For training and working out, goals are extremely important. You need to set short and long term goals and make them challenging but possible. If they are not possible, you will not reach them and eventually become disappointed or frustrated. On the other hand, if they are too easy, you may not push yourself enough and not make enough progress, if any at all.
Another aspect of training, one that I feel has played a huge role for myself is having the right mindset. I’m not necessarily talking about what your motivation is for your workouts because there are thousands of reasons why you can, should or want to do it. What I’m thinking about is the attitude, the mindset, the personality you step into the gym with. When you have that mindset, nothing can stop you. You can just keep going and whatever is in front of you, you do not stop. When I go into a workout like that, I feel stronger, faster and better than any other moment. People call me nuts when they see me training (and I probably am) but it gives me great satisfaction and motivation. This is when I get my best workouts and earn some of the nicknames I have been given over the years (Beast, the Hammer,… All for different reasons).
Getting that mindset is not easy and I feel cannot always be planned ahead. It’s a feeling of the moment. It may be influenced by your goals, motivation, your previous success and progress or simply how well you slept the night before. It depends on the individual and circumstances but also on the people around you. A good group of training buddies or trainer can get you in that moment, in which you feel invincible and full of energy (sometimes I have to step in to prevent injuries as a trainer when a client gets ‘in the moment’).
There is nothing like this feeling and sometimes you just start working out and you know you’ll be killing it that day. Other times, you need more guidance from a trainer to get in the right mindset. Either way, it should be your goal to find that motivation. It is the perfect intrinsic motivation (because you want to for yourself, not for others or a reward) and when you work out like this, you will feel great after and again be looking forward more to the next workout. It’s a vicious circle. If you feel bad for yourself when working out, it will probably not be any better next time. So give it your all. I guarantee that, if you work out hard but responsibly, you will experience that mindset more and more while enjoying every minute of it.
For the beginners out there: no matter what sport you practice, go for it, get over that beginner’s hump and you’ll find more enjoyment and great progress lying right ahead of you! Leave it all out there and you will experience more results than what you were hoping for!
By Sander Vanacker for FitGuana
Sander Vanacker is a personal trainer, CEO of Bring Back Nature, Inc. and founder of FitGuana. He believes in improving health and wellness by incorporating more nature into our lives, being active and spending more time outdoors.