So in recent weeks, as I’ve been progressing on my fitness journey, I have had moments where I thought I wouldn’t be able to push through and complete a particular workout. For example, a few times a week I attend ‘Body Pump’ which is a weightlifting class that involves lots of squats, deadlifts, lunges, curls, etc. The idea is that you do high repetitions of the movements and, as you get stronger, you can begin to lift heavier weights; this is a class that I highly recommend because every class is a challenge for the body, and since we do high reps we are constantly strengthening our muscular endurance and improving our discipline.
However, in my case, the moment I decide to increase my weights and challenge myself that much more, I always get that silly voice in my head bellowing that I am going to fail and that I won’t manage to finish the routine. The little voice also pops up whilst I’m doing a movement, when both the effort and the pain are rapidly intensifying, and my muscles are feeling weakened.
During these exercises I have had to find an effective way to push through right to the end of the workout, and what has allowed me to make progress in this area is having a clear point of focus.
Hitherto, whenever I found a workout challenging I would vocalise my frustration, transforming it into words, and I would concentrate on the difficulty of the workout. I would swear, shout or complain and this would actively create a destructive physical and mental state. However, what I’ve now started doing is actively focus on my strength which has been absolutely amazing in terms of results.
First of all, I find a spot out in front of me on the wall which I stare at. Next, under my breath, I said myself “I am strong. You can. You can do this. I’m so proud of you, Akuc.” and I continue to repeat this sentence until the end of the exercise. Essentially what I’m doing is overpowering that other useless, negative voice in my head and filling my mind with praise and encouragement.
This works because, first of all, I’m distracted from the pain and so I have one less reason to quit. Secondly, I’m giving myself praise in the moment which allows me to acknowledge my courage and determination. Above all, telling myself that “I am strong” makes me feel empowered and is very motivating, and so my body naturally follows suits – I automatically find the strength and energy to preserve in order to complete my workout.
Moving forward now, this is a technique that I absolutely love and is one that I encourage you to try out too – I guess we never really know how strong we are until we are forced to be.