3 Useful Hacks for Better Results in the Gym
I get it. You’re feeling discouraged. You’ve spent hours on the bench, in the squat rack, and on the treadmill, but you’re not seeing any results. You’d think that putting in that much time and energy at the gym would result in heavier lifts, faster miles, and six-pack abs, right? But with all the reps and sets you’ve invested in your body, you forgot to flex the most important muscle of all: your mind. The mind is a powerful tool that is underutilized in most fitness regimens. We all have this habit of picking weights up and putting them back down without letting our mind bring more purpose to each rep.
That stops now. The following mindset hacks will smash your plateaus and help break through any walls that you’ve been running up against in your training. They will help you accelerate towards your goals and make each workout count.
- Write down why you started
There’s often a deeper reason behind hitting the gym than we’d all like to admit. We’ll tell our friends that it’s because we want to lose a few pounds, get in shape for the summer, or to increase your bench press max by 10 kilos.
But there’s always a deeper reason—a deeper purpose to our exercise. It might be so that you can play with your kids without losing your breath. It might be that the fire between you and your wife has fizzled out and you know it’s because you let yourself go. It might be that you need to prove to yourself that you can accomplish what you’ve set out to do, whether it’s lose 5 kilos or, run 10 kilomiters.
Whatever your bigger, more meaningful reason is…write it down. Keep it somewhere that you can see it every time you’re going through your workout. It doesn’t have to be a paragraph or long drawn-out speech to yourself. Just make a quick note somewhere visible like “my wife,” “my kids” or “so I don’t die young.”
Every time you feel like taking it easy or leaving halfway through your workout, that reminder will keep you focused on why you really started in the first place.
- Set realistic goals
Whether you’re trying to lose weight, lift more, or run faster, your goals may be too lofty to keep you moving towards them. Goals are essential, but if they feel too far out of reach, you may lose your motivation when your results don’t come fast enough. The mind has a funny way of losing interest in your goals if they seem impossible to obtain.
To defend against this loss of drive and motivation in the gym, shorten the gap between what you are currently capable of and what your goal is.
If you’re currently benching 100 kilos and your ultimate goal is to bench over 125 kilos, keep your mind focused on putting up 5 kilos within the next month. The smaller incremental increase is within reach and will feel more attainable.
125 is too far off, while 105 is something that you can see happening. It will keep you showing up with motivation every time you work your chest, and it will ultimately lead to more success. Once you put up 105, create another realistic, incremental goal that will keep you inspired to stay with it.
- Set up a deadline
There is nothing that produces better results than time restraints. Whether it’s getting in shape for a vacation or trimming up for your wedding day, having a firm date circled on your calendar keeps you accountable. It works.
Without a deadline for your fitness goals, your mind allows you to take it easy. If you skip a workout, it’s no big deal. What’s the rush? There’s nothing that you’re getting your body ready for, so that missed workout doesn’t affect your psyche at all.
Whether it’s an actual big event, such as a wedding or vacation, or just a deadline that you create for yourself, knowing that you need to get it done by a certain day is a tremendous mindset hack that will bring you big results.
All in all
The mind is powerful. It can either work for you or against you, so use it wisely. Your physical strength won’t reach new heights until you build a mind that is equally strong. Use these hacks to create the change that you’re seeking. We all get stagnant in our health and fitness from time to time, but tuning into your mind is a surefire way to breathe life back into your workouts.