3 Ways to Strengthen Your Mind for Workout Success

Written by Sportsfuel, 27 January 2016

3 Ways to Strengthen Your Mind for Workout Success

If you want to transform your body to be leaner and more muscular successfully, you know that you have to take steps to strengthen it through exercise. You may not realise that to be truly successful, you need to train more than just your body.

Strengthen Your Mind for Workout Success


Often, when people fail to accomplish their fitness goals, it's because they gave up too quickly. Demanding workouts take a toll on more than just your body; they also affect your mind. When things become challenging, it's easy to surrender. You may come up with reasons to stop working out early when you're fatigued, or your mind may allow your body to take shortcuts that make the exercise easier but less effective. After a hard workout, your mind can play tricks on you and leave you coming up with excuses as to why it's okay to skip the gym entirely.

Professional bodybuilders, fitness trainers, and athletes all succeed because they condition their bodies and minds as well. Just like it takes repeated exercise to build a stronger body, work is required to strengthen your mind and put it to work for you before, during and after exercise. That's why you must focus on strengthening your mind as much as your body.

But how do you do it?


Read on to discover three ways that you can begin to build a stronger mind and unlock your mental power to improve the results that you get from your workouts and remain motivated to stay on the path to success.

1. Listen for Your Negative Voice


Everyone has a voice inside of their minds that can work for their good or to their detriment. When that inner voice is positive and motivating, it can help you continue through a workout even when it becomes difficult. Still, when that voice takes on a negative tone, it can greatly undermine your performance. When the voice doesn't stop, its messages can start to feel like truth.

For example, let's say that you're ready to begin lifting a heavier weight. You're naturally a little nervous, and that negative voice tells you, "I can't do that." You try anyway, but it isn't easy. As you lift, the voice continues to repeat, "I can't do this. I can't do this." The disbelief makes the burden even greater, and you give up before completing the set. Then, the voice says, "I knew I couldn't do it." The self-fulfilling prophecy makes you go back to the lighter weight or possibly even give up coming to the gym for a few days.

When you're at the gym, be on alert for that negative voice. Learning to identify it is the first step toward breaking free of its effects. Remember that the voice doesn't speak the truth.

2. Answer Your Negative Voice with Positivity


Once you learn to recognize the negative voice inside you, you can begin to address it. The negative thoughts originate from your subconscious mind, but you have the power of your conscious mind to answer them back.

Practising self-talk can help you begin to quiet negativity and become more positive at the gym. To do it, think about how you'd talk to a friend that you were working out with. If he or she said, "This is going to hurt," you might say, "Yes, but it will make such a difference" or "Yes, it might, but just for a little bit. You can do it."

When you imagine speaking to someone you care about, the words to answer yourself will come naturally. You can make your positive replies to yourself even more effective by adding visualization. For example, if you said, "Yes, but it will make such a difference," you could picture how your arms or legs will look if you develop more muscle in them. If you said, "You can do it," picture yourself dominating the exercise successfully. The visual image is powerful and will help you overcome your negativity.

3. Learn to See Yourself in a New Way


Your perception of yourself is powerful. If you tell yourself that you're fat, weak or incapable, those words become your truth, and you give yourself a free pass to stay the same. After all, if you'll always be fat, why should you keep to a healthy diet? If you're weak, why should you waste time pushing yourself?

We are naturally our own worst critics. While it's fine to assess yourself honestly and spot areas of improvement, it's also important to accept yourself as you are in the moment. If you need to lose weight, be honest about it and tell yourself that you have the power to change.

Tell yourself: "I am dedicated, powerful and in control of my weight. Today, I will work out and eat right. I'll burn calories and lose body fat. Tomorrow, I will weight slightly less than I did today."


When you look in the mirror and see something that you don't like about your body, don't look away until you've found something that you do like. Celebrate the small changes along the way and compliment yourself on the work that you did to get there. Remember that fitness is a journey. You're not going to get there all in one day. By being supportive and nurturing to yourself along the way, you'll stay motivated and be able to succeed finally.

The process of strengthening your mind and making it an asset to you as you progress toward your goals takes a commitment. There will be times when you'll succeed in quieting negativity right away and times when it will be more of a struggle to stay positive. Ultimately though, you can condition your mind if you stay focused on what you're thinking. If it helps, try writing down your inner thoughts, answering yourself on paper, or finding a person you can trust to share your inner thoughts with. Hearing someone else reaffirm your positive messages can be incredibly powerful.

 

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