PSYCH YOURSELF OUT OF FAILURE
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.