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In a perfect world, we’d never skip a workout and live happily ever after. But in the real world, fatigue, work, family responsibilities (and um, just general laziness) get in the way. This calls for a dose of inspiration. Find out how 14 fitness pros motivate themselves (hint: it includes bagels and croissants).

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“The feeling I get when I exercise is what serves as my motivation. There’s nothing better than feeling that first bead of sweat dripping from my face. That feeling just fuels my energy.”

-Ariel Hoffman, master trainer and director of program development at AKT inMotion in New York City

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"I remember that I’m too smart to be the only one standing in my way."

-Hannah Marie Corbin, instructor at Peloton in New York City

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“I love occasional croissants and bagels. Yes, even as a fitness professional, I love carbs—who doesn't? Working out gives me the freedom to choose when I want to indulge during the holiday season.”

-Juliana Estrella, trainer and CPT at Rumble Boxing in New York City

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"I always think to myself, ‘the camera adds ten pounds,’ and it works every time."

-Pete Sers, trainer at modelFIT in L.A.

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how fitness pros stay motivated kiesha
Kiesha Ramey-Presner

“I think about how much harder that first class back gets with every day I skip.”

-Kiesha Ramey-Presner, master instructor at Bar Method in San Francisco

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“It's easy to get stuck going through the motions at the gym and calling it a day. If you go there with specific goals, you'll be extra motivated. Right now, mine is to gain muscle, so I focus on strength training at the gym and lift heavy weights.”

-Jason Tran, instructor at SWERVE Fitness in New York City

“I put on a brand-new playlist that I haven't listened to yet and set aside a time early in the morning like it’s a meeting I can’t miss.”

-Jacqueline Kasen, body architect at Anatomy at 1220 in Miami

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“Following a program keeps me accountable and on track. Going to the gym without a plan can be like taking a test you didn’t prepare for.”

-Patrick Frost, trainer at Barry’s Bootcamp in Miami Beach

“As busy as we are, you can squeeze in a half hour—or ten minutes three times a day—if it’s a priority. Most of the time, people just let their own fatigue get in the way. My advice is to keep things short, concise and aggressive.”

-Noah Neiman, instructor and co-founder at Rumble Boxing in New York City

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“I focus on getting myself moving and push through my first few sets. Getting started is always the toughest part. Once my adrenaline kicks in, it’s smooth sailing.”

-Marc Megna, body architect and co-owner of Anatomy at 1220 in Miami

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“I work out to eat and I eat to work out. It’s my own little symbiotic relationship.” 

-Keely Ahrold, trainer at modelFIT in Los Angeles

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"I remind myself that if someone told me that I only had one more day, you know I’d be dancing every second…so live like it’s your last day and you’ll never regret not getting sweaty."

-Deena Robertson, instructor and co-founder of Modo Yoga in Los Angeles

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"All I have to do is blast my favorite song in my bass-boosting headphones and my body can't help but move!"

-Joie Ruggiero, trainer at modelFIT in Los Angeles

“I think of the finish line and how good I will feel at the end of my workout. I also remind myself that the workouts I don't want to do usually end up being the best ones because I have to push myself that much more.”

-Kellie Sikorski, trainer at Barry’s Bootcamp in Miami Beach

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