How many versions of yourself do you have living inside your head?
Me? Your Nerdstrong Coach?
I have a bunch. It’s like an episode of Legion in there. The confident me. The guilty me. The proud me. The lonely me. The funny me. The too-many-excuses-to-count me.
Each version has its strengths and weaknesses, and if you use them right, you can always be improving your Nerdstrong workouts.
As part of my job, as a Nerdstrong Coach, I’m fortunate enough to help Nerdstrongers work through their emotional responses to fitness. We’ve felt joy and frustration, because of achievements and failures.
Sometimes, we think we know precisely how a workout is going to go, and then something happens: we surprise ourselves and break through a barrier, or a bad day catches up with us, and we become distracted and unfocused.
A relationship gone wrong, a job change, an injury, a stroke of luck, or a success... they can (and will) bubble to the surface during a workout.
My advice: use it.
Here’s what I do when I’m feeling especially anxious, frustrated, or energized:
Anxious: Focus on a specific movement. Pay attention to the individual aspects of that movement, working to hit all of them as best you can. Be mindful of each part of your body as the movement progresses. By applying a structure, you can win small successes for yourself that will make you more confident in all your future attempts at this movement.
Frustrated: These are the days when you feel like Hulking out. Use this emotional state to push yourself. Use the workout as a way to help relieve the stress. For example, if the workout is timed, try working so hard that you can’t make sentences. If you’re able to talk through it, you’re not pushing yourself. If the workout is not timed, apply your max intensity to each rep, making the movement as perfect as possible, and giving it everything you got.
Energized: These are some of the best days to beat previous personal records. If you’re tracking your progress (check out last week’s email for more on that) then you may have noticed this already. If you’re not tracking your Nerdstrong workouts, the goal could be to come away feeling like you did a better job than last time and maybe pick up a lesson or two to help you improve future workouts. While you're at, try to spread your energy to the people around you. Encourage your fellow Nerdstrongers to do their best, by doing your best.
What I’m saying is that there are real, physical ways to deal with the mental obstructions you run into at the gym. You can channel the storm in your head into your arms, hands, legs, and feet.
Regardless of how many voices you have shouting in your head (or which one is in control), your brain exists within a physical body that can take the wheel. The body is where it is all tied together, it is the common denominator, so why not let it do the heavy lifting.
- Coach Andrew