Some days, it’s hard to even get yourself to the gym. Then, once you’re there, it’s hard to keep going. Especially when it comes to cardio. If you feel like you’ve hit your wall and you’re looking to push yourself longer and harder, check out these mental and physical tricks to get the most out of your gym time.
Go for variety.
Surely you’ve gotten stuck beside someone on the treadmill who just seems like he can run forever, and at a damn fast pace. Forget that. Circuit training, a bad ass combo of cardio and strength training, is a lot better for you. Sprint for a minute, drop and do push-ups, then do some jumping jacks, then go for pull-ups. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
Invest in a personal trainer.
Yeah, it can be expensive. But if you give it just a month or two, you’ll be able to pick up some killer tips from a true expert, and you’ll definitely push harder when you have a hot girl or buffer-than-you guy cheering you on.
See that guy with the notepad at the gym? Be like him. When you can see your results, you work harder for them.
RockMyRun is an app chockful of thousands of playlists that adjust to move in sync with your footfalls, keeping your tempo up and your feet pounding the pavement.
Enjoy the pain.
Muhammad Ali once said, “I don’t count my sit-ups. I only start counting when it starts hurting. When I feel pain, that’s when I start counting, because that’s when it really counts.” Take a tip from the legend.
Break it up.
If you’re on the treadmill, set your running time to 20 minutes. Once you’re about to finish, set it ten minutes higher. Keep adding time until you’re really exhausted. When the finish line seems closer, you find you can push past it for much longer.
Bring on the treats.
Set goals and then reward yourself when you hit them. It can be as simple as sitting in the sauna, taking a longer shower than usual, sleeping in an hour later, or getting to watch the episode of whatever show you’re addicted to that night. Punishments work, too. Think: no Netflix tonight. Or no drinking this weekend.
Accept what you’re feeling.
You’re exhausted. But you’ve gotta fight it! You’ve gotta push on! This is what we tend to tell ourselves when we’re working out, but it turns out that being mindful and accepting how you feel makes that feeling go away faster. Say to yourself, “I’m experiencing pain. I’m feeling tired,” and then clear your mind and keep going.
Think about the last time you had awesome sex. Think about your favorite type of porn. Hell, think about eating all of the things you never let yourself eat. Anything to get your mind off the burn. If that doesn’t work, find a podcast, comedian, or motivational speaker to tune into.
Don’t be stupid.
If you feel like you just pulled a muscle, if you’re getting dizzy, if you just threw up… maybe you’ve pushed hard enough. Take a damn break.