Do you ever finish a workout and feel like you didn’t get that much out of it? Maybe you didn’t get the burn or even a slight pump? Mindful training might be the missing link in your workouts. Mentally showing up for a training session is equally important as physically being there.
Of course, you know you shouldn’t be scrolling through your phone or watching TV. You certainly shouldn’t be socializing. After all, we only get 24 hours in a day. If 1 hour is reserved for your training time, you want to make the best use of that precious hour. You can train as hard as you want, but if you’re not being mindful, you’re probably falling short.
Whether you are trying to lose weight, gain muscle, or tone your body, here are 3 tips to be more mindful and get the most out of your workouts:
Simple, one-syllable words, keep your mind organized and on track. Let’s look at the Bent Over Barbell Row. You want to stay solid in the bent over position, while the bar is traveling and for the pause at the top of the movement. The cues could be: Exhale. Pull. Squeeze. Inhale. Release.
Repeating the cue while preparing and performing the movement, will keep you focused on the details and cut out the gym clutter. Cues are helpful for any lift and can be whatever you need to remind you of good form.
Connect your mind to the muscle. You have probably heard about the mind-muscle connection. The basic idea is that just by thinking about your muscles moving your body through an exercise, you can help them work more efficiently. As you’re working out, actually picture your muscles contracting as you move through an exercise. For example, if you’re doing a bicep curl, imagine the bicep muscle contracting and lengthening as you lift the weight up and down.
Move with intention.
Moving more weight doesn’t mean that your target muscles are doing more work. If you’re lifting the weight by twisting and wiggling your body, not only are your target muscles not getting worked properly, but you could also risk injury. If you consistently train like this, your brain will not learn to communicate with your muscles. Focus your mental energy on contracting your muscles, rather than moving the weight.
Mindful training produces pump and burn because you will be able to mentally block out external pressure and distractions. Drop your thoughts about work, kids, and what’s for dinner, and tune into your body and mind.
Contact me if you’re struggling to make the most of your workouts!