Staying fit is one of the best things we can do for ourselves. Working out strengthens your muscles, your cardiovascular system, your bones, and your mind. Not only does working out physically improve your brain by bringing it more oxygen and stimulating neuron growth, but it also improves your mood, memory, and concentration. And getting into the gym day after day improves your discipline and willpower. However, all these benefits don’t come cheap. You have to put in the effort. Some days, you really won’t want work that hard. It just seems like too much, but those are the days when you have the most to gain. Here are some strategies for powering through your workout on tough days.
Set an intention
Before you even get started, remind yourself why you’re working out. Although there are dozens of good reason for getting into the gym, there are probably one one or two that motivate you on a deep level. Take a few minutes to connect to that motivation before you get started. It could you want to get strong, or perhaps not be weak. Or maybe you know that running three to five miles will melt away the stress from a tough day and keep you sane.
Do one thing at a time
It’s easy to look at a tough workout and feel like you’ll never get through it. Fortunately, you can’t do the whole thing at once. You can only do one rep at a time. When you get under the bar, or whatever you’re doing, don’t think about the whole workout you have ahead of you; just think about the next rep. Focus on what you’re doing and take one bite at a time. If you just keep going, eventually, you’ll get it done.
Work out with a partner
No one likes to look like wimp in front of his friends. Just knowing someone is watching makes you a little more focused and determined. So work out with a partner if you can. You can hold each other accountable and motivate each other to keep going.
Talk yourself up
Be your own biggest fan. It’s easy to get negative when you’re already tired and you find yourself in the middle of a hard workout. You may find yourself doubting whether you have another set in you. The important thing is to stay positive. Play the part of your ideal coach, one who knows you’re capable of great things and won’t let you give up. Think things like, “I know you’re tired, but this is when it really counts. I know you can do it.”
Listen to your body
While you have to push yourself to get better, and that often means working through exhaustion and discomfort, it’s crucial to listen to your body’s signals. Know the difference between the pain caused by maximum effort and the pain caused by injury. Typically, the pain caused by injury will persist after you’ve racked the bar. Although working through an injury might seem like the tough guy thing to do, it can also set your progress way back. Take care of injuries early on so you can minimize how much they disrupt your training.
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