Mind Games: How to Break Down Mental Barriers for Better Workouts

Brain

You're feeling great, you've been eating healthily, you've been laying off the cheeky pints and you've been getting plenty of shut eye – so why is your workout feeling so taxing? Physical fitness is only half of the battle when it comes to feeling good when you're pushing yourself. The mind can really make or break your workout. From boredom, to tiredness and a lack of ambition, there are all sorts of mental blocks we can “run” up against, whether we're going through our regular routine or trying to beat our personal best.

To help you win the fitness mind games and come up on top, we've put together some helpful tips, so you can get more out of your workout, whether you're training for a marathon or just going through your regular routine...

 

1. Take it in chunks

A whole end-to-end workout can feel daunting at the outset which can put you on the back-foot from the get go. When you tart feeling the burn a quarter way through, the idea of pushing on for another three quarters of the way can be enough to take the wind out of your sails. That's why breaking your workout into chunks is so important when you want to win the exercise mind games. Don't think about it as a big picture. Instead think of your workout in 5, 10 or 15 minute chunks for you to get through, setting achievable goals to celebrate and push yourself forwards with at the end of each stage.

 

2. Get a co-pilot

Whether you're in it for the moral support, the motivation or the competition, having a training partner is one of the very best ways to get on top of the mental fitness game. For some having someone to compete with helps them go further and faster. For others, the camaraderie of having someone to workout is the thing which makes all the distance – who wants to let their buddy down, after all?

 

3. Feel the rhythm

Music is fantastic for giving you a huge mental boost during exercise. Whether it's helping you keep up the pace with a pumped up, high BPM sound track, or getting you psyched with a powerful sound from your favourite musicians, build yourself a playlist which make you want to move and gets you motivated to help get your headspace right for a fantastic workout.

 

4. Plot your progress

There's little more motivating that seeing yourself make progress. Use a fitness tracker or even a simple spreadsheet to track whatever factors you care about from distance and reps, to speed and weight. Seeing yourself progress will make you want to do even more and make every session feel extra worthwhile.

 

Do you struggle to keep your head in the game during your workouts? How do you maintain mental positivity and focus during exercise? Share your stories and tip (and playlists!) with other readers in the Base London Facebook group.