This one could piss some people off……
I believe that the way in which you train says a lot about a person.
I believe that the ability to push yourself to your limits when it counts is a sign of intelligence, that is different that of which you can learn in books.
I believe that most hard workers in the gym tend to be hard workers in other aspects of their lives.
And I believe that slackers in the gym, will turn out to be slackers in other aspects of their life as well!
I believe this so much, that we include it in our recruitment process at PPT. One of the final steps a potential trainer must take part in is a short, but extremely intense training session. We don’t aim to kill them, but we’ll take them close just to see if they’ll quit. It’s a test of mental toughness to see if they’ll quit along the way, knowing that if they do they’ve probably just lost their chance to work their with us. In short, can they put up with a little short term pain, for a long term gain.
Training is a funny thing, and those of us who push ourselves and take part regularly are looked at a little differently at times by those who don’t. You might have heard things like; “You’re nuts! Why would you WANT TO do that to yourself?” or “I can’t believe you’d PAY to do that!”. For many of us, I think that the ability to stay consistent and push our limits when it counts is knowing that the short-term pain that we’re putting ourselves through is going to pay off with increased mental toughness, and physical gains that others might be leaving on the table. I know for me personally, any time I go through a tough workout or training program, the feeling of knowing I beat ‘myself’ and some of that negative self-talk (we all do it), and that I didn’t tap out when others might have is INCREDIBLY satisfying.
Back to my point though. I’ve had the privilege of working with many successful people. People that have worked hard to build successful careers and businesses from many different industries. Although there’s probably been some outliers, one common theme that I’ve noticed in many of these successful clients is the ability to PUSH THEMSELVES. Whether its conscious or subconscious, I believe these people recognize the value of hard work, have seen what it can do for them in their lives, and carry that into the gym. Like I said, it doesn’t go the same for everyone, but I’d bet with the right motivation and guidance most successful, hard-working people can become BEASTS in the gym!
Now you might be reading this thinking, I just don’t have that mental toughness in me.
My response? Maybe you don’t NOW, but you can totally train this!
Just like training a muscle, each and every workout you do when you increase intensity, you’ll potentially increase your strength or size of that muscle. It GROWS! Your BRAIN, or in this case, YOUR MENTAL TOUGHNESS grows with it. Start small, test your current mental limits, and when you come back for your next workout, test them again. Remember, when you’re in that moment when you want to quit, and you don’t, you just got another ‘mental toughness’ rep in! Congratulations, you’re getting stronger!
Just like our muscles, it’s important to know that you can also ‘over-train’ your brain. Pushing, or redlining every single workout not only can have detrimental effects on your body, but your mental state as well. Personally, earlier this year, this was me. I spent a good part of 8 months pushing my limits most workouts. No real ‘de-loads’ or easy training blocks, just lots of tough training (so stupid!). The end result, was a physical and mental burnout that cost me a lot of momentum. In the end, I just wasn’t enjoying training like I used to, and found it difficult to muster up the motivation to get all of my training in. Luckily for me, I eventually recognized it, made some adjustments and now I’m back on the wagon. I adjusted my training volumes, took up Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and made training fun again.
Next time you’re in the gym, remember the results that come about from training are only in part physical. Never underestimate your potential to improve, and know that each and every tough workout you put yourself through could be enhancing so many other aspects of your day to day life.
Want to get in touch with our team to work on your mental toughness in the gym, get in touch with through our contact page