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Exercise benefits come when we push through mental blocks

There will be tough times along your fitness path but don’t give up, says Betty Doyling

At the beginning of my group class workouts, I always remind the participants to try something more challenging.

If they regularly use 10lb weights, why not try the 12lb weights this week? Try to make those final few reps feel a little more challenging; to increase our fitness we need to keep pushing ourselves.

By pushing ourselves, we stimulate our bodies to adjust, which leads to increased power, fitness and many other health benefits. In strength training, progressive overload refers to the process of consistently increasing an area of your training over time. This could be through repetitions, weight, frequency or even the intricacy of your exercises.

Even with cardiovascular training, you can also change the frequency, intensity, time or type of exercise on a regular basis. If you walk for 30 minutes twice a week, your fitness won’t change. However, if you progress to walking for 30 minutes three times a week, it will.

Regardless of what type of training you do, it will truly take effort and a mental push to increase the intensity of your workouts. For most, this process can be gruelling, uncomfortable and a little bit painful. But this is how we get the results we desire.

Try these strategies for pushing through that workout burn:

Rethink the pain

When your legs start to burn, or discomfort kicks in, rather than letting your brain slip you into complaining or quitting mode, try to attach a positive thought to it. Know that your body is feeling this way for because you chose to do something positive for your body. Keep thinking about that until you are through it. Remember, you are making yourself fitter, healthier and stronger.

Visualise your efforts

When working out, you will definitely have tough moments where you want to kill your trainer or throw a weight at them. (Don’t do it though!) During your warm-up, try to imagine your workouts including the tough parts. See yourself struggling, but also crushing the worst part of the exercise. Visualise your completed workout and the feelings of pride and relief that will come when it is over.

Another benefit of visualisation during training is that it can become a useful habit for when you are tackling things in life that have challenging elements to them! It’s just like positive thinking, but keeping it real.

Always plan

When we are training and working towards a goal, it is important to be intentional. Before your session begins, be clear with what you would like to achieve. Are you training to optimise your energy and be more productive? Are you trying to change your physique? Think about these things when you head to your training session. Apply yourself to your workout or programme and commit to executing your plan.

This should give you the motivation to push beyond the heat, the challenging exercises and, most importantly, the mental block during your workouts.

Stay focused on your goals, keep pushing and B-Active For Life!

Betty Doyling is a certified fitness trainer and figure competitor with more than a decade of experience. Look for B. ActiveForLife on Facebook

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Published September 07, 2022 at 8:00 am (Updated September 06, 2022 at 2:50 pm)

Exercise benefits come when we push through mental blocks

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