Let’s talk about the ‘tough’ workouts.
These are the ones you absolutely dread.
Not only do they look hard on paper (or the class whiteboard), but you know it’s going to hurt.
It’s a grind, it’s a battle, and it takes you to some dark places.
You’ve probably been there before… rolling around on the floor at the end of the workout, gasping for air.
But what if we took a different approach to all this?
What if we can make the ‘suffering’ more easy to manage?
What if there’s a way to endure these workouts and ensure you got the most out of it?
The tough workouts are predictable in the fact that they’re going to be tough.
So how do we make them easier?
Well for starters, everything comes down to mindset and preparation.
Both are insanely powerful tools when used correctly for these workouts.
Below I have outlined 5 easy-to-follow tips to help you endure those tough training sessions so you can get the most out of them and come out the other side confident.
Prior to any tough training session or workout, you should be drinking plenty of water. Whether that’s the morning of or the night before, you need to make sure your muscles, nerves, and other internal organs have the water necessary for top performance. During the workout you should also have some water on hand ready to go along with some simple carbohydrates (ie. dextrose, glucose) and electrolytes. The sugar helps fuel the system during the workout, the electrolytes help nerve/muscle cells function and help balance fluids in and out of the cell.
2. Simple Foods
Prior to your training session keep your food choices simple. The last thing you want is to have a meal too heavy that you end up with stomach pains and bloating during the session. Instead, keep the foods simple and easy to digest 1-2 hours before. A blend of simple and complex carbs along with whey protein are much easier to digest. Avoiding high fatty foods and high fiber foods is a smart move at this time.
3. Nightly Routine
Every night should follow a similar routine. Brushing your teeth, drinking some tea, journaling, reading, some television, whatever it is for you, it should be consistent. The more routine, the better the sleep. Following that routine for 80-90% of the time will improve your sleep and following workout performance.
4. Know the Workout Intention
Is the workout supposed to be as hard as possible or is it supposed to be done smoothly and under control? Understanding the point of the workout will dictate how hard you should be pushing it. Honestly a lot of people make the workouts much harder than they should be. That causes excess stress and expectation around the workout making it ‘miserable.’ Reframing your mindset around the intention of the workout can improve your performance.
5. Practice Calmness
In your day-to-day life, how often do you feel stressed and anxious? Do you have a daily stress-management practice such as focused breathing or meditation? Practicing calmness throughout your day will help you when it comes down to taking on that tough session. If you’re able to sit in the stressful times mentally, you’ll be able to endure the tougher workouts from a mental perspective. Your mindset affects heart rate and breathing rate as well. If these are managed properly, you’ll get more out of your workout. Try taking breaks throughout your day to simply sit in silence. This could be 5 minutes or 30 minutes. Whatever works for your day is best.
Hope this helps!
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In the meantime, keep crushing it! We’ll be here rooting for ya.
Written by: Phil Gauthier
Phil is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.
He is also an Owner and Co-Founder of the performance gear company, Element 26 (E26).
E26 prides itself on developing functional gear for the functional athlete to help you "Destroy Your PR's, Not Your Body."
To reach Phil or any member of the Element 26 Staff, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org and we will respond to you ASAP!