You probably already know that the mental aspects of strength and endurance training are just as important as the physical. But, did you know the mentality you build during physical exertion can be even more crucial for the fight or flight response.
When your body is preparing to either fight or flee, the mental state you’re in can determine how well you perform. With the state of the world, building up your mental capabilities alongside your physical ones is seriously important, nerds.
Mental Strength Is Built During Training
Mental strength is vital in any physical activity, but it is essential in strength and endurance training. Think about it. When you are struggling to lift that bar, are you going to push through the pain and get it done? Or are you going to give up and say you can’t?
Granted, sometimes you hit failure and sometimes you just cannot physically move a weight no matter how hard you try. I am not talking about those times.
I am talking strictly about when you hit a bit of resistance and the choices you make when you do.
Your mental state can determine how well you perform, regardless of what challenges you are presented with.
If you are mentally strong and determined, you’ll be more likely to push yourself harder and achieve your goals. On the other hand, if you feel down or unmotivated, you’re more likely to slack off and not reach your full potential. Or, worse. You could injure yourself because you went through the motions without the intensity you should have used.
That’s why it is so important to have a solid mental game when you’re working out.
As an added bonus, if you are intense in the gym, you build up the confidence in yourself you may need to rely on some day out of the gym.
God forbid you find yourself in an actual fight or flight response scenario, where would you fall right now? Can you run the mile that might save your life? Can you lift yourself over an obstacle? Do you have the mental fortitude and confidence in your physical abilities to get yourself out of that circumstance?
If not, fix it. The world is a wild place, and your individual fitness level is essential to your own well being.
How to Stay Focused During Your Workouts
How do you stay focused during strength and endurance training, though? There are so many distractions, and unless you are in a one-on-one session or group class, chances are no one is supervising how well you stay on task.
Well, thanks for asking. Here are a few tips:
Start With A Positive Mindset
When you start working out, start with a confident, positive attitude. Tell yourself that you’re going to crush that workout, and that you’re going to reach your goals no matter how long it takes.
Look into your own eyes through the mirror while you say it if you need to. It will help get you into the right mindset for a successful workout.
Set Realistic Goals
Don’t set yourself up for failure by setting unrealistic goals. Make sure your goals are challenging but achievable. It will help you stay motivated and focused on your workout.
Give yourself a timeframe to accomplish them, and spell out exactly what you want to accomplish. Don’t forget to explain WHY you want to accomplish them, either. Then, use that ‘why’ as motivation to stay on track.
Instead of, “I want to be able to run a mile” try “I am going to run a mile in under 8 minutes within the next six months so I can know that if I need to, I can get away from danger.”
Create A Plan
Creating a plan for your workout will help you stay on track and focused. Decide what exercises you’re going to do, how often you are going to do them, and how long you’re going to work out for each time.
Having a plan will help minimize distractions and keep you on track.
Make it as detailed as possible, and as realistic and functional as possible.
You cannot have a goal of being able to get yourself over tall obstacles and only do air squats. You have to train to your goals. Anything else is a distraction.
Overcoming Obstacles in Your Training
Just like in life, there will be times when you face obstacles in your training. It is essential to have the mental strength to overcome these obstacles.
Find A Role Model
Look for someone who has overcome similar obstacles to those you’re facing. Having a role model will give you the inspiration you need to push through, and can you pointers on how to overcome them. There is a beauty in picking the brain of someone who has already done it.
Works like a shortcut. You can bypass all the failed attempts and go straight to what works.
Visualize Your Success
When you’re struggling, visualize yourself achieving your goal. See yourself reaching your goal and overcoming the obstacle in your way. It will help give you the strength to keep going.
Actually, visualize yourself overcoming the obstacle before you even try to tackle it and keep ‘seeing’ yourself winning all the way through. Don’t wait until you are mentally defeated. Visualize early and often. This is huge for mental strength and toughness.
Find A Support Group
Surround yourself with people who will support and encourage you. A support group can provide the motivation and positive reinforcement to overcome obstacles.
This can be in the form of friends, gym classes, a strength and endurance trainer, family, or even a group of like minded folks online.
Whatever you need to do in order to surround yourself with people in the same boat, do it.
You know, the whole, ‘Lone wolf dies, but the pack survives’ cliché.
Fight or Flight Response
That’s all good info, but how does that play into our daily lives?
Answer: In every way imaginable.
Fight or flight doesn’t need to even be *just* a survive scenario. It can be anything from having the confidence to approach your manager for a raise to public speaking to escape from a natural disaster, and everything in between. Mindset is everything in every activity you do every single day.
Confidence really is king, and one of the best ways to build confidence in yourself and your abilities to physically train. You’d be surprised what you are capable of with just a bit of strength and endurance training.
If you train yourself to run a few miles, you are confident enough to know you can probably sprint 100 yards to safety if needed.
If you can squat twice your body weight, you know you can probably carry a buddy to safety if they are injured.
Now, don’t go to the gym for a month and get arrogant. No. Confidence =/= Arrogance. Confidence is knowing what you are capable of and being humble about it while still knowing your limitations.
Arrogance, on the other hand, is not knowing those limits and broadcasting it to the world. People can see that, and know the difference. Those aren’t the kinds of people you want to be.
In a world like the one we currently live in, you need to do everything you can to give yourself an edge. We all have seen how quickly a life of comfort can transform into a war zone ‘thanks’ to the Ukraine-Russia conflict.
Your physical strength, cardio levels, diet, mental strength, endurance, and mobility all play a role in your survivability as well as your quality of life.
Put in the work today for whatever tomorrow brings along with it.
Let Us Help You Out
At CONDITIONerd we are here to help you achieve better physical and mental health through exercise. Check out the plans we offer to our customers and see if you could benefit from working with our team. And if you have questions, you can always contact a CONDITIONerd team member.
Personal trainers, like those found here, can help guide you on your pathway towards reaching your fitness goals, whether that is getting bigger, stronger, faster, more lean, or just generally feeling better.
We can get you setup with a periodized workout plan, supplement information, and advice on nutrition to help you reach your goals.
The only thing you need is some motivation and a willingness to change some old habits.
Get into contact with us to find out what membership is right for you. In a CONDITIONerd program, you’ll be surrounded by others who can help you to get where you want to be.
Generally, our clients start to see some pretty awesome changes in 2-3 months time, some sooner.
Remember, the world is crazy. Fitness is Essential.