I wanted to share with you the often over-looked and ignored piece of training success, which is the mental side of exercise. I am currently reading a book called Warrior Cardio by Martin Rooney. A section of his book covers the mental aspect involved with hard physical training. When it comes to training for results, it becomes much more about your mental capacity to convince yourself to continue pushing forward much more than your physical capacity to do something.
When working with a San Diego personal training client, I will only give them an increase in weight or progress an exercise, when I feel that they can do it. So many times I have clients think they are not capable of doing something, just to discover that they can. It is that negative mindset that kept them from advancing and pushing themselves forward when they exercised on their own. Most likely, that is one of the many reasons they continue to train with me, their personal trainer in San Diego. When you believe you can lift this weight, or you can run under an eight minute mile, or you can keep pushing through your sprints until your 30 seconds is up, then your body can achieve what you set your mind to. YOU have to fully believe it to be true.
I would like to walk you through an exercise. For each section below, I want you to reflect for a few minutes and think of your approach and attitude in the following areas.
Conflict is often viewed as a struggle against an outside force, however, when it comes to exercise, it is the struggle with oneself. How well are you able to beat this internal battle against yourself? There may be times when you do not feel like working out, or times when you begin and want to give up. How do you keep the mental fortitude to start or keep moving? Overcoming internal conflict is as much about being honest with yourself as it is about holding yourself accountable. Many find it difficult to view things as they really are, and instead seek to blame their circumstances on outside forces. How do you handle your own internal conflict?
To achieve anything worthwhile in life there has to be struggle. If everything were given to us on a silver platter life would not teach us anything of value. A challenge helps test our mental willpower and physical capabilities; it makes our character become stronger. When it comes to exercise we must view any difficult task as an ability to become stronger and more resilient. Do you look for ways to challenge yourself, or do you set the bar low for fear of failing? Can you do a better job of setting new and exciting challenges for yourself?
The majority of people fear change. Most would prefer to stay where they are at, even if slightly unhappy, then apt for exchanging the familiar for the unknown. However, change in life is inevitable. Therefore, we should learn to embrace change as a positive, not negative aspect of life. In order to elicit change, we have to break away from the familiar into the new. If you have not seen any positive changes come from your current routine, than it is time for a change. As humans we look for reasons why something can’t work instead of why it can. Do you welcome change or are you resistant? Can you recognize when it may be advantageous to change?
We have the ultimate freedom of choice. We can make choices in our lives that impact whether we are successful. In life, there are very few neutral choices, in other words, most choices are either helping you or hurting you. What is it that you want out of life? Do you make choices that are helping you progress towards achieving that life? How about your fitness level? Are you where you want to be? Every food you eat, workout you complete (or skip) all counts towards where you are now. Those choices you either did or did not make impacts what you are able to achieve. Your success or lack thereof is up to you. I’m not going to lie, making the right choice is going to be difficult, but don’t confuse difficult with impossible. If making the right choices in regards to exercise and nutrition were easy, we wouldn’t be dealing with an obesity epidemic in this country. What choices have you made thus far, and what choices can you make in the future to get you towards your goals?