By Mark Briant
Sometimes going to that dark place in a workout, where it really hurts, where you're uncomfortable, can be a hard place to put yourself. Especially when you are in control of that situation. You can easily back off, take it a little bit easier and the sun will still rise tomorrow. But that feeling when you have gone as hard as you possibly could, managed to catch your breath again and your heart rate has returned to this side of normal, is very hard to beat. The endorphins that rush through your body give you such a high, that many people constantly chase that feeling. But not everyone.
On MobGroup Live we often use benchmark fitness tests, as a chance for you to beat your previous scores, and an opportunity to get to that place. Here are some of the things I do or try to implement in a particularly hard workout to push myself:
- Flip Reverse It - This is one that the more you do the more effective I find it is. It can apply to anything you want to get better at or want to embrace. It simply involves reversing the common self-talk you might give yourself during a workout. So for me instead of "I hate this, this is so hard" I tell myself on repeat, throughout "I love this, I love this, I love this". It sounds a bit crazy, and at first, it might not make any difference to you, but I found the more frequently I told myself that, the sooner I began to enjoy harder workouts. Try it next time.
- Break It Down Now - Regardless of the workout format, I will always try to break it into smaller chunks. If the workout is for a set amount of time I'll focus on the next 5-10 reps, maximum. Similarly, if it's big sets of say 50 reps of something I'll break that down into 5 sets of 10, or whatever your mental maths allows! By not looking too far ahead, it becomes less daunting. The same as any other goal in life, focus on that next small step and don't get distracted or overwhelmed by the end goal.
- Don't Give Your Mind Time To Think - They say that the mind will give up before your body does. "Just have a little break now, take a pause, catch your breath, you deserve it". I find as soon as you break in a hard workout, the body catches up and realises "actually this is quite hard, you should stop now!". It's better to go at a steadier pace, keep that consistent throughout, and not have to stop. As you get fitter and more used to pushing yourself you can then push that pace even further. If you must stop, define that break straight away. I like to go for 3 deep breaths and then I'm off again.