Time To Kick Some Ass!
So many of us live fast paced and stressful lifestyles, juggling more balls than we can handle! When we finally do make it to the gym or allocate some time for a home workout we want to make sure that we get the most bang for our buck…
It’s no use doing a workout half-hearted, with our minds wandering: I’ve got to do the dishes! did I make the bed? my Boss is a total douche bag! What’s for tea? Did I pick the kids up from school?
All these types of thoughts buzz around our heads like some irritating bumble bee on a hot summers days! They distract us from our workout and negatively impact our concentration.
I’ve been in this position many times myself, in fact, occasionally I still do get distracted! That said, through experience and trial and error I’ve found 5 key strategies that can really help you get in the zone for a killer workout.
#1 Listen to Empowering Music
There’s nothing that can change your mood like music (other than maybe an Ex Girlfriend! lol!). I can’t remember the last time I went into the gym without taking my iPod with me (mainly because our gym’s music is cr*p! I mean who puts on S Club 7 when you’re trying to get a new PB on bench press?!?!).
Select music that gets’s you all fired up, whether that’s: house, tech, rap, hip-hop, dance, pop, classical music or the Rocky Balboa soundtrack! – whatever floats your boat!
#2 Grab A Coffee
A coffee or green tea before your workout can boost focus, aid fat loss, and put you in a more energised state. I’m a big fan of coffee, not only because of the silky smooth taste but also the effects it has on increasing mental concentration.
This strategy only works if you’re not totally caffeine dependant! if you’ve been drinking 3-8 cups per day another cup isn’t going to make a difference, it only makes things worse! Instead cut back on you’re regularly caffeine intake and save it for your pre-workout drink. Caffeine can be a great stimulant, providing it’s not abused!
#3 Warm Up
Rather than going straight into your workout take some time to warm up. Not only will this prevent injury but you can also use this as an opportunity to clear your mind and get ready for a BIG workout.
I walk to the gym which takes me 20 minutes so I use this as my time to clear my head. I’ll usually listen to an inspirational audiobook or some music to pump me up and get me in the zone.
For those of you who drive to the gym, I’d recommend spending 5-10 minutes warming up on any piece of cardio equipment. Whilst warming up tell yourself that there’s a time and a place for other thoughts and tasks but right now it’s ‘Gym Time’ and you need to get focused so you can kick butt in your workout!
#4 Foam Rolling
After your cardio warm up I’d recommend foam rolling for 5-10 minutes. This will help you relax tight muscles, prevent injury, increase mobility and it also gives you a little more time to get focused.
80% of the time I’ll have a pre-planned workout routine, a piece of paper with my workouts written on. When I’m foam rolling I’ll look over the session plan and I’ll start thinking about what I want to achieve from today’s session. It could be to burn a certain amount of calories or to lift a specific weight. I then know exactly what I want to achieve. I’ll also remind myself of how good I’ll feel after completing the workout.
#5 Pep Talk
Just before you start your main workout give yourself a final pep talk, it doesn’t have to be a Nelson Mandela speech, but something that’s going to help remind you of your mission. It could be that you want to look amazing on your wedding day or want to be able to run around the park with your kids on a hot summers day. Find the meaning of your workout and know your ‘Why’ – the reasons you started working out in the first place!
Now Go & Kick Some Ass!
It’s amazing how quickly you can get yourself in the zone. Somedays I’m naturally in the zone and other days it may take me 10-20 minutes to get pumped up. What’s important is that you leave your sh*t at the door, and get yourself fired up! After all you’ve allocated this time to workout, so either be 100% present and give it your all or… don’t bother!