We’ve all been through a session where we know we haven’t given it our all, where we know that we’ve still got something left in the tank.
We’ve all been through a workout where we’re behind others in the group, where we start to think “why am I here? I’ll never catch them”.
We’ve all been that person who has stayed in bed, snuggled under the covers, where we convince ourselves that we’ll “do it tomorrow” instead.
So how do we break down some of these barriers – mental, physical and otherwise – to motivate ourselves to be in the one percenters? To push through our thoughts and really deliver?
Here’s some tip and tricks I’ve learned along the way that helped me to achieve my personal results. Even if you take just one thing from this list and try and apply it at your next session, I’m confident you’ll start to get even more out of your training.
1. Compete but don’t compare
Group training is known to push people to new limits. It provides you with support when you need it and encouragement when you want to give up. Some people will set themselves unrealistic expectations though, if they start to compare themselves to others in the group. Whilst we encourage healthy competition, it doesn’t mean you have to beat the fastest, take on the strongest or be the best. We just want you to give it your all.
2. Set manageable goals
If we’re doing running at training, someone always has to come last. That’s a given. This isn’t something we’re measuring though – there are no prizes for coming first in the sprint, nor a wooden spoon if you’re coming in at the end. We’re looking for you to continue to improve. So if that means your goal is to never walk, or to make sure you’re not lapped, or to try and chase someone down, then embrace this goal and pursue it. And once you’ve achieved it, set yourself a new one.
3. Find a mantra
I’ve played a lot of sport and competed in various physical events that require me to be strong mentally. One of the best things that I’ve embraced is to find my own mantra that keeps me moving when all I want to do is stop. Whether it’s “one more, one more” or “just do it” or “I can, I will”, the secret is to keep your mantra short but ensure that it’s natural and resonates with you. Repeat it in your head when all you want to do is give up. I guarantee you that everyone else in the group is doing this as well.
4. Get there
There’s an old adage that “You never regret a workout” and I’ve got to tell you – it’s true! All you need to do is turn up. You don't always have to be performing at your best. Not all days are created equal energy wise. It's OK to take it easy on some days but the important thing is to just do it anyway. Leave the excuses at the door and keep creating good habits. I promise you that you’ll ALWAYS feel better for turning up.
5. Think about why you’re there
No one makes you exercise, and we’re all there for a different reason. Some people enjoy being outdoors, other wants to lose weight, others want to become stronger and others just want an hour away from the kids / office / stress of everyday life. At some base level, you are actually coming down because there’s a part of you that enjoys it. Find your reason and have it front of mind as we push through the session. It’s your time to breathe and to just focus on you.
Fitness… it’s a habit. Let’s make it yours.