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Mind over matter: Getting the most out of your training sessions

Written for The Daily Struggle

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Motivation can be a daily struggle for both the casual gym user and the amateur athlete. Often, it’s not just about motivating yourself to actually DO exercise but motivation to make the most of a session. Of course, any exercise is better than no exercise at all,  however, depending on your goals you’ll need to be training a certain way and this can prove to be a challenge.


We all go through phases when we think ‘…but do I have to?’ or …’is it that important if I make it to the gym or not?’. For me, this usually happens during November and December; the dark evenings and cold days are a huge disincentive! If you are the type of person that enjoys training at the gym then getting out to train is essential. What is the underlying factor? What makes it a struggle to get out? 

Maybe it’s because:

  • It’s cold

  • Its dark 

  • You’re tired 

  • You just CBA!

I suggest you change this mindset by counting to 5 as soon as you wake up. As soon as you hit 5 GET UP OUT OF BED! Check out Mel Robbins (The queen of get up and go!) blog about the 5 elements of the 5 second rule.


Is the action of starting exercise a pain in the butt? Does exercise scare you? Getting your engine started sometimes requires external help; maybe seek help and support from a personal trainer, accountability buddy, online coach, group fitness instructor. Explore to find what works for you. 


Now here is one of the biggest challenges I face when training clients; getting people to push themselves, challenge themselves, expand their comfort zones. It can be super-easy to do the bare minimum in a session, to do the basics, go for a short, light run, do light weights etc.  But if you opt for this strategy you’ll get stuck, your fitness won’t improve, you won’t gain muscle, you won’t reduce your fat percentage. I can’t stress how important it is to push yourself. As the saying goes: ‘NO PAIN, NO GAIN’, admittedly cliché, but it’s so relevant. Exercise can be mentally and physically painful for many people, especially when exercise has been a foreign activity for so many years. One day it will click, but persistence is key. 


Ensuring your training is consistent is vital for:

  • Achieving your goals 

  • Maintaining good health

  • Growing/strengthening your muscles

  • Building up your immune system 

  • Maintaining positive mental health  

Finally, staying consistent requires a lot and I mean a lot of motivation. But it’s so important; sticking to your game plan will reap many rewards. I would say that lack of motivation is the biggest obstacle to exercise; we live very busy lifestyles, we have lots of other commitments that we prioritise, even though exercise and our well-being should be in the top 3 of our list. 

All of these challenges relate to mindset! You might think it’s your body that can’t do it but in reality, it’s all down to positive self-talk, diminishing doubt and increasing your ability to handle discomfort. Our mind is the most powerful weapon we have; we can achieve anything we set our minds too. Remember this when you think ‘I just can’t to this,’ ‘It’s impossible,’ or ‘I am never going to achieve my goals’.

Our mental and physical well-being is what matters, do what works for you.

Want to work with me? Get in touch

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