Workout of the Day

All The Right Reasons


In general, motive for exercise can be broken down into one of two categories: 1) to diminish harm, or 2) to pursue growth. Of course there can be crossover between the two motives, but one will reign supreme. It’s usually pretty simple to determine which camp you or someone else falls in. People who tend to say things like “I need to work off all that food I ate,” or “I want to trim this and get rid of that,” or “I’m just trying to keep myself moving so I don’t get fat and lazy” tend to belong to the harm-abatement camp of motive. On the other hand, people who say things like “I want to create healthy lifestyle habits,” or “I want to work on developing a more athletic body,” or “I want to be stronger and faster” tend to belong to the growth-pursuit camp.

Some might argue that these motives both seem pretty similar to each other, and say “what’s the big deal anyways, as long as they’re exercising?” But I think it’s quite a big deal, as our mindset tends to shape the outcome of our endeavors; and the difference between the two, in my mind, is quite stark.

The mindset behind one motive views exercise as a first-aid solution necessary to repair the damage of other life decisions. The mindset behind the other motive views exercise as a way to become a better version of oneself. One focuses on what is bad, and looks to exercise as a way to fight the badness. The other focuses simply on what is, and looks at exercise as a way to make it better. One sees exercise as an isolated piece, apart from other choices. The other views exercise as a piece of a whole, all directed towards improvement. One views health as a fight against everything you hate about yourself. The other views health as a wholesale pursuit of self-care, love, and improvement. One views food as a devilish indulgence that must be punished with sweat and toil. The other views food as fuel, and a source of life and vitality. One views exercise as a way to avoid other people thinking negatively of you. The other views exercise as a way to be better for yourself and to be a better model for others.

To answer the question, “what’s the big deal, does it really matter what someone’s motive is as long as they’re exercising?” I have to say yes, it does matter. Ultimately, I would rather someone exercise than not exercise, even if their motives are negatively rooted; but with the true hope that their motives will grow and change. The mindset that underlies our choices has a profound effect on the outcome. Those who are focused on improvement, performance, and loving themselves and wanting to create the most good with their body and mind are the ones who stay with it in the long run, who take failures as stepping-stones to future successes rather than reasons to give up, and who continually find new and better ways to create results. Those who are focused on punishing themselves, who are in it just to minimize the harm of other life decisions, who focus on what they hate about themselves and attempt to attack it with exercise are the ones who burn out, who decide it isn’t worth the effort, who remain dissatisfied and disillusioned regardless of success or failure.

As we return from our Thanksgiving holiday and ramp up for more holiday festivities in the coming months, it’s important to recognize what sort of motives are getting us into the gym. We all make small sacrifices when we set aside time to get to the gym before the sun rises, during our lunch break, after the sun sets, when we could be doing something else. So what is it that’s getting us there? What motivates us? Are we all going to show up this week after Thanksgiving, excited to punish ourselves for enjoying a holiday meal, focused on everything we’re dissatisfied about, eager to abate our feelings of holiday guilt? Or will we be excited to get back to improving ourselves, excited to better our performance, excited for the opportunities to pursue excellence in everything we do?

We’re here to help you become better, and we hope that you’re motivated to do just that.

- Preston Sprimont


  • For time:

    • 1 mile run

  • 15 min AMRAP

    • 250m row

    • 50m SB front carry (AHAP)