It’s easy enough to fall into a routine when you hit the gym, but when you do the same things over and over you may risk running into a dead end. Once you’ve hit a plateau and then stop seeing the results you want, it can demotivate you and make you think your plan isn’t working.
This is why it’s important to push yourself harder every time – take on more difficult challenges, increase your reps, lift more weight and so on. You’ll need dedication, patience and of course, motivation. However, motivation may come easily for some but not others. If you find yourself close to giving up, don’t. Here’s how to motivate yourself to push harder next time and keep on going.
Focus on what you are training for
Focusing on small obstacles – like not being able to lift more no matter how hard you try – may impede the way to you achieving your overall fitness goals. The top tip here is this: don’t sweat on the small stuff. Try something else – a detour, if you may – then move forward.
Focus on why you are training. Many gym-goers want to burn fat and build muscle, while others are preparing for a specific event and want to improve agility and endurance. Focus on the end goal and take steps that will help you achieve it. It may mean concentrating on another body part, and that’s fine because you’re still on track–you just found another way to get there.
Find a workout buddy
It would be easier to push yourself to hit your limits when you’re working out with someone who’s doing the same. Also, it is harder to skip going to the gym when you know someone is expecting you. A workout buddy also sets an atmosphere of friendly competition, which can motivate you to do better. In the absence of a personal trainer or fitness coach, a workout buddy can keep you going and remind you that you actually have a lot more strength and energy than what you’re exerting.
Strive for confidence
Believe you can. This is probably the most powerful mantra you can tell yourself every time you push yourself harder. Working out doesn’t just benefit your muscles; it also makes you stronger mentally. When you are able to deal with the discomfort of pushing your limits in the gym, you’ll also have the ability to deal with stressful and difficult situations at home or at work. You gain self-confidence, which is something that will help you through life’s daily struggles.
Know the difference between pushing harder and overtraining
Lastly, keep in mind that there’s a fine line between pushing yourself to your limits and pushing to the point of exhaustion and serious injury, like a torn ligament.
Set specific daily goals according to your fitness plan and try to exceed those up to the point your trainer deems right for your strength and skill level. When you find yourself sacrificing form or putting yourself at risk of injury, stop and correct it. It’s dangerous to overtrain because you’ll hurt yourself and your body will need time to recover, making workouts counterproductive.