Its a broad topic which I have only covered at University in the basic way, so I’ll keep it simple as that is how it will best help you guys.
You may not even consciously realise it, but during a tough session or exercise in the gym, the first thing that gives up isn’t your body, its your mind. Its something you see a lot especially in some of the newer guys who haven’t experienced training like this before. You encounter a tough period and your mind just switches straight to negative self-talk like “You can’t do this” or “You better stop before you hurt yourself”.
For me, this is most apparent when I’m using a heavy weight for the first time. Before I’ve even picked it up, my mind will be questioning whether I have the ability to do it or that its going to be far too much for me.
I heard a great analogy about this during a podcast the other day, this negative self-talk can be known as “Red light thoughts”. These thoughts are what attempt to hold us back when we encounter a new experience or tough period. If you don’t combat it, these red light thoughts are very powerful and can literally finish you before you’ve even tried it.
So how do you combat this self-inflicted negativity? “Green light thoughts” or positive self-talk
The more positivity you can surround yourself with, the better your going to perform. So during a session you may have external positivity coming from the people that you train with through encouragement or clapping for example. This is great and helps combat the negativity in your head. But the real game changer is to start thinking positively before/during/after.
So for example, say I’m someone who’s just started on the FIT session and 10 minutes into the session I’m on my 50th burpee and my mind is now racing with negativity saying that I need a rest or/and I can’t do this anymore. But then straight away I replace that with positive remarks such as “I’m doing amazing, lets get 5 more” or “Look at how great everybody else is doing, I can’t stop now”.
Or rather than sitting in work thinking of how I really don’t feel like going to the gym tonight or that I’m feeling really sore tonight, I relay positivity. So as my day progresses I’m constantly putting “green light thoughts” into my head such as “last session I squatted with the yellow kettle bell for the first time, tonights going to be another good session”.
You see the difference in mindset, the green light thoughts are enabling me to continue and not even think about how tired I am.
This doesn’t just have to apply to training. It can work for you in all areas in life. It can be very easy to underestimate just how much the power of your mind can influence you.
Try the power of “green light thoughts” during your training session and see how it effects your performance, you may surprise yourself.
Trying to get you better inside and outside the gym
Have a great day