Reaching the Finish Line

I don’t know about you guys, but there’s one thing that happens every time I work out. Part way through, a minute or so after I break a sweat and start to feel the burn, a voice in the back of my mind starts to taunt me. It says garbage like, “You’re tired. You have a great excuse to take it easy in the workout today”, or “It won’t matter if you take your sweet time doing this. Who cares about pushing your limit?” . Sometimes, I even hear the voice panic, saying, “This is way too hard!!! How are you ever going to finish?!” I know we’ve all experienced this at one time or another. But, I’ve come up with a few strategies to push through and finish my workout strong.

1. I stop looking at the clock. Don’t focus obsessively on the time it’s taking you to complete each exercise, each round, each rep.  Listen to your body and let it set the pace.  Always be willing to push yourself harder, but don’t obsess about your finishing time.  Focus on the sweet burn instead, and the rest will follow.

2. Give yourself a mini pep talk. This may sound a bit nuts, but it really works!  You know your limits, and you also know when you’ve achieved something great.  Recognize your milestones as you go!  If you pushed the envelope with a heavier weight, don’t dog on yourself for taking longer to finish the set.  Instead, allow yourself to be impressed with your success, and carry that ‘can-do’ attitude forward into your next round. Even when you hit that wall of being tired, know that a lot of it is actually mental. Being able to push yourself and not stop is difficult, but well worth it in the end. Just remind yourself that the sooner you suck it up and get ‘er done, the sooner the torture will be over.

3. When I can’t resist looking at the clock, I make sure I’m doing a countdown rather than a “count-up.” Instead of seeing that I’ve completed 5 minutes or 2 rounds, I focus instead on how much time or how much of the workout I have left. Somehow, this makes it seem as though I’m making good progress in my workout, instead of focusing obsessively on how it feels like I’m never going to finish!

4. Remind yourself of how accomplished you know you’ll feel when you’re finished! Those endorphins the body releases don’t hurt either.  There really is a legitimate, scientifically documented ‘high’ that occurs after an extended period of physical exertion. Regardless of what mood I’m in when I get to the gym, I always leave feeling proud of myself for a job well done, and in a better mood. We all know that working out helps to relieve stress and tension, so be sure keep that in mind when you feel like quitting!

Got any tips? I’d love to hear them!  Add them to the comment section so we can all give them a try.

CrossFit Zone Stefan doing a max deadlift
Stefan working up to his max deadlift

Way to go Stefan! A new PR 255lb

Today’s Workout:

In teams of two, each team will have five minutes at each of the following stations to complete as many reps (calories on the rower) as possible. Only one team member at a time can be working. The stations are as follows:

  • Row
  • Double Unders
  • Box Jumps
  • Push Press (Girls – 45lb/ Guys – 65lbs)
  • Squats


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