Men and Women’s Fitness – Mentally Preparing
‘The brain clearly holds the key to sporting performance’ (Khouv, A. 2016) Getting your head in the game is the key to success in exercise. Have you ever heard the saying mind over matter? We all have the power within us to push out those extra few workout reps, sprint those extra few kilometres and push ourselves beyond our exercise limit day in day out.
Whether you’re a newcomer or an life-long gym advocate your mind is the key to exercise success, so what’s really stopping you from heading to the gym today? Nothing. Of course you might be recovering from an injury or overcoming sickness and that’s the only exception for not going. If you’re sitting there trying to tell yourself you were at the gym yesterday so you shouldn’t have to go today then you’re in the wrong frame of mind: ‘For years it was thought that fatigue came from the muscles, we now know that it comes from the brain – our endurance is limited only by how much work the brain thinks it has done'(Khouv, A. 2016), so what’s your excuse again?
Get your head round it
It might be hard at first to understand that your brain has the power to overcome your muscle fatigue but it does. One of the most important things to get your head around is the fact that all your muscles aren’t linked together in the sense that if one muscle group is fatigued you’re still able to work out another. If for example your legs are in pain and need to recover you can choose to exercise your core instead. You might be sitting there saying ‘I already know all this, why am I even reading this article?’ but a lot of newcomers fail to grasp this concept until months or even years into their exercise journey.
Words of Wisdom
At last something to help you. Well it might help you, it might not. Some tips and tricks to help people reach a higher exercise peak through their mental capacity can be done by the following:
Setting little goals and targets with each workout
This might sound stupid but setting some small goals with every workout can help increase performance over a period of time. For example upping your run distance by 1-3% each time can have a massive boost to your performance over a yearly period yet seem like nothing over a daily period. This goes the same for workouts, adding in one extra rep or a small increase to your maximum set can add a massive mental boost to yourself and again all these little increases seem like nothing over a small period of time but over a long-term period the results will speak for themselves.
Getting a workout partner
For some people workout partners are just a no go. If you’re lucky enough to find someone dedicated to working out as much as you are then it can be an amazing boost to your mental view on exercising. To find a workout partner you could ask friends, work colleagues or even talk to people in your fitness area. You’d be surprised how many people would actually want to workout with you. But more to the point, getting an exercise partner can help you in a number of ways. It allows you both to share knowledge about exercising, supplements and nutrition with each other, It gives you a little helping had to push out that extra little bit and gives you something to keep you on track (you don’t want to be the person who can’t keep up).
Changing your workout
Changing your workout on a regularly basis can be extremely beneficial for both mental and muscle growth. Have you ever been stuck doing the same workout for a while and seen no gains? That’s because your muscles get used to doing the same workout and you’re limited your muscle growth potential. Changing your workout routine can also give you a mental boost and revitalise your interest in the gym. Let’s face it doing the same thing day in day out can get a bit boring so changing your workouts regularly can increase your enjoyment and potential muscle growth.
Khouv, A. 2016, Train With Your Brain, Dennis Publishing Ltd, London.