Men's Health (South Africa) - - MORE ENERGY -

Seven ways to over­come ob­sta­cles you be­lieve are block­ing your progress.

“Pre-fa­tigue” Your Brain

Time your work­out af­ter a tax­ing day. This helps you build men­tal re­silience, says Dr Holden MacRae of Pep­per­dine Univer­sity. When you re­move that pre-work­out men­tal strain, you’ll per­form even bet­ter.

Risk the Re­ward of Fail­ure

Don’t set­tle into the 70% groove, MacRae says. Build up your energy level by seek­ing new kinds of pain in­stead of re­ly­ing on rou­tine work­outs. “If there’s no possibility of fail­ure, you aren’t re­ally push­ing your­self.”

Ap­ply A/V Strat­egy

On your high­in­ten­sity days, work out to mu­sic videos. A sight-sound combo is bet­ter than mu­sic alone for re­duc­ing your per­ceived level of ex­er­tion. Cel­e­brate your gains with a moon­walk.

Mo­ti­vate Your Mus­cles

Raise the psy­cho­log­i­cal stakes – find what makes suf­fer­ing worth it for you. It could be brag­ging rights, a per­ceived slight, or (a clas­sic mil­i­tary train­ing trick) not want­ing to let your fam­ily or team down.

Push the Positive Turbo

Mes­sag­ing can en­hance per­for­mance. So write “Crush It” on your fist, or get that light­ning bolt tat­too. Or cre­ate a mantra. Be brief, positive, and in­struc­tive: “Brace for benefits” or “Fo­cus on form”.

Tap the Power of the Pack

Com­pe­ti­tion forges re­solve. To har­den your men­tal mus­cle, note your re­sults in a group and then try to repli­cate them solo. The goal is to con­stantly raise the bar on your per­ceived level of ex­er­tion.

Ice Your Quit But­ton

Ath­letes tend to ob­sess over diet while ne­glect­ing the ef­fect of over­heat­ing on their per­for­mance. Sip ice-slurry drinks dur­ing hot work­outs, and splash cool wa­ter on your face dur­ing races.

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