Train hard. Recover. Repeat. It’s a simple cycle. Still—as you well know—there will be times when you struggle during a WOD. When a session is tough, keeping your eye on the prize is harder than you might expect. Luckily, you have a secret weapon: your mind. Try these mental tips to keep you moving even when you feel that you can’t.
5 Mental Tips to Keep Grinding During Your WOD
1. It’s okay to be uncomfortable.
Are you feeling uncomfortable during your WOD? That’s okay. The truth of the matter is that there’s nothing wrong with experiencing some malaise or even strain. When you’re working hard as part of your session, you have one aim: to break down barriers. That means that you’re going to need to push yourself well outside of your comfort zone.
If you’re aiming to level up and take your sessions a step further, you have to prepare yourself for this aspect of training. You may ache. Your muscles may quiver. A seriously grueling workout may make you question your ability. The point is that you should relish that challenge and move forward all the same. That’s what matters the most.
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"The Open is (for most of us), our “sport”. Our game day, where we turn our training into performance. Looking at training as that, as “practice” instead of “work outs” goes a long way in terms of focusing on our development as an athlete. Train to improve, compete to win. Read that again." – @iamkhanporter
2. Remember your most successful sessions.
Working hard when your body wants to give up can be tough, to say the least. If you’re struggling to get through your WOD, here’s a mental trick that could help. Cast your memory back to your most successful sessions. It might sound odd but remembering positive moments in your training could give you some much-needed motivation.
Let’s face it—the mind is a highly powerful tool. Research from the University of New Hampshire suggests that past memories can directly influence how people train in the future. The researchers noted that participants who recalled positive memories relating to exercise also reported an increase in their motivation to work out.
3. Just keep moving.
Every single movement is progress. While you may feel that the session has you beat, you need to keep this vital point in mind. Sure, you may be slowing down due to fatigue and exhaustion. However, the last thing that you should do is quit. The moment you stop, you will regret it. To make matters worse, it will be even harder to get back up and start again.
For that reason, in the moments that you feel as though you’re ready to give up, remind yourself of this important fact. It’s okay to feel the strain of your WOD and need to give your body time to recover. You can take things down a notch. You can allow yourself to catch your breath for a minute. However, you can’t stop—it’s that simple.
4. Focus on your competition.
It doesn’t matter if you’re competing with yourself or a workout partner—having something to beat is key. Research from the University of Pennsylvania suggests that healthy competition is one of the most powerful motivation tools when it comes to exercise. With that in mind, keeping track of your achievements during your WOD and scoring yourself against previous sessions or someone else’s session is a smart move.
While—when you’re in the middle of the most grueling workout—you may not have your sights set high, unleashing your competitive side could be a game-changer. The moment that you focus your mind on reaching a particular goal or, more likely, surpassing it, you will find that propelling yourself forward is much easier. Try it for yourself.
5. Try your best and have no regrets.
The last thing you want is to walk out of the gym with regrets. Don’t beat yourself up over how you’re performing during a difficult session. Instead, keep looking forward and focus on what you can do right now. As your teachers would have told you back in school, you have to try your best every time. That’s all you can do. Put simply, you can only work as hard as you can work. Period. So long as you’re pushing yourself as hard as possible, you should be proud of what you have achieved during your session.
Ready to get moving and take your training to new heights? Whenever things get hard, remind yourself that the WOD will soon be over. It’s a short part of your day, which is why you want to make the most of it. Use these mental tips to motivate you to work harder and keep going until you complete your session. So long as you have control over your mind, controlling your body (and making it work!) should be a cinch.
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