Start with WHY- Finding a Deeper Motivation for Fitness

The best part of a fitness journey is the people you meet along your way. Over the past eleven years, I have met hundreds and hundreds of great people who aim to better themselves through fitness. Every time I speak with someone new I always ask the person why he or she trains, what he or she hope to get out of gym. Although this may seem simple, I don’t believe it’s as easy as saying “I want to get shredded” or “I want to lose ten pounds for beach season”. I usually leave the conversation suggesting to the the person to find a deeper motivation behind training rather than just an arbitrary goal. To truly stay motivated you must find your “why”.

Starting with why is a concept created by a man named Simon Sinek, author of Start with Why, which doubles as a famous TED talk How Great Leaders Inspire Action. In this talk Sinek explain his theory using “The Golden Circle” to explain how people function and interact.



When looking at the Golden Circle there are three categories; WHY (your belief), HOW (actions taken to reach belief) and WHAT (results of those actions). Everyone know WHAT they do (lift weight, cardio, ect.), some know HOW to do it (proper programming using the principles of overload and specificity), but few know WHY they do it (what’s your purpose, why do you go to the gym). In his speaking, Sinek explains that the key to success in his circle is to start from the inside out rather than the outside in. To make this a bit more digestible we’ll use an example starting from the outside-in.



What: Want to lose five percent body fat and have some definition to my body.

How: By using weight machines and free weight that I’ve seen other people use and it seems to work for them.

Why: Not so sure

By using the outside-in we are not really sure what we want, we set arbitrary goals based upon our wants rather than our intrinsic motivations. On the other hand, when we go from inside-out however, we find the root of why we wake up at 5:15 AM to get to the gym 6 AM even though we don’t have work until 8 or 9 AM.


Why: I want to be able to feel comfortable in my own skin and be able to take my shirt off at the beach and not be gawked out and become self-conscious.

How: By doing my homework and being an informed consumer. I will use resources from the experts in the fitness field and create my own program based upon the information I gather. After writing my program I will ask a trainer at my gym to look over my program to see if I am missing anything or if I add something to help me reach my goal.

What: I lost five percent body fat and am now looking forward to taking my shirt off any chance I get.

By using the inside-out methodology you find your intrinsic motivation. This is something that you can refer to when you wake up and don’t want to get out of bed when it is pitch black outside during the frigid month of December. It is extremely important to take time out of your hectic schedule to reflect on your goals or otherwise you’ll just be spinning your wheels without getting where you need to be. You do not reach your goals by WHAT you do but rather WHY you have them.

Finally I would like to share my own Golden Circle of why I am a personal trainer.

Brandon’s Inside-Out Golden Circle

WHY: Because fitness has helped me so much in my life that I strive to spread what I’ve learned and how it can change a life. I want people to leave the facility where I work happier than when they came in. I work hard to make an impact, a difference.

HOW: By waking up in the morning and knowing I have the opportunity everyday to make a difference/being the best part in someone’s day. By providing a positive demeanor and proper programming in which I incorporate everything a person wants in needs to ensure they reach their goals but also maintain a long, healthy life while giving them an

WHAT: Reach your fitness goals, whatever they may be and be happy to have done so.

I believe that the Golden Circle can be used whenever you have a goal you wish to reach, but it is essential you start from the inside-out.

If you would like to learn more about Simon Sinek and his work you can find his book Start with Why on Amazon and can watch his TED talk here.

By, Brandon Drinan


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