For many people, resistance training is an intimidating prospect. You may have come from sport or cardio being your primary source of exercise and are not used to lifting weights on a consistent basis to improve your body.
As a result, when people enter the gym or a training session, there is plenty of fear and anxiety of many thigs, such as failure, injury, lack of progress and doing something wrong. Most weight loss and fat loss problems are psychological, and it is vital that you overcome these hurdles to achieve progress.
But how do you do this? How can you overcome your fears and make progress every single week?
Find Your Deep, Emotional Goal
During your journey, there will be many times when you are not motivated to do a specific task. This could be anything from performing your training sessions, sticking to your diet, or not doing that extra bit cardio. It is very unlikely that you are going to feel motivated every day, no matter how much you are enjoying the process. This can then affect your consistency, as you are more prone to going off track during those days when you are less motivated.
However, when you go through these phases, the most important thing to do is remember why you started. It will more often than not be about something bigger than looking and feeling good – you will have deep, emotional reasons behind wanting to achieve a better body shape. This is what we call the ‘anchor’ and once you find that, you then need to link each task to that anchor. For example, ‘if I don’t train today, I will not be closer of achieving my dream body shape, which is preventing me from achieving my goal of becoming a professional Rugby player.’ That is powerful. So, find out your deep, emotional why, and relate every task to it. Your mind should then click into gear and do what is required without hesitation.
Don’t Compare Yourself To Others
In the modern world, it is very easy to become depressed and frustrated when you compare yourself to other people. Social media, in particular, features many successful people you may follow, and this can make you feel that you are not making progress, leading to fear, anxiety and a lack of energy before training.
However, it is vital to remember that you are on your own journey and the only person you should be comparing yourself to is you. Every day, you should look to be getting better, both in your body and your mind and look back over how far you have come, whether it be photos, scale weight or just feeling great about yourself. If you ditch the comparison, your focus will improve and, as a result, the fear and anxiety decrease.
Start Where You Are At
Many people start from a position of undereating, rather than overeating, and therefore find it difficult to consume the calories required to burn fat and make changes to their body shape. So, it is much smarter to start from where you are at with your current intake and slowly build up, usually by 100-150 calories every few days. This will allow your body to adapt to eating more food and boost your metabolism, which is vital to the fat-burning process.
You should also make sure that you prioritise mastering exercise execution before you adding increased weight. This is vital not only for getting the most from your workouts, but also so that you protect yourself from injury. Do not try to lift too heavy, too early, as you will run the risk of doing damage to your body due to it not being used to heavier loads. The best method would be to start at a lower weight, get used to performing the movement again, and then gradually increasing the weight week-on-week, to what you were lifting before. This will help you build confidence and make progress with your body shape.
Invest In A Coach
One of the best things you can do when starting out in the gym is to hire a personal trainer. As mentioned before, it can be very easy to become overwhelmed and anxious from not knowing fundamental points about resistance training. Furthermore, many people do not have the time to research these things due to work schedules and other lifestyle factors.
A personal trainer makes the process a lot easier and simpler for you by taking care of your training and nutrition. This is through creating structured plans that are easy to follow, developing your confidence, knowledge and overall performance in the gym, and providing you with a nutritional plan that is sustainable. In addition, trainers are key for improving your exercise execution so that your sessions are effective, you reduce the risk of injury and get great results faster. By providing you with all this, trainers allow you to focus your time and thoughts on other areas of your life, whilst making great physical and mental progress at the same time.
Focus On Progression
Consistency is stimulated by progress. If you are not seeing rewards for your efforts, whether it be fitting into clothes better, feeling stronger and having more energy in the first few weeks to seeing noticeable differences in your body composition (how you look) within a couple of months, you are going to feel frustrated and, likely, give up with the process.
Therefore, tracking your progress is so vital, you need to know if you are going in the right direction. Progress can be measured in multiple forms, ranging from pictures of your body to scale weight, energy levels, strength levels, how you feel, fitting into clothes, more self-confidence and a better relationship with food, along with many others. Celebrating the small wins and tracking progress is going to be vital for keeping you motivated and knowing if you are moving in the right direction.
So, training can be an intimidating prospect for many people, but there are strategies that you can implement into your mind and routine that will help you overcome that fear and anxiety and build confidence.
These include finding your emotional goal, stop comparing yourself to others, start slowly form where you are at, invest in a coach and focus on progression. Focus on these areas and you will find that you will make huge improvements on your journey.