Behavioral Change & Motivation

Transtheoretical Model (TTM). This theory is considered the most commonly adopted with regard to increasing physical activity behavior (Iserman & Walker, 2014, p. 31). This is also known as the “stages of change model,” where individuals move through five stages of change including precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance (Iserman & Walker, 2014, p. 31).

Refer to Table 3-1 Transtheoretical Model for the full details of these stages (Iserman & Walker, 2014, p. 32):

  • Precontemplation is the stage where an individual is thinking about being physically active or joining an exercise program, but they don’t intend on beginning any time soon.

  • Contemplation is where the individual is actually thinking (contemplating) about being more physically active.

  • Preparation is when the individual is planning to be physically active in the near future. For example, joining a health club or buying fitness apparel.

  • Action is where the individual is actually performing regular physical activity and/or exercise up to the minimum level.

  • Maintenance is the stage where an individual has maintained regular physical activity for at least 6 months.


Iserman, M. L., & Walker, K. (2014). The Fitness Professional’s Manual (4 ed.). Minneapolis, MN: National Exercise Trainers Association.