You know that feeling you sometimes get when you’re 10 minutes into a workout and your whole body screams “I cannot do this!”? Me too. Since I started boxing classes a few months ago, though, I’ve come up with a few great tips for powering through a really gruelling workout. They’ve helped me work through the pain and even start to ignore it, which is particularly useful during fitness classes.
Today I thought I’d share my favourite ways to push through an impossible workout – some of them take a while to perfect, whilst others have brought me instant relief. Feel free to share your own in the comments too – sometimes anything is worth a try!
Focus on one thing only
Choose a noise, sight, smell or thought and focus everything on that thing. I find it particularly useful to fix my mind on a repetitive song – the more annoying the better – and use the focus to block out the burning pain for a few more seconds or minutes. This technique has helped me massively with running, and awful muscle training like squats and crunches.
Breathing is everything
Generally your body takes care of its own breathing, so when you first try to pay attention to your breathing technique, it can be difficult. Figuiring out the correct way to breathe for the exercise you’re doing is the best way to give it your all for longer. A quick google can usually clear it up, or if you’re with a class or PT ask the professional to monitor your breathing for a few reps. When I perfected my breathing for planking, I knocked out an extra 20 seconds right away, which doesn’t sound much if you’ve never planked before. Also, if you’re really struggling, breathing out expletives can help release mental pressure…
Don’t count your reps upwards
If you have a brain like mine, counting towards a final number can be dangerous – at the beginning you despair that you’re so far away from finishing and at the end you’re tempted to slack because you’re almost done. In classes I now just count sets of 3; “1-2-3-1-2-3” until someone says stop – or I repeat a word every rep. It’s not very handy for keeping count of reps, but it stops you focusing on how much you have done or have left to do.
I used to hate when someone told me to visualise success whilst I was sweating away on a treadmill. Back then success was a hot chocolate and not having a PT screaming in my face. Now I get it. If you visualise yourself doing the exact same activity – but better – it helps you to perform according to that vision. Try it, you’ll see what I mean.
So that’s how I manage to power through a really tough workout. Do you have any other tips for beating the mid-workout slump? Share share!