2 Ways to Smash Through Mental Barriers
“Thoughts Become Things” – Kai Greene
Are you going to the gym simply to lift weights? Or are you striving to achieve something greater? This mindset has catapulted me to over 100 pounds lost since I decided to change my life after my junior year of high school.
I was severely overweight and addicted to fast food.
Related: How to Motivate Yourself to Work Out
I would “get winded” climbing a flight of stairs while heading to my next class. In short, I was succumbing to the sedentary lifestyle that plagues millions of people around the world.
I, like many people, considered myself a recreational gym-goer. Sure, I would try to see what my max bench number was, and I would run through a few sets of dumbbell curls, but I never saw the results.
This led to binge eating fat and calorie-laden foods that soon took their toll on my health. I wondered to myself day in and day out, “What is it going to take for me to like the way I look?”
The answer came many years later after I tried fad diets and “get rich quick” fitness DVD’s. This is a lifestyle; a conscious choice to execute a plan driven towards obtaining results and reaching milestones. I want to talk about differences that you can make to break through mental barriers and it is as simple as implementing different words into your vocabulary.
Smash Through Mental Barriers
#1 – Don’t Just “Work Out”, Train!
Training. I hear people all too often declare that they are getting ready to “go workout,” or that they are planning on “lifting weights” after work.
Now I applaud any person who decides to dedicate time out of their day to go to the gym, or perform some sort of physical exercise. We as Americans seem to have a problem getting off our couch at times; so physically transporting yourself outside your comfort zone and into the gym is a great first step.
But this article is going to dig a little deeper. I want to present a mindset that anyone can adopt. This is what keeps me on track with my diet. This is what keeps me on my program.
Merriam Webster defines “training” as, “the process by which an athlete prepares for competition by exercising, practicing, etc.” In essence, this is reiterating that everything we do serves a purpose.
Here is the magic. Do not just see yourself performing another rep or aimlessly swinging weights around. Repeat your goals over and over to yourself, saying that you are training to reach your goals. Envision how you want to look in the mirror and declare, “I am training to *insert goal* starting right now! Not tomorrow! Right now!”
Repeat this constantly until you are sick of hearing it. And then say it again. Ingrain the concept of training with a purpose into your mind, body, and soul.
The greatest bodybuilding personalities of all time such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Frank Zane preached the establishment of the mind muscle connection. This is honing into each muscle fiber in your body, and moving the weight in a controlled fashion, while squeezing at the peak of every movement.
This leads to the importance of focusing on form. When it comes to weight training, quality will always have the edge over quantity.
#2 – Tell Ourselves the Truth
The second mental adaptation that I have developed is self-identification.
Most men and women who carry undesired, excess weight often find themselves in denial. I have been there, and it is a lonely place. This directly affects a person’s self-esteem and their overall sense of self-worth.
Upon seeing my transformation, I have had many people come to me seeking advice, and confide their deepest fitness fears into me. I have noticed one common denominator, especially regarding women that I help. It is not easy for someone to admit that they need to “lose weight.”
We hear words and phrases like “tighten and tone,” “sculpt,” “flatten my tummy,” etc. These are masks that we implore to help cover up the truth that we have yet to realize.
There is no such thing as spot reduction. You cannot clap your hands and make belly fat disappear. We as Americans have become a complacent, and easily offended society. It is time we took a cold, long look in the mirror and told ourselves the truth.
There is no such thing as a workout that will “tighten and tone” the body. Nor are there any magic pills or drinks. If we want to lose weight, then we need to tell ourselves just that.
“I need to lose weight.”
Once we cross that plateau; once we break that threshold and are no longer afraid of phrases like “weight loss “and “body fat percentage,” then we will truly become one step closer to reaching our goals.
There is a time to be compassionate and understanding; but right now is the time to wake up and invest that sweat equity. All we have to do is change our mentality towards the time we spend in the gym; the rest is downhill from here.