Whether it is intentional or not, our mindset towards workouts and the thoughts we have before, during, and after a WOD affect our performance.
Imagine you wake up in the morning and check Facebook to see what the workout of the day is.
Overhead Squats 95/65
Bar Facing Burpees
If the first thing you thought was “Oh crap, overhead squats, I hate those soooooo much!” or “Bar Facing Burpees!? Why can’t they just be regular burpees!?”, then you are already at a disadvantage. Before you have even arrived at the gym, you are already in the mindset that you don’t want to do something. Seems counterproductive, right? This is you, giving yourself an excuse to give up, possibly not even show up!
Here are 3 steps that you can use moving forward to have a more positive mindset while working out:
Step 1: Identify what you like.
When you check the workout in the morning, identify everything that you LIKE about the workout (oh yay, the weight isn’t too heavy...or, I’m pretty good at overhead squats, those I can handle.)
Next, take a look at the rest of the workout and identify what is going to be a challenge. Challenges are what’s going to make you better and advance you along in your fitness journey. Even if you can’t string together toes-to-bar, try changing your mindset to “this is a great WOD for me to practice some toes-to-bar.”
Now, put those two things together and create a plan for the workout. “I am good at overhead squatting, so I’m going to move through those easily. I’m going to keep a steady pace on the bar facing burpees so that I don’t blow myself up. I’m going to pace out the toes-to-bar and hit big sets. When I can’t string them together anymore, I will do knees-to-elbows instead.”
This is the type of planning that will help you with your workouts. I’m not saying you have to do this with all of them, but it will help with your mindset, especially with workouts that are downright spicyyyy.
Step 2: Use positive statements.
You’re in the middle of a workout. You are working on doing 15 thrusters. You tell yourself before you pick it up “don’t drop the bar.” You start busting through reps and continue to say “don’t drop the bar.” You get to rep 8, what do you do? You drop the bar. It’s happened to all of us. During exercise, our brains tend to ignore negative statements. So instead of processing “don’t drop the bar”, all you are thinking about is “drop the bar.”
What you instead should be doing is using positive statements on yourself and your friends during workouts. Instead of “don’t drop the bar”, say “get as many as you can!” or “Big set here!”
When you do finally put down the wallball, kettlebell, barbell, etc, tell yourself to put your hands back on it. This will naturally allow your body to follow and start back up, reducing your rest time. Or give yourself a time limit, such as 5 seconds to quickly catch your breath and do the next thing.
Step 3: Celebrate the success of everyone.
As soon as you finish a workout, no matter how long it takes, go (air) fist bump everyone else that did the workout. Praising other people for their hard work will also help you feel good about yourself.
It’s never good to sit and pout about how a workout didn’t go as well as planned. We all have bad days and bad workouts. We CAN’T control how everything goes. We CAN control how we respond.
So always celebrate the success of others. They will do the same for you. That’s what makes for an awesome community and culture here at the gym. And if there was a movement that gave you trouble, next time it shows up in a workout, try getting to the gym a little earlier so you can practice it.
These 3 simple changes to your mindset will have a great impact on your performance, more than you might imagine. Work on implementing them into your workouts and you might be pleasantly surprised!