I can at least speak for myself when I say that my prime motivation in physical training is development. For me, development is the notion that I am becoming better in something, and therefore, I’m becoming more powerful than I had previously. Perhaps you'll find agreement with me in the future.
The body is like a piece of art, and I am alone the artist who sculptures it to a better building, shape and size.
The hope that my body shall become healthier and stronger, fills me with the determination to continue in my training and "evolve", so-to-speak, into a tougher, healthier being, and the more patience we have and the less eagerness we possess, the more consistent we will be in our training.
In one of the previous credentials next to my name, I wrote that I am a “lifelong ascetic”. Fun fact: Asceticism, the value of being satisfied with what we already have, and the avoidance from pure hedonistic activities - is actually originated from the Greek word Astesis, which means training. This is generally what has led me to write this article: I can definitely relate to that, and perhaps I'll be able to advocate the contribution of a more-ascetic lifestyle to our lives, in a world of increasing hedonism and slothfulness.
But I digress. Training is more than just building our bodies- it’s the maintenance done in the name of health and iron will. Training is needed even regardless of one’s unwillingness. Do you take the garbage out of the house? This is exactly the meaning of training - to clean ourselves not only from dirt and flit that grows inside our body, but also from negative traits such as clumsiness, childishness, and slothfulness which threatens our physical well-being. The less we train, the less healthy we become. If we will not train at all, we ought to neglect the very device of our consciousness. With the increasing of physical neglection, our positive values may become hurt as well. This is because a mind cannot be serene in a body in which he doesn’t like, and then useless misery shall arrive. Useless, because it can be avoided with the adaption of an iron will.
So, I view physical training with not just the importance of my physical appearance, but as the embodiment of my ascetic and beloved ideology I possess. I can even say, that my body may be the actualization of my thoughts and opinions, and therefore I train in the name of a purpose beyond the straightforward purpose of health and good-looking. For me, training is just like any other chores and commitment I have, and this is why I view physical fitness as valuable even if at a certain time I’m not in the mood to do it.
I believe that the entire essence in training, and not just physical training, is resistance. The more we resist our inferior passions for slothfulness and self-neglection, the stronger we will become both in body and mind. The muscles themselves grow and become stronger by resisting gravity and the objects they hold. This is because our body is here to be adjusted to the environment it interacts with. The more interaction, meaning, the more it will resist its physical surroundings, the stronger it will become not in the name of good-looking, but in the name of survival.
If you wish to become stronger by training, you have, first of all, to resist your urges that are used as obstacles and excuses, and second of all - to cope with the feelings of pain while in training. I believe many people give up on training because of the inconvenience of pain and sweat - but pain and sweat are a direct indication of development! Just because it may feel uncomfortable, it does not imply that it should be avoided. On the contrary - with the hedonistic values our western society possess, we become weaker and fragile, almost to the point of self-injury by unhealthy substances - and all in the name of feeling good.
Training should not be aspired in the name of good-feeling. It is important, though, to feel good while training and afterwards, but it shouldn’t be the prime source of motivation. A good source of motivation should be something that is not only greater then pleasure-seeking, but a source that will serve you in the long run, and not just in the exact moment or period. This is why I chose self-actualization as my prime source of motivation when I train, but this is only one, potential examples of many good sources of motivation and self-encouragement.
Remember: the more autonomous your source of motivation will be (the less it will be influenced or even control by external factors), the more determined one will be in the chores in training. It’s also important for that source to be set for a large period of one’s life, and not just a few days and weeks from here and there.