Training for mental strength is not the same as just going to the gym to look good or just to get a bit of exercise because you feel you should. For many people training can and should be used as a tool for growth in the area of mental toughness, or your ability to push through uncomfortable things, no matter what.
Doing this training can create all sorts of changes inside of you such as increased discipline, persistance, dedication, and the ability to carry on when things get tough, even really tough. Obviously it depends on the training you are doing as if you aren’t putting any real effort in then your mental strength is unlikely to increase at all. It has to be gruelling, it has to be out of your comfort zone, something that makes you want to quit.
When you or someone else puts you through a gruelling training session and you some how make it out the other side thats when mental toughness is born. You didn’t stop when the going got tough and you finished the whole training session even though you wanted to quit the whole way through it. When you finish as session like that, you feel on top of the world, and so you should as you pushed through even though your brain, and body said quit. This mental toughness, this is where men are born ;).
What i’m getting at is that the mental strength that can be gained from training your body carries over to other aspects of your life.
Here are a few things mental toughness can carry over to –
The discipline it takes to develop yourself as a person you will make a habit of getting things done each and every day even when you don’t want to. This means you have the disipline to get up each day and work toward your life goals.
The dedication it takes to be better at what ever it is you do or the persistence it takes to get your business up and running or get the job thats right for you. If you keep going back to that tough training then you are dedicated, and persistent, bring this into others areas of life, and you will see success.
The ability the carry on when things get tough, those moments in life where you just want to quit and take the easy road, the moments when you just want to sit in your comfort zone and never step out. Carrying on when the going gets tough and things get really “scary” brings great value to your life. Coming out of your comfort zone should never stop, and it requires you to keep moving forward.
All these things require mental toughness that needs to be developed through training your body. You can have these things without it of course. But I assure you mental toughness is best created through physical labour, it humbles you.
It will push you to step up no matter what. To make you be your best teacher, and to start developing the positive voice in your head that over rides the boring negative one that wants to be safe, and “normal”.
How to train for mental toughness.
Now depending on your fitness goal you may or may not be training hard in the gym, and already developing that mental strength. But here are some things to add into your weekly training that will develop your mental strength like nothing else.
- Hill Sprints high sets – Find a hill that is around 50 to 100 metres long, warm up sufficiently, and start sprinting up it. Then walk back down, and repeat. Repeat 10 to 20 times.
- Running long distances – It doesn’t matter if you barely ever run, every so often try a really long run. It won’t be nice, but guess what? You’re going to want to quit building that beautiful mental strength. (Pick a distance double what you’ve ever ran before.) Keep going and finish the run. Even if you crawl the last mile.
- Weight circuits or bodyweigt exercise circuits – Pick 4 or 5 exercises (preferably compound, or something you find difficult) Do each one for 30 seconds, and go from one to the next with no rest. Once one circuit is done have a 1 minute rest. And repeat. Shoot for 5 sets.
As I say these sessions will make you want to quit, go home, sit and watch television in your warm comfy living room. But I assure you if you try to do one mental toughness session per week and you keep coming out the other side (even if you are barely able to walk ;)) Your mental strength will increase, it will teach you that you can do more than you ever thought, and guess what? You will start to realise if you can do all that, then there is nothing you can’t do if you just keep going, just keep moving forward, step by step.
I invite you to try these sessions, I assure you you’ll come out stronger all round. Mental toughness will bring changes in your belief of what you can do in your life. Live your true potential.
Don’t quit till these hellish sessions are over. You can do it.