Mental Block While Training

It’s my favorite day to train.

I am pumped for the gym with my favorite playlist on.

Headphones in. Gym bag over my shoulder. Shaker bottle in hand.

Let’s go crush this workout.

Warm up and stretches complete, now time to hit dead lifts. First couple lifts are feeling great. Then I get to my heavy working sets. I have 3 sets of 4 reps. First rep easy. Back down for the second rep. We got this! Third rep done, okay last one let’s go, and nothing! I got the barbell off the floor; totally could have had it, but I dropped it. It wasn’t due to physical fatigue, yeah my muscles were feeling the strain of the heavy weight. But I could lift it. My mind said I couldn’t.

What happened? Why did the first 3 reps go off without a hitch and the last one I couldn’t follow through? I have hit a mental barrier in training. My mind is chattering at quite possibly the wrong time! I don’t have time to listen to this chatter when I have a workout that needs to be done and this rep that needs to be completed.

What is this chatter saying? You are going to hurt your back again. Are you sure your form is good enough to be completing this movement? You’ve worked so hard to get where you are now, do you really want an injury to take you out of the game? 

Yes, I am well aware of how silly all this chatter actually sounds. But in the moment it seems like this chatter knows best. Therefore, I drop the weight. Ugh! I could have had that!

“Your body won’t go where you mind doesn’t push it”

Have you ever heard of that saying “your body won’t go where you mind doesn’t push it?” That is exactly what happened durning my lift. My mind said, nope you are done. So my body followed suit and couldn’t lift the weight all of a sudden.

So how do you get past these mental barriers?

Din’t give up on yourself before you’ve even had the chance to try. I will look at my workouts ahead of time and start to freak out a little bit about the weight coach programed. She wants me to lift what for how many reps?!?! Don’t unnecessarily freak yourself out. Look at the program workout and think positively about the weight you are going to be moving. Vision yourself doing it.

You’ve practiced for this moment, embrace it. If you’ve been lifting awhile you know what your body can handle. You know the steps you are going to take to set up for this lift and then to execute it. You have practiced for this moment. Each workout, each rep is another chance to practice your skill. Don’t cut yourself short because you are reaching new levels of weight.

Accept the challenge. Look at each new weight you have to lift as a challenge. It’s you against you. Are you going to let your mind win or your body win?

Have fun. Don’t take your lift too seriously. Let me first preface by saying, yes you are lifting some heavy weight, you do not want to go about this carelessly. But on the other hand, this is your passion! This is your time to shine. So even though you may not have gotten the rep or the weight you were going for don’t pack up your gym back and go home. This is meant to be fun and enjoyed, and a little pain on the side #hellosoreness. Keep going, don’t quit. laugh it off and go again.

Have a killer playlist. I love to workout with music. The days I forget my headphones, lord help me. But seriously, put on some gangsta rap and handle it. I love to pump myself up with some tunes, get hyped, and go for it!

Have you hit a mental block? How did you push past it?

*As always consult your physician before starting a new fitness regime. If something feels off or hurting, stop and seek medical attention.

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