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Posted on: Mar 10, 2017 3:53 PM
Featured story March 10, 2017
5. Mentally Prepare Before Every Lift
A study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research revealed that "psyching up" might actually increase force production on the subsequent lift.
Researchers from New Zealand asked 12 men and 8 women (all with lifting experience) to perform five bench-press reps. For some sets, the researchers distracted the participants. For other sets, the researchers instructed them to use a technique of their choosing to psych themselves up. Participants who got psyched up increased their peak force output by 11.8 percent versus their distracted state.
So, the next time you trudge over to the bench, take time to stop, breathe deeply, visualize the upcoming set, and mentally prime yourself. It's enough to make lifting satisfying again.
6. Incentivize Your Efforts
Let's face it. Even the most successful program can sometimes feel like a relentless slog through the mud.
"Keep your motivation alive by rewarding yourself for your discipline and consistency," Dorsey says. "Sometimes, the key to success is doing something nice for yourself when you reach a difficult goal. And if you fail, get up and try it again."
That advice applies to your diet as well. "Write down everything you eat every day—what foods, how much, and when—and look at them alongside your goals," Dorsey says. When the two columns match, reward yourself. If your goal is to lose fat, maybe avoid that big slice of cheesecake and go for some new gym gear instead.
7. Photos, Please
"A lot of us get too caught up on how far we are from our goals and forget how far we've come," Eden says. "Take three pictures: front, side, and back. Put them away somewhere, then check back in three or four months. Compare the pictures side by side with new shots. If you've stuck with your training and nutrition plan, you'll see for yourself how far you've come, and that'll encourage you to go even further."
8. Remember The Bad Times
Sometimes, when Bartlett finds himself lacking the desire to keep pushing, he'll think back to when and why he first started on his fitness journey.
"For some people, it's as simple as wanting to be healthy," he says. "Others could be trying to get back on their feet at the end of a relationship. Personally, I look back at pictures of myself when I was 80 pounds overweight."
Bartlett promised himself years ago to never go back to the old Curtis. "Just remembering where I came from and how much work it took to get to this point is usually enough to jump-start my week and keep me focused and dedicated."