Exercise is a fantastic way to boost your mood, but your mind also has a significant impact on the quality of your workouts. While a good training session can improve your outlook and enhance the way you feel, adjusting your mindset pre-workout can lead to better gym performance too.
Whether you’re just starting out or you’re preparing for an upcoming sports event, getting in the right frame of mind can enable you to reach your potential. From smashing your weight loss goals or bulking up and building muscle to breaking regional records or making the team, you have the power to do anything you want to when you have the right outlook.
If you want to get the most out of your training regime, see results more quickly and enjoy gym sessions more, take a look at these six mental shifts that can transform your workouts:
1. Visualize Your Goals
Whatever your fitness goals are, make them as specific and meaningful as possible. If you want to lose weight, for example, don’t just aim to get thinner: set yourself a specific target, such as a 15lb loss, and create a strategy that helps you to achieve your objective.
One sure-fire way to speed up your progress, is to visualize yourself once you’ve hit your target. In your mind’s eye, imagine yourself as you’ll be when you achieve your next fitness goal. How will you look? How will you feel? How will you behave?
The more frequently you visualize your success, the easier it is to bring it about. Not only does it increase your motivation but is also transforms abstract goals into realistic and achievable targets.
2. Stop Being Self-Conscious
If you don’t feel confident, it’s easy to let your self-consciousness get the better of you. Perhaps you only work out at home because you’re worried that people will judge you at the gym, or maybe you’re hesitant about taking part in competitions or tournaments because you’re worried you won’t perform as well in front of crowd.
While it might help to know that gyms are generally welcoming and supportive environments, the best way to stop being self-conscious is to simply learn how to stop worrying about what others think of you. Take a look at this blog post from Ed Latimore and find out how to stop caring what others think of you now. As a former professional heavyweight boxer, Ed knows exactly what it takes to enhance your athletic performance and his books and courses on emotional mastery give you the opportunity to benefit from his experiences.
3. Be More Open-Minded
If you want to get more out of your fitness regime or achieve results more quickly, you might need to re-think your strategy or adjust your training sessions in some way. From focusing on your nutrition to trying different workouts, there are numerous ways you could optimize your routine and change your lifestyle to achieve your goals.
When you’re stuck in rigid thinking patterns, however, it becomes difficult to accept advice or try new things. If you’ve made progress with your current routines, it’s easy to assume that they’ll keep working for you. As your body changes, however, you need to update your training to keep pushing yourself and establish new objectives.
After all, if you keep doing the same thing and thinking in the same way, you’ll get the same results. If you want to change the outcome, you need to change what you’re doing, and this begins by modifying your thinking and being open to new ideas and suggestions.
4. Focus on Your Life as a Whole
Regular exercise and good nutrition are important elements of a healthy lifestyle but, as the old saying goes, you can enjoy everything in moderation. While training regularly and taking an active interest in fitness is a great way to spend your time, don’t let your regime take over every aspect of your life.
When you find something that you enjoy or you try a new fitness plan that delivers great results, there’s no doubt you’ll want to tell everyone about it. However, your friends and family might grow a little weary when they’ve heard your anecdotes from the gym for the tenth time!
Becoming hyper-focused on fitness (or anything) can lead you to neglect other parts of your life. Have you missed numerous social occasions in favor of working out, for example? Do you spend hours at the gym every weekend when you could be making the most of family time? Are you constantly thinking about how to structure your next workout? If so, it might be time to readjust your schedule.
By making fitness and diet a critical component in your life, you can pursue your interests and achieve great results while still making time for friends, family, work and other hobbies. As well as adding more balance to your life, this approach can actually enhance your well-being and make you happier.
5. Think About the Positives
When people begin a new fitness plan, they often assume that their new routine is filled with things they can’t have or can’t do. If you want to lose weight, for example, you might hear yourself saying, I can’t eat that, I’m on a diet’. Alternatively, if you want to gain muscle, you might say to yourself, ‘I can’t miss my protein shake, or I won’t succeed’.
However, the word can’t immediately puts you in a negative mindset. It makes you feel restricted and like you’re missing out on something. In reality, you’re simply making choices that will help you to achieve the objectives you set for yourself.
Instead of thinking that you can’t do something, ask yourself whether you want to. Focus on what you can do and your reasons for making lifestyle changes and you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to update your thinking and find the answers that make it easier to stay on track.
6. Accept Setbacks Along the Way
Failure is a part of life yet it’s something that we often find difficult to cope with. In fact, many people would prefer not to try something because it’s the only way that guarantees you won’t fail. If you’re going to abandon your fitness goals at the first sign of a setback, however, you won’t achieve your objectives and you’ll set yourself up for disappointment, regret and self-criticism.
When you can learn healthy ways to deal with setbacks, however, you can accept them as part of your journey and use them to enhance your future success. Often, it’s the lessons you learn along the way that actually help you to smash your goals in the long-term. By learning how to use failure as a platform for success, you can free yourself of fear and truly reach your potential.
Make Your Mind and Body Fitter
It’s easy to assume that you get fitter because of the hours you spend working out, but your outlook and mindset has a significant effect of your journey. While it’s important to focus on physical fitness, your mental fitness is just as important. When you take steps to elevate your mindset, you’ll find that you can get so much more out of every workout and really enjoy embracing a healthier and fitter lifestyle.