The best mental trick for crushing hard workouts is dissociation. Here's how it works: if you concentrate on how hard it is, then you’re bound to give up—so disassociate from the unearthly burn in your muscles and redirect your attention elsewhere. We know, we’re making it sound simpler than it is. Hear us out…
How to Dissociate from the Almighty, Workout Burn
Let’s think of dissociation in two ways:
redirecting your attention at the first thought of discomfort.
teaching your brain new ways to process pain.
When you do step one enough, you are actually teaching the brain to process pain in a different manner so that it can cope with it. Rather than following an unpleasant feeling with negative self-talk, acknowledge that the task at hand will take lots of effort. Immediately redirect those unproductive thoughts to something more abundant. The only way you can stop doing something bad is to replace the bad behavior with the actions you prefer.
Try on some of these meanings on for size:
Being active now means you’re less likely to need living assistance in older age.
Your genetics means you’re at higher risk for serious health complications.
Finding Motivation During a Hard Workout
Motivation naturally slinks off toward the end of a training session. The trouble is, you're almost there, and it doesn't make any sense to not finish— but man, oh man does it burn.
Yeah, stop thinking about the burn; instead, remind yourself why you're working out.
Do you work out because you like the results?
Or maybe you work out because you’re older and dementia runs in your family.
Maybe you're in the gym because you notice your anxiety is better for it.
Whatever your reason, know we're not oblivious to the discomfort you're experiencing when something is physically challenging, but science says it can be overcome.
By redirecting your thoughts, you can begin to train your brain to consider the burn you feel as a positive experience. Personally, it's never a chore to do weighted Russian twists: the burn is so good, you know it's worth every minute of effort. The shift from “‘this is good for me’ to ‘I’m dreading this last set,’ won’t happen overnight, but keep at it. Eventually, brain chemistry will begin to kick in, and you’ll relish pushing your physical limits.
Or you can simply think about how accomplished you will feel after a good sweat session.
Disappear into the Music
You can also dissociate by disappearing into the music. It is undeniable that a connection exists between music and fitness, and this link between the two does come with scientific evidence. Exercising with more upbeat music led to training over prolonged periods and less fatigue. Studies have found that finding a song with a tempo that matches the training intensity will subconsciously speed up your exercise pace.
One Last Thing
Movement causes pain that feels unlike normal exercise strain— should immediately be ceased. You should never keep working out if you're experiencing serious pain because it could lead to more permanent injuries. Be cautious to avoid injuries since they can completely ruin your fitness plan. We recommend always using dynamic stretching before a tough workout.