When it comes to achieving your fitness goals, your mindset is the ultimate determinant of your success. As the famous saying goes, “whether you think you can, or think you can’t—you’re right.”
We know that where the mind goes, the body has no choice but to follow. Physical results only follow mental training, so when you get your mindset locked down, you’re well on your way to success.
Rocky Balboa has a great quote that describes ‘mind over matter’: “It’s not about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done.”
The human brain is amazing, and it can help you to overcome some of the biggest challenges life might throw at you. The ability to complete one more rep or one more mile no matter how tired you are is a simple question of if you want to achieve that rep or mile badly enough. We’ve all been there. No matter your fitness level, success in health and fitness is 90% between the ears – your mind.
Think back to one of your toughest workouts, a particularly strenuous Race, or maybe that one heavy lift you never thought you’d get to move. Before you start these, you have your goal in mind, you’re fresh and ready… so off you go, Coming out hot thinking: “YEAH I GOT THIS”
Here is the problem: your body’s natural ability to summon that explosiveness won’t last you too long. So you hang on for a bit, but all of a sudden the wheels fall off. Your breath starts to labor and your pace starts to slow. You begin to assess the situation and realize that at best you’re about 1/4th of the way through. “I’m not gonna make it,” “I can’t do it,” “I want to quit,” The negative self talk arises and so comes “The Moment.” The moment where either you:
- Give in to the liar in your head that feeds you self limiting nonsense, and you accept less than your best
- You find that extra power that’s inside you and achieve what mere seconds ago seemed impossible.
This is an average example where “Mind over Matter” is extremely important in mental and emotional fitness. Many endurance or seasoned athletes attribute developing this skill to their accomplishments and goals and sometimes consider it more important than physical fitness. If you don’t focus on mental preparedness, your body will give out before your mind will. However, if you are mentally fit, then you will be able to push past limits you never thought possible.
A very important factor is:
How to Compartmentalize
…Stop overthinking everything.
You have to trust the process. Let training and/or the event come to you. Have a plan and execute it. This translates to more than sports, this is a life lesson. There is a saying, “If you live life long enough, then it will teach you how to live it.” The same is true with endurance and training .
Design a Portion of Your Training Sessions Specifically to Build Mental Fitness.
Example : As Many Rounds As Possible for 60 Minutes:
100 Dumbbell Step Ups with 10-20 lbs.
10 Sandbag Getups
Put yourself in a very uncomfortable state that forces you to focus and face key problems mentally that they must overcome. At what point did you need a break? When did you want to quit? When did you feel your best after bouncing back? The movements by themselves are not difficult, but when you pair them together with repetition over time, the perceived effort load is magnified. It also will give you a moment to be honest with yourself on where you need to develop mentally, while in the middle of the process. From there, take this newly developed mental fitness out of the gym, into the real world, and at your next event.