Fitness Lifestyle Wellness

How An Exercise Physiologist Stays Motivated To Train Every Day

By Drew Harrisberg

Have you ever wondered why some people train every day but others just can’t find the motivation? Working out every day requires two main things: a deep and meaningful ‘why’, and a degree of flexibility. Let’s take a deeper look into the two.

What’s Your Why?

If you don’t have a strong reason to show up and put in the work, your workout will evade you . The stronger your ‘why’, the less motivation and will-power you need. The weaker your ‘why’, the more will-power and grit required to merely show up.

When I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 21, my ‘why’ became tremendously powerful: Get my daily dose of exercise (aka medicine) to not only prevent the frightening complications of diabetes but to thrive with diabetes rather than merely survive. I haven’t missed a day since being diagnosed. I’m not saying go out and get diagnosed with a chronic disease. Look deep within yourself and discover a deep and meaningful reason to train every day.

The Best Workout You Can Do

The one workout that keeps me motivated to train every day is the workout I want to do the most. It’s as simple as that. It’s the workout that excites me and attracts me. It’s the workout that I look forward to with a sense of joyful anticipation. It’s the workout that doesn’t feel like a chore. Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean its easy. My workouts are very challenging, but that doesn’t mean they can’t still be simultaneously enjoyable. The two are not mutually exclusive. So perhaps the reason you don’t train daily is because you’re not moving your body in a way that feels right for you. The best workout you can do is the one that you’ll do!

I’m a huge proponent of auto-regulation. In other words, I don’t stick to a strict program but rather I have a movement blueprint which I use to stay on track. I listen to my body daily and follow my intuition. I have a wide variety of different workouts that I like to do to reach my health and fitness goals. I do HIIT/sprint training, hypertrophy training, strength training, aerobic and anaerobic cardio workouts, kickboxing, calisthenics, and many more. The opportunities to move are endless. I also ensure that I train indoor and outdoor, both in the water and on land. The more options you have, the less likely you are to skip a workout.

For example, if I wake up and feel energised and strong, I’ll do a strength training session. If it’s nice weather, I’ll train outdoors in nature like a beach workout and swim. If I feel a bit run down or fatigued I’ll do something lower or moderate intensity. I go by feel as well as objective insights into my state of recovery and readiness to perform such as heart rate variability (HRV) or resting heart rate (RHR). HRV is like a window into your autonomic nervous system (ANS). The ANS is made up of two parts; the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) and the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest). We want a balance between how much time we spend in each mode. If we are constantly in fight or flight mode we may experience burnout. HRV is a great tool to help dictate what kind of workout you should do each day. We want high HRV. If you have a low HRV i.e small, metronomic intervals between heartbeats, its an indication that you are overtrained or under-recovered. On days like this, I’ll swap my scheduled HIIT session for a long brisk walk in nature or some yoga. On days when my HRV is high i.e large variable intervals between beats, its a green light to go hard! So, I’ll lift heavy weights or smash a high-intensity full body circuit. I also use RHR as a measure of recovery and readiness to perform. My RHR is usually around 40 bpm. If I smash a few hard workouts in a row and then wake up the next day and notice my HR is sitting around 10-20 bpm above normal, it’s a pretty clear indication that my body needs more recovery so I’ll take an active rest day i.e a long walk with my dog and some yoga, foam rolling and mobility work.

Admittedly, some days I don’t want to be my coach and would rather just show up to a gym and get a workout designed by someone else. That’s when I show up to 12RND Fitness, because I’m guaranteed more than 12 different exercises all of which are full-body, compound movements, with a focus on boxing (which I love!). This style of training is a great way to burn more calories, spike the heart rate while doing natural, fun movement patterns. The structure of the session mimics a boxing title fight – 12x 3-min rounds with 30 seconds rest between rounds. It’s also a wonderful way to optimise my diabetes management i.e stable blood glucose levels and improved insulin sensitivity.

The Take-Home Message

The best way to maintain workout motivation is to identify a powerful reason to show up, as well as set up a system with flexibility and options. Rather than feeling like a slave to your workouts, set up a system where you are your coach. If your program says heavy weightlifting today, but you dread the thought of going to the gym and would rather make the most of the beautiful weather outside by going for a coastal run, then that’s the workout you’ll get the most out of both physically and mentally. The workout that you’re most likely to do is the one that you look forward to the most. Getting long-term results is all about consistency, sustainability and auto-regulation. Follow your intuition and listen to your why.

For more motivating tips from Drew, visit here.


12RND Fitness is the fastest-growing boxing & strength concept in the world. They have over 80 clubs in Australia and are currently expanding overseas. They are considered to be the ‘UBER of Fitness’ in that they have No Fixed Class Times, removing the need for class timetables, meaning members do not have to book and simply arrive for their workout anytime during open hours, providing the ultimate convenience in Fitness.

Four-time world champion professional boxer and co-founder of 12RND, Danny Green has been an integral part of developing the concept. Seen training at 12RND are a number of high profile athletes including female boxer Taylah Robertson, AFLW player Jessy Keeffe, Brisbane Bandits star Logan Wade and AFL Collingwood players Taylor Adams and Levi Greenwood.

12RND Fitness was originally developed to offer a form of fitness that was sports-based with a boxing point of difference, which allowed the everyday person to train like a fighter, and elite athletes have begun training with us because of the natural comparisons with their elite training regime,” says Tim West MD of 12RND Fitness.

Want more? Click here for 3 Inspiring Tips For Exercising Indoors and here for Five of the Best Home Workouts.