We know intuitively that our mental state can impact our physical performance including sports and fitness. We found a recent study that aims to show how key mental state is to our exercise experience.
Researchers decided to test how expectations and confidence affect a person’s workout, so they recruited 78 men and woman, aged 18-32, who all more or less had the same kind of physical abilities. Then they asked them a simple question: How athletic are you?
Then they had them all do a thirty-minute workout and gauged how well they did against their own belief of how well they would do. And the results were pretty clear-cut according to this article:
Those who believed they were more athletic described moderate exercise as much easier than cohorts who were equally fit but self-identified as being less athletic. This group seemed to psyche themselves out. They perceived moderate exercise as being acutely strenuous and inexplicably arduous.
We all face doubt and that can be especially acute at the gym when we see other people we perceive to be much more physically fit than us. At Cardio High we emphasize to people to train at their own pace and to ignore what others doing. We also coach people to learn how to discover what it’s like to train at an intense level. Every now and then we ask clients to do a heart rate max test in which they start with a walk and gradually increase speed over the course of a 2-4 minute interval until they ask to tap out.
Positive thinking truly is powerful and necessary to attain our goals. Before playing a sport or doing a workout take a few moments to breathe and picture how you are going to succeed – how ever you define success.