Mental Toughness Breeds Physical Strength: Stop Making Excuses

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There are people that are physically strong and others that are mentally tough. If I had to make a split second decision about which character trait I would choose in a life or death situation, give me mental toughness any day of the week.

However, you don’t have to choose one or the other. Becoming mentally tough will help you to reach your prime physical prowess. Developing mental toughness does so much for someone that it can be difficult to enunciate in words.

Mental toughness breeds strong character, good judgment, and habits of success. In my experience, the number one reason that people fail or succeed at most anything in life is mental toughness.

Related: 10 Sure Fire Tactics for Maximizing Fitness Motivation

Mental toughness can be attributed to any number of qualities, including but not limited to:

  • Willpower
  • Dedication
  • Motivation
  • Drive.

Each of these determining factors will aide you in first growing mentally and in turn allowing you to succeed physically.

WillPower and Mental Toughness

Pull UpsWillpower can most commonly be described as the ability to do or NOT do something. In the fitness world this can be attributed to a number of factors including the willpower to go to the gym or the willpower to not grab that cookie from the shelf.

If you are to succeed at any particular goal in the fitness world, whether it be increasing muscle mass or staying on your diet, you will have to have some strong degree of willpower. I hear people say all the time people that they want to lose weight but they love food too much, or they would go to the gym but they are too so tired.

Wah, wah, wah.

To these people I say stop whining. Get your mind right and go after your goals.

If you choose to grab that cookie on your diet you don’t want it bad enough. If you choose to go home and watch an entire season of Family Guy on Netflix instead of going to the gym you don’t want it bad enough.

Having the willpower means knowing when to say YES and when to say NO. Am I saying if you grab a cookie you’re a bad person? F&%k no, I love cookies! However, you in order to earn achievements and reach greatness you must be able to sacrifice some sort of temporary pleasures.

Willpower is severely lacking in our world. Once you find it, it will make an amazing difference in your daily life.

Dedication and Mental Toughness

Dedication is sticking to your goals no matter what circumstances or situations disrupt you. You have a goal to lose “x” amount of pounds in “y” weeks. Dedication is doing whatever it takes to get to that point.

Dedication means waking up at 4:30am, stumbling to your car, downing TWO scoops of pre-workout and swerving through lanes on 4 hours sleep to get the job done because you have other obligations in the afternoon.

Dedication means driving to the store on Sunday night at 9:00pm and buying 10 pounds of chicken to prepare for the week. Why? So you aren’t scarfing down Hot Pockets and Top Ramen at lunch time all week with Big Sally.

The point of the matter is that those who are truly dedicated to reaching their goals in life will reach them. They will not let external factors, whether they be time, money, or other people, get in the way of finishing what they started.

Dedication means doing whatever it takes and by any means necessary. Don’t just talk about it, be about it!

Ab Workout

Motivation and Mental Toughness

If there was one single mental attribute most people struggle with, either all of the time or at least some of the time, it’s motivation. Motivation is lacked either because the person is too short-sighted to reach their goals, or they simply have no reason to change.

The older you get and the further you get in this journey we call life, the more likely you are to see that people in general hate change. Too often, people get set in their ways and lack the motivation to go a different route, find a different career, get out of a crappy relationship, or even change their workout!

Bro you’ve been following the same chest routine for 6 years. You always start with flat bench. At least switch it up to incline.

A lot of the times it takes an extenuating external circumstance, such as a health scare like a threat of a major disease, to cause people to change. By this point it may be too late.

Find it in yourself to secure the motivation you need to be a better you. The motivation you feel in the gym will translate into the rest of your life as well professionally, socially, and personally.

Drive and Mental Toughness

Ah yes Drive. And no, I’m not talking about the Ryan Gosling movie with the bad ass theme song.

Being the best you can be and having the desire to succeed is the best way to describe someone as driven. Someone that is driven never takes no for an answer. They don’t let shortcomings cloud their view of the ultimate goal they are pursuing.

When someone reaches failure the most innate human desire is to give up and simply quit. People that are driven never quit. They’ll walk 10 miles in the snow, hands behind their back, eyes closed in the middle of the winter to get to the nearest gym. Not because it’s easy, not because it’s fun, but because it’s necessary.

Being mentally driven means staying the course at a time when 99% of others would turn around and go home. Even if in the middle of the course there is a 50 foot jump over a cliff above a sea of tiger sharks, this person will speed up and go for the feat or die trying.

In Summary

Mental toughness is vastly underrated and often overlooked when it comes to general health and fitness. Trainers may say you’re doing a great job as you are learning and developing new routines. However, I believe that mental toughness is just as important as physical strength. Mental toughness will build the foundation surrounding the individual, allowing them to succeed not just in the gym but in all areas of their lives.

The world we live in today is filled with people that would rather make excuses instead of getting tough mentally. Build first upon your mental strength prior to engaging in strength training programs and you will notice a whole world of difference.

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Name: Ryan Rodal

Bio: My short term fitness goals include reaching a 300lb bench, 405 lb squat and a 500 lb deadlift. Longterm I want to become more involved in the fitness industry and help others achieve their goals. The bodybuilding lifestyle is not about how much you can lift or even how you look, its simply about being the best version of yourself.