Do you want to change the way you look? Since you are reading this post, I would guess that the answer is “Yes!” Then start by changing the way you think! I know it sounds like I’m going to sell you on mind over matter theology but, it is more than just a bit of positive thinking. It is a fact that changing your thinking changes your results. Mind over matter, or in this case, mind over fitness is a key element of wellness.
Research at UTC has shown that our brains turn on the pain well in advance of our bodies actually running out of fuel and ability to continue. In other words, our brains say stop well before our bodies must actually stop. And when we readily heed these directives, we miss out on our full potential. So, why does this happen? Why does the brain interfere and prevent us from hitting the mark of our true potential? Because the brain thinks you could hurt yourself by pressing any further. It doesn’t know your goals or your intentions.
First, let me say, I’m not suggesting you ignore your brain. You need to recognize and understand the brains intent as well as your own and beware of its warnings! But there is a defence against premature rest and falling short of your full potential in your workouts. Here are a few tips to help you press beyond, not into dangerous territory, but into your potential, the point at which your brain says, “I’m feeling pain here. I’m Tired. Can we stop now please?”
Here are 5 defence tips:
1. Stay Focused
Be in the present moment, not thinking about dinner, a movie or a new pair of shoes. Distractions break the back of your intentions and heighten your response to the brains expressions. Think about the task at hand and your related goals and nothing else.
2. Hold Your Head Up
Dropping your head enhances your negative thoughts according to Jim Fannin, a sports consultant to some of the world’s top athletes. But holding your head up and looking forward will banish those negatives thoughts and allow the positives of the journey and your goals to surge to the forefront of your mind!
3. Relax Your Jaw
My trainer used to tell me to relax my face. I’d get so tense that I was nearly tied up in knots. The reason is that a tense jaw translates to tense hands, shoulders and back and that affects everything from your grip to your form as well as your thinking pattern. So relax. I know, if you are working hard, that gritting, grunting and groaning (yes, even women do this in the gym J) may seem necessary and even helpful but be mindful of the situation and let that tension go so you can be your best in that moment.
4. Set Absolute Goals
If you set 6-12 reps of a movement as your goal then odds are you’ll not attain 12 reps. BUT, decide on 12 reps as an absolute and you’ll likely hit the mark. Of course, always maintain good form and never push too far for the sake of a number! Just beware of your potential and set your goals accordingly and for full potential, not sufficiency.
5. Consider Adversity an Opportunity
The journey needs to be enjoyed in order to succeed and that includes the challenges. Greet them with a warm embrace and seize the opportunity to become better for them.
Psyching out the body, overcoming the brains suggestions that you can’t do that last rep or jog that last mile, is an element of wellness that should be an applied principle in every workout whether cardio or resistance training. Regardless of the goal, whether seeking a lean, toned body, training for a marathon or attaining the heights of competitive training and modelling, it takes hard work, dedication, intention along with a mindset for success, matched with physical expressions of your full potential rather than of limitations, fears and uncertainty that leads to a premature end and falling short of your best.
I hope this brief post is helpful. I’d love to hear from you in the comments below letting me know your thoughts on this subject. So be sure to leave your input!
And don’t forget to join us for Extreme Body Transformation and take your journey to new heights!