You’re in the middle of a training session! It’s hard! Your heart is racing! You’re out of breath! Your legs are burning! You want to stop!
What do you do next? Do you surrender to the pain, or do you push through?
Pushing through the pain is hard! It’s takes mental toughness and builds resilience and this where the magic happens. This is where results are forged and battles are won! Mental battles that is.
Surrendering to the pain is easy. You rest and the pain stops! But what are you trying to achieve? Why are you doing it? Will this get you closer to your goals?
Here’s a few tips if pushing your training and mental toughness to the next level is something you’re in too or want to work on.
- It needs to be progressive and you need to increase the intensity and workload slowly. You need to get your body to the point where you can really start pushing it and that takes time if you’re new to the game. Going too hard when you haven’t built a decent level of fitness it going to make you feel sick and skyrocket the chance of throwing up, and that’s going to kill your intensity. Even worse, you could get injured which is a massive set back!
- Embrace the suck – Realise that when it’s all over you’re going to walk out alive with all of your limbs still attached. That the pain is temporary and it disappears when you are done. So finish what you start and don’t quit early. Knowing it’s going to be uncomfortable and seeing it through to the end is a big step in forging your mental toughness.
- Welcome the challenge. You have to want to push through your current barrier and step it up. Create little challenges or targets in your head. Constantly breakdown reps or time domains in to digestible chunks and move straight on to the next one when completed. Remember you want to keep the intensity up.
- Get your breathing right. People really underestimate the power of breathing. If you can’t control your breathing your brain is going to shut your body down and force you to rest. Ever been so out of breath that you just stopped, couldn’t get started again and didn’t know why! If you can keep it under control you’ll be able to push harder for longer.
- Change your attitude. Start telling yourself that you enjoy training hard and really want to push the limit. You need to believe it or it will mean nothing. Then you need to reinforce it when you’re training. Whinging about training is reaffirming that you have some work to do on your mental fortitude.
“If you want to be tougher mentally, it is simple: Be tougher. Don’t meditate on it.“ – Jocko Willink
Everyone should have a decent level of mental toughness to deal with the pressures and stress of life. Building it through hard work in the gym will transfer over to every aspect of your life and you’ll become a more resilient version of yourself that’s equipped to deal with tough and challenging situations. It’s something everyone can develop, but only if you choose to work hard for it.
Co – Founder at Perform Three Sixty