The good news is there are smart tricks you can use to help you push through that workout wall.
BuzzFeed Life spoke with Dawn Fletcher, C.S.C.S., Cross Fit coach and creator of Mentality WOD and came up with 17 ways to build up mental strength and give your body the workout you’re totally capable of. You can do this.
1. When you warm up, use marginally heavier weights than you’re planning to use during your actual workout.
This will make your real workout weights feel a bit lighter.
We’re talking only slightly heavier here, and just a few reps. Also, don’t grab the weights at all until you’ve done some dynamic stretching and warmed up your muscles a bit.
2. When your muscles start burning, train yourself to smile.
Discipline your brain into associating the burning sensation with positive feelings, Fletcher tells BuzzFeed Life. Something you might want to tell yourself during this time: “I love getting to the dark place, because I know that’s where the magic happens.” Smile!
3. Create a physical cue (stomping the ground, clapping your hands) to snap yourself out of negative thoughts.
Don’t waste energy on being pessimistic. As soon as your mind goes down that path use a physical action of your choice to get you back to more positive thoughts.
4. When you feel like giving up, really concentrate on keeping your body moving.
5. As tired as you get, try your best to keep your body language positive.
From Fletcher’s blog, Mentality WOD: “Don’t put your hands on your legs and spend time slumped over (even though you’re tired). Don’t stare at your hands if they begin hurting. Don’t show your frustration, fatigue or discomfort with your facial expressions or movements. Instead, keep your face and grip relaxed to conserve energy, keep your shoulders back , your head up and stay in control of where your eyes are focused.”
6. Practice Ping-Pong thinking throughout your workout.
Ping-Pong thinking is a self-talk technique that involves bouncing back and forth between two thoughts. The first thought should be about form technique or strategy, for example: “Dip and Punch, I got this.” The second thought should be a phrase that will boost your confidence, like: “I could go all day.” Go back and forth between those thoughts.
7. Embrace the fact that the uncomfortable parts of training are necessary to progress.
Repeat “I want to get uncomfortable, and stay there, that’s where my mental strength will shine,” Fletcher says.
8. Practice saying “I can choose _____.”
Realize that you have the power to choose, says Fletcher.
She offers these examples:
“I can choose what affects me.
I can choose to go forward with a smile.
I can choose to relax and stay calm.
I can choose to be confident.
I can choose to be positive and optimistic.
I can choose to feel happy and loved.
I can choose to learn from my mistakes.”
You can also fill in the blank yourself.
9. Create goals and break them down into achievable steps.
This will increase your confidence in your ability to get to where you want to be.
10. Fully commit to the exercise that you’re doing, and stop thinking about what’s coming next.
You’re doing cleans now. Focus on doing those well. Don’t think about the deadlifts you have coming up. You’ll get to those soon enough.
12. Remind yourself of what you’re working for.
When workouts get tough, focus on a strong mental image of all the reasons you’re pushing yourself in the first place.
13. When feeling negative, take a step back and reflect on your goals.
Maybe break down the steps even further. Or take a new approach. Whatever you do don’t get down on yourself.
14. And remember all the people who’ve doubted you.
Nothing will feel better than proving them wrong.
15. Understand and accept that certain things are out of your control.
No matter how much work you put in, progress still takes time. Those who understand that are better equipped to handle day to day life, whether it’s in or out of the gym.
16. Choose an environment that will challenge you and motivate you.
Surround yourself with people who will push you to work harder and support you in achieving your fitness goals.
- Papa Roach's song "Last Resort " has become the internet's new favorite song, thanks to a joke about Paul Ryan and the health care debacle 😬
- A Pro-Trump site is showing that with a big Facebook page and catchy headlines, you can have almost zero content and still make money.
- North Korea has arrested a third American citizen amid a dramatic escalation in tensions with the United States.
- Tim Hortons, Canada's biggest coffee chain, is opening its first UK store next month ahead of a rollout across the country 🍩