I’ve been working out for years, but there are still times when a truly challenging workout can test my ability to keep pushing and get through it, even when taking pills and supplements for energy. It’s something I see all the time when I’m at the gym.
If you watch carefully (very carefully or you’ll be that creepy person who is always staring), you can see people reach that point when they need to decide whether they’ve really reached their limit or whether they still have it in them to keep going. Everything about the body language changes. The building exhaustion on their faces suddenly transforms into sheer determination.
When I’m powering through my toughest workouts, I can feel when I reach that point, too (only I can’t see my own face making the decision). When I do reach that point, I look inside myself and grab hold of my inner strength to convince myself to keep going and not to tap out.
Depending on the situation, I use different techniques, but when it all comes down to it, they all do the same thing. Each of them reach right down inside me to draw out the strength I hold at my core. After all, only half of our strength is physical. The rest is mental, emotional and spiritual.
Here are the 3 techniques I use the most to reach my inner strength and power through even my toughest boot camps, HIIT or even advanced yoga classes.
1. I visualize my goal – I remind myself that this struggle is temporary. If I continue driving forward for a little longer, I’ll feel great, be proud of myself and have given my body just that much more of a gift. This technique is awesome at the gym or at a boot camp.
2. I vocalize – This one’s more for when I’m at home. I find that if I allow myself to make genuinely powerful – and equally genuinely bizarre – guttural and animalistic sounds as I push through each new difficult move, it’s somehow easier to keep going.
3. I step up my music – There is certain music I save specifically for those moments when I need to get myself going again. They’re songs I absolutely love and they have a great beat to them. They help me to find that strength inside myself to avoid quitting but even to step it up again if I’ve been dragging. I find this technique works for just about everything but it’s especially effective when I’m doing intense cardio like running.
That’s it! Super-simple and very effective. Try them out for yourself. You might find out that you’re stronger than you thought you were. Strong is beautiful!