“It’s ninety percent mental,” or so the saying goes about tough physical trials. True or false, you can probably pump yourself up before a workout, or any activity or endeavor, with an appropriately positive quote.
The mental aspect of our physical performance is profound. The words we hear from others and repeat to ourselves aloud or in our minds can give us confidence.
“To the victor go the spoils.” Working out to get and stay fit towards the more obvious everyday rewards –like keeping off unwanted pounds – of exercise is great; but, it can also be can be a gratifying life’s work with rewards that might come in due course, sometimes unexpectedly. If you prove to yourself and to others that you have the right stuff to succeed in this aspect of life, the success could prove contagious.
“Quitters never win.” On the days when your commitment to reaching your goals may waver, think about the time you've already invested in hard training and the satisfaction that comes from progressing to new personal bests and improved performance.
“He who dares nothing wins nothing.” Difficult exercises and attempting the seemingly impossible can lead us to think we’re tempting failure, injury, and embarrassment. Yes, you should consider the risks but you should consider the rewards too.
“No pain, no gain.” Forget the macho bravado. You should look at pain and sweat as being neither a punishment nor a reward in itself. The serious discomfort, or pain, you’re accepting is a simply confirmation that you’re putting in the kind of hard, honest effort that pays dividends. Most good things don’t come easy.
“Just do it.” There are a million reasons you could give for not pursuing your fitness ambitions. Never mind the excuses.
“Hulk smash!” Weight trainers with an affinity for comic book fans may appreciate the famous words of the superhero. The hulk gets stronger as he gets into a rage. The point here is that you too can tap into your inner animal; your mind can successfully play a powerful trick on your body. Repeating words such as these may help you to visualize whatever scenario or situation that triggers an adrenaline rush. Consider, for instance, your energy and enthusiasm or that of your friends as one of you retells an exciting true-life story. Our bodies react to seemingly do-or-scenarios with a rise in oxygenated blood flow to the brain and muscles and an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, metabolic rate, and blood glucose concentration.
Positive quotes that pump you up can come from your friends too. While once watching me pump myself up (and almost out) for what I thought was a big deadlift, one friend observing me simply said, “man… you’re too strong to fool around with that weight, just pick it up!” Hearing that filled me with confidence, the psychological barrier crumbled, and I manhandled the weight. Thereafter, “just pick it up” became a positive quote to my mind and I still repeat it to pump myself up before a workout.