After committing to a routine and getting yourself into the gym on a regular basis, you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your training. Not only because want to get results, but because it becomes a self-serving feedback loop.
As you put a lot into training and see results, it motivates you to work even harder and see even more results. This is how you develop a love for the process of training.
If you love the process of training, you will be set for a successful fitness career. Rather than having to force yourself to go to the gym, you will want to go. When you enjoy it, you’re going to be a lot more consistent, and your body will reflect that.
Below are the 5 things you can use to increase your output in the gym. They’re mental tricks, to make you work harder, and get more out of your training.
Connect with your purpose
Why are you in the gym? What are you training for?
There’s a deeper reason why this is important to you. Something motivated you to get started. Somewhere in your mind, there is a vision of who and where you want to be, and working out is helping you to fulfill that.
This is a very powerful vision. When you have clarity of where you’re going, and importantly why, it will pull you strongly towards it.
I like to use the question “what am I fighting for?”
Ask yourself that question, when you want to feel a kick of inspiration. Answer it honestly, emotionally. Put some vigor behind your words. There’s a deep and powerful reason why you want to be in shape. Make sure that you can feel it. Don’t just say it, feel it in your body as you say it.
Feel the emotions it invokes. This will be your drive.
You can use it when you’re in the gym, between sets, mid-set when things are getting hard. Use it before you start, to get fired up and ready to train hard. Use it when you’re laying on the couch and don’t feel like getting up to go to the gym.
When you know what you’re fighting for it will be a powerful emotional trigger that can get you ‘in the zone’ in an instant.
The gym is focus time. What you put into it, you will get back out.
If you’re trudging along on the elliptical machine while reading a magazine and scrolling Facebook, you are probably going to find the gym boring. You’re probably going to struggle motivating yourself to get there, and you’re probably not going to see great results, even when you do get yourself there.
To really get the most out of your gym efforts you need to get in, be fully focused and present on the process, work hard, and get out.
After connecting with your purpose to get fired up, you should get straight into training. Make sure you already have a workout plan, so you can go from station to station without thinking about what you’re doing, or trying to decide what exercises to do.
Leave your phone in the locker, stop reading Facebook or replying to emails. Spend 45 minutes disconnected from the world. This will allow you to be present and focus on your training. Not only does this lead to better training sessions, it’s also a great stress release, to reset your mind and get you out of work mode for a little while. You’ll go back refreshed and reinvigorated.
The gym isn’t social time – it is work time. Get your head down and get on with it if you want to get the most out of it.
Time your rest periods
We all tend to take too much rest if we’re left to our own devices. Why wouldn’t you? It’s much more comfortable to rest than it is to go again while your heart rate is still elevated and you’re fighting to catch your breath back.
Unfortunately, we need to push ourselves and stay honest on the rest periods. This will mean we train harder, get more out of our training, and we’ll even finish quicker.
Your rest periods should be pre-determined as a part of your training plan, and then simply use a stopwatch to stick to them. It will feel hard at first, but your fitness will quickly increase, and your body will show the results.
Using music as a way to get fired up, present in the moment, and work harder is a great option for most people.
Whether you respond to aggressive music, or just something high-tempo, use music to get you ‘in the mood’ for training.
When you get lost in the flow of the music, you will absolutely work harder, without noticing it. An extra rep here and there adds up over time and makes a difference.
I suggest getting an old school iPod or putting your phone on airplane mode, so you can listen to music without the distraction of the internet.
Have a partner push you
This won’t be an option for everybody, but if it is possible, a good gym partner is worth their weight in gold.
Whether you’re in friendly competition, have a nurturing partner who is more advanced than yourself, or simply someone else who is motivated and will give words of encouragement; having a buddy to train with will always push you harder than you would alone.
Even subconsciously, you’re going to want to impress your partner, rather than give up and look lazy. While you would let yourself off the hook, in your mind, you won’t allow that weakness to show in front of a friend.
If you know somebody, or can find someone in the gym to workout with, do whatever it takes to make it happen. If you have to change the time that you train or even change gym, it will be worth it.
Do whatever it takes to find one, and once you have a good workout partner, nurture the relationship, and make sure you’re able to keep it going. It will benefit both of your immensely.
The harder you train, the better your outcomes will be. That’s a simple fact.
Use these tips to get a little more out of yourself every session, and over time it quickly adds up to create a significant difference in both your physique and you mindset.