You’ve had a long, hard day at the office. Battled evening traffic to get to the gym. Couldn’t find a parking spot for 15 mins and barely rushed into your favorite class.
You’re steamed, frustrated, angry.
Once down the rabbit hole you start thinking, “What’s the point of all this anyway. I haven’t lost a pound in two months and I ate birthday cake for lunch! I mean, I skipped Veronica’s happy hour for this. For THIS? I can’t believe this instructor looks that fabulous. I’m so fat. None of this makes a difference. This isn’t going to melt off these saddle bags!” and on and on your mind goes. Well, turn that frown upside down friend because MINDSET MATTERS!
A Positive Mindset Makes Your Workout More Effective.
The mind-body connection is strong and mindset can effect every area of your life.
“Mindset” is defined as “a mental frame or lens that selectively organizes and encodes information, thereby orienting an individual toward a unique way of understanding an experience and guiding one toward corresponding actions and responses”.
The mindsets you choose to adopt will frame and create your entire experience. Research is now proving that people who have positive beliefs about fitness and their own regime can yield greater results than those with a negative mindset. Even when they do the exact same workouts. That’s right. Same moves, same class with one singular difference. Mindset. It can be the difference between reaching your fitness and aesthetic goals faster and more effectively or hitting and staying at plateaus.
A Positive Mindset Leads To Higher Quality Workouts.
Think positively about your workout and your life in general to help improve the outcome of your workout. By simply improving your mindset the quality of your workout goes up. Positive thinking has been shown to increase energy levels, which can increase exercise intensity. It also helps combat exercise resistance, allowing you to break through barriers and surpass personal bests more easily. Negative emotions have an equally significant impact on exercise quality. Anger, frustration and sadness will not just leave you feeling emotionally exhausted, but can cause you to tire more quickly and decrease your ability to take full, deep breaths. The result? Your workout is flat, uninspired, and definitely less effective.
How To Shift Your Fitness Mindset.
The good news? Your mindset is as trainable as your biceps. With repetitive practice, awareness and work you can shift your mindset to a positive, empowering place with the best workouts of your life soon to follow! Here are some tips on how to shift your fitness mindset:
- Stop comparing yourself to others – Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy”, and it’s as true in fitness as it is in any other area of your life. Comparison to others can lead to negative, self destructive beliefs that paralyze you and zap your motivation. The truth is, none of us have any idea what the reality of someone else’s life is. That fitness influencer on Instagram, that guy with the perfect pecs, or that Mom who can squat twice her body weight undoubtedly has a story and life as difficult and complicated as you. Things aren’t as perfect as they appear. Instead of comparing – try practicing gratitude. Focus on the things about your body you are grateful for. The things that help you live the life you enjoy. Start a gratitude journal or spend 5 minutes each morning meditating on the gifts in your life and the parts of your body you love.
- Embrace the struggle – The struggle is real y’all and thank God. Growth happens when we are at our limits. Pushing your muscles to failure is how you make them grow. Your mindset is no different. When things feel hard (or even down right impossible) you are being gifted the biggest opportunity of your life. The chance to step into your full potential and own your power. Failure, faltering, making missteps are often the very things that lead to the next break out performance. Don’t believe me? Take it from basketball great Michael Jordan who said, “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” So next time you binge eat at 2 am, skip the gym for a week, or suddenly don’t make it through a workout you’ve been dominating for months, take note of what you can learn and prepare yourself for your next big step up.
- Learn to celebrate – Often times we have a hard time celebrating ourselves. Accomplishments big and small compile in our lives and we let them slide by, barely noticing at all. Making it to the gym one extra time per week, lifting slightly more weight, or even just doing one more rep may all feel like small things, but not taking the time to celebrate our tiny victories prevents us from seeing how far we have actually come. Try creating a journal where you write down every step, big or small, you’ve taken towards your health and fitness goals. When discouragement strikes, a glance back at your journal is proof (and a reminder) of all the hard work you’re putting in. Once you start noticing your victories, make a point to tell someone. As the two of you engage in an impromptu “success dance party” you’ll be well on your way to a more positive mindset!
Jess Appel is excited by fitness because of its ability to truly transform lives. Carefully building a physically strong, well-fed body changes the way you feel and interact with the world. After 15 years in the fitness industry, Jess has witnessed and directed a multitude of physical transformations and is an expert at helping clientele break through plateaus. Not only will Jess transform your physique and ignite your metabolic engine, she will radically revolutionize the way you feel in your body.