5 Mental Tricks for Pushing Harder in a Workout

5 Mental Tricks for Pushing Harder in a Workout

5 Mental Tricks for Pushing Harder in a Workout

The focus of your workout is often external; how you nourish your body, how often you train, and what training you do. But if you consider your body as a whole, how you think and what you think play significant roles in the success of your fitness journey.

Your mind can either work for or against you as you train. Negative self-talk is one of the greatest demotivators. The good news is that you can break that destructive habit and use your mind as a powerful tool to help you push harder and achieve more during your workout. Here’s how!

How Do I Push Harder When Working Out?

To take your workout to the next level, introduce these mental strategies and enjoy the results—they won’t cost you a thing!

1. Meditate

You might think that taking your stress from work and using it to fuel your workout will get you great results. The truth is, you’re more likely to achieve more in your workout if you start with a clear mind.

Get rid of all distractions, like your phone or idle chat around you. Your gym time is time for you to focus, plan, and achieve.

Meditating or practicing mindfulness reduces stress. When you combine meditation with working out, you are taking care of your mental health and your physical health at the same time! It also clears your mind of distractions which allows you to pour your mental energy into your workout—which requires a lot of brain power!

Here are some ideas to help calm your mind:

  • Sit quietly, relax all your muscles, breathe deeply and let go of all your thoughts
  • Repeat positive mantras to yourself
  • Practice mindfulness during your warm-up stretches

Meditating and mindfulness are especially helpful for individuals who struggle to focus and tend to procrastinate. Calming your mind creates space to focus on the workout coming up, which will help you achieve more at the gym!


2. Get Pumped Up!

Now it’s time to fill that calm, clear mind with positive thoughts. Did you know that optimism improves the physical functioning of your body? To apply this to your workout and help your body perform at its best, include visualization in your pre-workout routine.

In your mind, replay your past victories, times when you achieved a fitness goal. Remember what it felt like. This is a great way to get motivated, feel confident, and take your workout seriously. It is especially helpful if you are hard on yourself and feel defeated easily.

Engage your senses to set the scene for success. Center yourself in the space you’re in. See the gym members around you. What can you smell? Listen to your favorite “get pumped” song. Ground yourself in the present and get excited about your workout!

Whatever you choose to do, make sure it leaves you feeling like you can do it—because you can!

3. Be Aggressive

To achieve more in your workout, you need to push your body further than in your previous workout. That’s how you make progress. It takes a physical fight, that’s for sure, but the real battle is won or lost in your mind.

Not to be mistaken with stress-related anger, aggression means you accept the challenge and get ready to fight for the win! It’s an attitude of confidence and the determination not to give up! This is a healthy way to engage emotions in your workout. Take everything you’ve got and pour it into your performance.

You’ll need this attitude the most when you hit an obstacle, and your workout routine gets derailed—it happens to everyone at some point.


4. Plan for Challenges

It might sound opposite to the positive thinking mind trick, but if you accept that there will be challenges to overcome, it will help you achieve more in your fitness journey.

If you have a plan in mind for when you feel stuck, then getting stuck will be part of the plan—and it won’t crush you. You’ll be ready. You won’t sulk. And you definitely won’t give up!

Here are some ideas to help you overcome setbacks:

  • Team up! Ask for help and include someone you trust in your workout sessions. They’ll encourage you, hold you accountable (so you don’t walk away), and guide you as you push through the barrier.
  • Keep some backup training ideas in mind for when a workout doesn’t work out. That way, you’ll still end the day having achieved a goal—just a different one!
  • Unless it’s from an injury, pain is going to be a big part of your progress. See pain as a barrier to push through—run towards it, it’s a sign that you’re breaking new ground.

5. Aim High

The biggest threat to your workout success is complacency. If you want to improve, you need to adjust your goals and set new targets regularly. Make the most out of every moment at the gym and squeeze the opportunities out of every set.

To stay motivated, set small but steady goals that lead to your ultimate goal (be sure to visualize achieving this goal often!). Define success as every small step forward rather than only achieving your end goal.  

Every time you achieve a goal, no matter its size, your brain releases the chemical dopamine. This ”feel-good” hormone is a reward on its own. It boosts brain activity, gives you a feeling of pleasure, and even combats inflammation!

Remember that trying something new might feel strange, maybe even uncomfortable at first. Don’t give up! Try these mental strategies for a few weeks, figure out what works best for you, and you’ll soon notice the difference in your body, your mind, and your fitness goals.

Your Mind Matters During Workouts

During your workout, engage your focus and your thoughts. Clear your mind of distractions, visualize your success, get excited and ready to fight, and work hard to overcome setbacks. The result? Your body will function optimally, you’ll reach your potential, and you’ll achieve your goals!

Your mind is a powerful tool when you’re working out. It can either bring you down or help you show up! The good news is that you get to decide what to do with it—and that’s what makes all the difference.

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