How to Turn Critics Into Motivators in Your Training Plan

shirtless man working out with dumbell

Sticking to an exercise training program requires you to have killer confidence in yourself. That can be tough to do if people around you don’t give you the support you need. If people are criticizing your efforts, don’t quit. Instead, turn their criticism into motivation using these tips to achieve your fitness goals.

Only accept constructive feedback

Just as you need to train your body, you also need to accept the old adage that you need to train other people how to treat you. Be honest with your coworkers, friends and family members and tell them upfront that what they are saying isn’t helping. Be clear that, although you want their honesty, you also want the truth delivered in a kind, positive way that keeps your goals in mind. Ask for an explanation for what they’re telling you. Forcing them to do encourages a better dialogue, ensures that they think through comments and makes it easy for you to spot unwarranted claims.

Join a workout group or get an exercise buddy

Many experts are supporting the idea that finding a diet/workout partner or group increases your odds of success, as Colette Bouchez of WebMD reports. Other people who are training know better than anyone what it feels like to want to stop and grasp how hurtful insensitive comments can be. Let them encourage you and hold you accountable through their unique understanding so you can block out all the other negative stuff you’re hearing.

Keep a goal log

A goal log, as promoted by fitness trainer Marisa Brunett, is basically a journal where you write what you’d like to achieve through your training. You use it to keep track of what you do through your workouts, as well as to vent about your feelings through the program. When haters start hating on you, open your log and look back at the progress you’ve made.

Do what you can to get rid of stress

As you train, you probably have a million and one stressors bombarding you. Take some time to yourself to relax through all of this, whether it’s reading a good book, turning on your favorite music or meditating. By calming yourself down, you’ll be better prepared emotionally to handle criticisms about your training in a positive way. You’ll also keep the negative influences of constant stress on the body–increased heart rate, muscle tension and trouble sleeping just to name a few–at bay, improving your odds of solid future workouts.

Get some new gear

You don’t need a ton of stuff to get ripped, but by buying some good equipment online, such as at SportPursuit, you make an investment in your plan. The purchase communicates to yourself and to others that you have committed to your program, and it also ensures you can do what you need to do safely and comfortably.


You don’t have to let other people tear you down and distract you as you train. Insisting on positive feedback, finding others to train with, keeping a goal log, practicing general anti-stress activities and getting some new equipment are all great ways for quieting critics and staying on task.

Joel Phillips has been an athletic coach for decades. When not training athletes, he often writes about the techniques for an improved fitness routine and healthier lifestyle.