Research shows that we can find reward in forms other than goals like weight loss that don’t happen overnight. Angela Duckworth, Ph.D., best-selling author of “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance” (Scribner, 2016) and founder of the Character Lab, calls it bundling: combining something you love with, well, the chore of going to the gym (or anything else)—and her colleagues have studied and found that it’s an effective approach.

At the gym, you might call it loving the work—in contrast to obsessing over the outcome. It’s a phenomenon that 24 Hour Fitness GX24 instructors and personal trainers embrace wholeheartedly. They know there will be times when people doubt themselves, suffer setbacks or get discouraged with what they perceive as a lack of progress. That’s the time to find something to love other than the goal.

So if you’re lucky, you’ve got a new playlist that you can’t wait to hear again (if not, check out Derek Beres’ 24Life playlists). Or you’ve discovered that you actually love barbell squats because there’s something about rising up under that much weight that brings out your inner grrrrl or Incredible Hulk.

If you’re at a loss, though, not to worry. We asked GX24 instructors and some of the members who take their classes why or how they came to love the work. Their responses below will show you how to discover the joy of movement for movement’s sake and bonds that will sustain you. The weight they’ve lost and health and vitality they’ve found are just the perks.

Photo credit: Courtesy of GX24 instructors and members featured


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Robin Rootenberg

Robin Rootenberg is managing editor for 24Life and 24Life TV. Nothing makes her happier than the possibility of one more person rediscovering the joy of movement, or trying something new. A UC Berkeley grad, her writing and communications career spans more than two decades, and she’s been running for even longer.