Last night after I taught my Interval Training class, one of the members approached me and said that she really enjoys taking my class because it’s not just physically challenging, but because it’s intellectually challenging as well. This made me so happy. Like, made my day happy.
I am a strong believer in exercise being completely mental. Sure it takes strength to lift heavy weights and endurance to run long distances, but if you tell yourself “I can’t,” it doesn’t matter how weak or strong or slow or fast you are. You won’t be able to do it. If your mind says “I can,” well, you will. At the very least, you can start. You can try. You can get there. And if you push your fitness levels each and every week, little by little, you will sharpen your mental toughness as well. You will be able to push through those naysayer thoughts and start overcoming the “I don’t feel like it” and “I won’t be able to do it” lines.
When I teach, I want each person in my class challenging themselves. I don’t want them there because pushups are hard or because that favorite glute series of mine is a killer. I mean of course that helps, but I want people there because they want to challenge themselves and do something beyond what they did the week before. I start class by telling everyone that it doesn’t matter what the person next to them is doing as long as they are making THEIR hour worthwhile and that they’re working hard. If that means they march in place the entire class, then so be, as long as that’s a reason/why/motivator for them to just get off the couch and move. If that means that someone who has come to class for months is now using a heavier set of weights and trying the more advanced exercise variations, awesome. What category someone falls into doesn’t matter. What matters is that they are there. They are trying. They’re not giving up. They’re building confidence. And they’ve got the right attitude.
To change your body you must change your mind. And I’m so happy to hear that my encouragement when I teach helps people with this.
How do you show mental toughness when it comes to physical fitness? Who encourages you to physically and intellectually challenge yourself?
For 23 ways to push through a tough workout, check out this list!