How to get through the hardest part of your workout

We'd all like to reap the benefits of working out while also enjoying our time at the gym, right? But working out hard is, well, hard. The sweating, the shortness of breath, the muscle burn... How do others do it?  What are some motivation tips that other exercisers use?

I asked some gym goers at my club who were working out at a high intensity to share how they get through the hardest part of their workout; here’s how they responded:

Wayne and Dena do interval training on a treadmill, with faster and slower running. Both keep an eye on the time they have left during their sprints, and tell themselves they can "hold out." They also look forward to getting to the easier part.

Abe does interval training on a bike.  He keeps track of how much longer he has for the harder part of his workout. He pairs this with encouraging phrases he says to himself, such as “Just a little more” and “I can make it”.

Mary distracts herself from checking the time every couple of minutes by watching TV when she's on the elliptical.

For the hardest parts of her workout, Lauren thinks about the results she'll get, imagining how toned her body will be once she’s done.

Tim uses competition with his workout partner to do more.  Who can run at a faster pace?  Who can hold a plank longer?

Mike reminds himself while working out that he'll feel great afterwards.

And lastly, Marie finds songs with a fast tempo that will push her while she runs to them. She can then forget about her pace and just focus on the music.

Which one of these motivational tools appeals to you?  I hope you'll try one out at your next workout.  Please also share your best tips for getting through the hardest part of your workout in the comments below.

Have a motivation tip and want to be interviewed?  Contact Dr. Whitman at sarah.whitman@drexelmed.edu.


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