix—try putting together a pre-workout music mix. Load your iPod with songs that will energize and motivate you to get moving. This way, you’ll get in the mind frame of working out an hour before you leave work, or even in the car on the commute home.

I focus my music mix on upbeat songs with positive messages, that way I’m feeling positive about my workout and there’s no negative thoughts or excuses baring me from my evening exercise.


5. Bribery for Encouragement

Now this idea might sound really out in left field, but if you’ve tried promising yourself the gift of all new running attire if you completed a month’s worth of runs—you’re already on the right track.

Best incorporated into a holiday or seasonal wardrobe change, enlist a friend or trusted colleague to go shopping with you for a new New Year’s Eve outfit or summer wardrobe. Then give over the goods (yes, the shoes too). At the end of every week you complete a week’s worth of committed exercise—your friend will give you one item. How’s that for motivation?

high heels


Emily Lockhart

Emily Lockhart is a certified yoga instructor and personal trainer. She believes that being healthy is a lifestyle choice, not a punishment or temporary fix to attain a desired fitness or body image goal. Anna helps her clients take responsibility for their own health and wellness through her classes and articles on ActiveBeat.