Do you think the training results are not really coming? Does it feel heavy to get to the workout? Don’t have that little extra to give? It may not be at all in the body where your limitations are – you need mental training. We give you good exercises to get you started!
What is Mental Training?
It can sound extremely pretentious with mental training in sports, that it is something that only elite athletes do. But that is not the case – mental training in exercise can be as effective. It can be about visualizing that you succeed or setting goals. Sometimes attitude is everything and that’s what you should focus more on. It is important to remember that this is not a competition and that it is not about being the best at mental training.
Mental training – methods:
- Visualization – imagine running a race and running into the finish line on light legs and with arms outstretched. New personal record! Cheering crowds and the medal around the neck. Now think instead of linking the finish line with a crooked back and the look on the slopes. Bloody sores on the feet and empty stands in the rain.
You probably understand where we’re headed with this. This is about visualizing and seeing your goals the way you want to achieve it. The brain’s attitude plays an incredibly big role in how you will succeed. If you feel that you have a negative attitude about how something will go, try to identify what it is that makes you feel that way. Haven’t you trained enough? Are you injured? Did it go bad last time and now you have negative attitude towards sports?
When you know what the problem is, you can more easily do something about it. Usually, it’s the brain playing mind games. If you know that you are adequately trained, not injured and that you learned from your mistakes last time, you will not do it again. Now visualize how you want it to be and don’t let go of that thought – it can carry you far.
Method for the exerciser: imagine for yourself how you want to feel when you have finished a training session when the workout is over. You will be strong, tired and happy in the shower. Focus on that feeling when it feels heavy to go off to workout.
- Goals and sub-goals – working with goals is another way through which you can influence your training with mental training. Practice on thinking about the small sub-goals and not the gigantic big goal that is far ahead. The brain is no smarter than being super happy when you have managed to reach a goal, no matter how small a goal it is. And when your brain gets happy, it rewards you with “feel good” hormones.
A common mistake is to give up before you start. It is especially common when you are just at the beginning of your training journey. You stare blindly at the big goal (run the mile, lose 10 kilos, then lift special weight in the bench press). It’s easy to forget to see the small victories, like you actually went to the gym, that you went out and ran for 15 minutes, that you managed the whole workout session without having to take extra rest.
Method for the exerciser: Set a new goal every week, for example, that you can run for 10 minutes without having to walk, that you can join a slightly heavier group class or that you increase some weights in the gym. The most important thing is that the goal must be measurable so that you know when you have succeeded.
- Self-talk – this is the third method in mental training that one can use. Yes, it feels very ridiculous at first, but sometimes the brain may need to hear those happy and motivating words that you are strong, that you are quick and easy. And if no one else says it, you have to do it yourself. But you can do it for yourself, you don’t have to say it out loud.
When it gets heavy during the workout, think that you are strong, that you can handle this, that it is easy. Or you can just chase a little fucking embrace in yourself by tapping your thighs or folding your hands together to find extra strength. Also, use the visualization here. How was it to feel after the workout? That’s it, strong, tired and happy. But don’t try to motivate yourself with negative words like “stop being so bad!” It’ll take you nowhere. Instead, think “I know I can do this!”.
Method for the exerciser: remember these words “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection” – Buddha.
text by coach Iris