Days like this happen every now and again. We’ve all experienced them. It’s on days like these that our mindset gets in the way of productive and intense training.
The importance of walking into the gym in the right headspace is as crucial as doing a proper warm up before training, or having eaten properly.
If you’re anything like me, and you’re still in a shitty mood about the happenings of the day, then getting under a bar for a heavy back squat, or clean, or snatch, will most likely end in a poor quality rep, a fail or even worse, injury! By the time my hands touch the bar I MUST be “on”. I have to be both physically and mentally ready, for discomfort, ready for pain and ready to WORK MY ARSE OFF to make each lift. If I am not prepared mentally for this, then I’m wasting both my time and my coach’s time.
Whether you’re angry at the douchebag who cut you off, or maybe your mind is stuck on unfinished work, these are some strategies that work for me and may work for you:
- When you arrive at the gym, park your car and leave your phone behind. Then just go for a walk, 5-10 minutes at the least. Trust me, this isn’t going to tire you out for your session. It’s amazing what unstimulated time alone can do for your mindset. Use this time to clear the junk out of your mind. The less you think the better. Then get your gear out of your car and walk into the gym like Maximus Decimus Meridius going into battle.
- Fake positivity. I know this sounds silly but it seriously works. Even if you’ve had an awful day, when somebody at gym asks how it was you reply “great”. Smile; laugh at people’s jokes, even if they aren’t funny. Just putting on a smile is proven to improve your mood.
- This is my personal favourite, get on YouTube and watch the best in the world. If I need a good “pick me up” nothing beats watching the Russian weightlifters move some SERIOUS weight. I usually watch these videos as I’m warming up and when I’m finished, I’m ready to destrominate some serious weight!
So, in conclusion, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that even if your mind is not in the right place, that your body will still perform optimally. It won’t! And it will only fuel your frustration. Find what works for you and be prepared every time you train
Check out Milko Tokola for a great example of training in the right mindset!