27 Mar 2017
Thoughts in Gym

7 Thoughts We Have All Had During A Workout!

Author: Kate Kraschnefski, National Training Team Captain at the Australian Institute of Fitness

Whether you are an avid gym goer, or have recently commenced your fitness journey, there is no doubt that you have found yourself deep in thought while at the gym, but don’t worry you are not alone! During a workout there are a number of common thoughts that cross our minds, so we have asked Kate Kraschnefski, Training Team Captain at the Australian Institute of Fitness, to explore SEVEN common thoughts you’ve probably had during a workout, and share how you can ensure you have the correct mindset in place to optimise your performance!

#1 “I Can’t Do It!”

It is perfectly normal for our minds to tell us to ‘ease up’ when we are experiencing discomfort, pain or a perceived risk of injury. In fact it is actually a survival mechanism as the body protects itself. The challenge is recognising what thoughts come from a real risk, and what are simply there as we are hesitantly step out of our comfort zone. Now, it is important to note that we will never experience the positive results of training unless our sessions challenge us, so, when the negative thoughts come into your minds saying “I can’t do this”, at a first moment, try FLIPPING that thinking by saying “I CAN DO THIS!” If you can learn to turn our negative thoughts around during training, you will become more confident to do the same during everyday life!

#2 “I Don’t Know HOW To Do It”

To experience the most out of our training, we need to try different things and challenge our bodies in a variety of ways, however to do so, we need to know HOW to challenge ourselves. Have you ever looked at a piece of equipment and thought “I’d love to do that, but have no idea how?” This is where a great Personal Trainer (PT) can really help! Regardless if you have been training in a gym for years, or have just recently joined, there are always plenty of new exercise or ways to workout that you can learn, and challenge your body with!

#3 “I’m Too Sore From Training Two Days Ago To Do This!”

For the most part, if you are experiencing mild to moderate delayed onset of muscle soreness (DOMS), you won’t be putting yourself in any danger to be training again, even though it could be a little ‘ouchy’! It is important, however, to watch for signs of overtraining. If you feel unwell, in a poor mood, unusually stiff or sore you may need to have a rest. You can avoid over training through proper nutrition, de-loading and scheduled recovery sessions. TIP: a great way to recover is by booking in regular massage? This will make sure your body is recovering optimally from training sessions and it is also a great way to relax and clear your mind!

#4 “The Gym Is So Busy!  I’m Never Going To Be Able To Use Any Equipment

If you are training in peak times, I bet there have been occasions where you have had to wait for that one machine or piece of equipment that you really wanted to use, and standing around waiting is not going to get you results!  It’s useful to have a good understanding of suitable alternative exercises so you can think on the fly and keep moving. A solid knowledge of overload techniques will help you with this. For example, rather than doing your squats on the power rack, why not try some heavy dumbbell squats superset with jumping, alternating lunges?  There are endless options in a gym environment, you just have to be creative.  Advice from a PT can really help here!

#5 “Everyone Is Staring At Me!”

The gym can be an intimidating place, particularly if you are new to exercise, and it can be easy to think that everyone is staring at you, and as a result that feeling can make you scared to move freely, or fear of making a fool of yourself. The reality is, most people are focusing on their own workout, and turning through their own ‘workout thoughts’ to consider you too much. So pop those headphones in, and tell yourself “I’m doing this for me” and rock your workout!  If you are feeling scared, try a PT for added support, get yourself a gym buddy, or try training in the quieter times until you have your confidence up.

#6 “I Want My Body To Look Like Theirs!”

Have you ever been guilty of watching someone with a body you admire train, and trying the same exercises with the hope of miraculously waking up looking like them?  While it’s great to take “fitspo” from healthy role models, it is important to not compare! There are no two bodies the same, and our results will depend on so many factors, including genetics, age, training and nutrition. Be your own fitspo! Admire others, but don’t forget to admire YOU too! You can always find something positive about yourself. Be proud that you showed up, that you are improving, making progress and say good things about your body! These positive thoughts will help keep you committed to your training, rather than having feelings of disappointment that you don’t look like someone else.

#7 “I Have Had A Great Session, Now I Can Reward Myself With A Treat!?”

We’ve all heard the saying “you can’t out train a bad diet,” and it is true! There are a few thoughts and actions wrapped up in here that are worth improving. The first is that you deserve a “reward” after exercise.  For long lasting health benefits, exercise needs to become a habit. It shouldn’t be something we endure just to receive a reward at the end. Secondly, after a training session, we have actually put our bodies into a state where they need to repair to get fitter and stronger. If anything we have broken down some tissues, and there will be lots of metabolic activity going on that needs excellent nutrition. A great meal, within an hour after a workout will nourish your body with nutrients to support the cellular action going on, and ultimately get you to a fitter, healthier state.  Your thoughts need to be that the training session and the subsequent nutrition go hand in hand for best results, and both should be about quality!  If you need help with your behaviors around eating, it’s worth chatting to a Nutrition Coach or a Dietician.