Mindfulness Training Is The Limiting Factor In Your Physical Training
Mindfulness has been an increasingly popular topic no matter where you go. It is slowly getting away from the Wishy-washy stigma that held it down and is rising its head as depression and anxiety are at all-time highs and effect everyone at some level. Everyone from corporate employees to manly men out on the farms are now taking these mental health issues seriously as it affects everyone and puffing your chest up doesn’t shield you from a mental battle that will at some point rear its ugly head.
Saying you are too busy just doesn’t cut it anymore, you are with your own thoughts all day and if you don’t have control of your own mental state, you don’t have control of anything. So now that the excuses are out of the way, I want to highlight the importance of this stuff when it comes to performance. Many top-level high performers in all areas and athletic scenes are incorporating some form of meditation or mindfulness into their training to improve performance.
What some don’t realise when they say things like “I don’t have the time to do that” it means they are saying they don’t have the time to look after their body as mental strength and physical strength make up one overall being which is you. You have the time to read this article or work through this programme with me to take your body to the next level, building up mindfulness will overall help you on your fitness journey.
If your goal is improved body composition, whether that be losing fat, gaining muscle or both, having a basic level of self-awareness at both a physical and emotional level is essential. Anyone that has really dropped the hammer and lost significant body fat, knows how much more of a mental battle it is than the physical strain. Learning how to notice certain actions and self-talk that limits you from continuing the journey can be the only thing holding you back. You can have all the tools in the world handed to you but if you can’t personally learn and apply these habits then it means nothing.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Nobody needs more information on how to reach their goals, whether that be physical or anything else. It’s all there. The limiting factor is in the identity that you give yourself. You don’t have the time, you don’t have the resources, yadda yadda. These excuses, and that’s all they are, are only there because of the underutilization of two things:
This will not only allow you to see through a clearer lens on how your actions are really affecting your life, but also give you the ability to take control of your breath and have a massive impact on your ability to recover, as I will discuss shortly.
Accountability is an incredible asset no matter who you are or how motivated you are. Everyone has the tendency to take their foot off the gas pedal or take shortcuts when no one’s watching. Secondly, even more important than this is the momentum of the community. If you see others succeeding around you, this will always give you a second gear to keep you on track as this momentum is highly contagious!
So, have you tried mediation at any level?
Sure you have, at a basic level just focusing on your breath for a couple minutes is a great start. If you want to improve your performance in the gym TODAY, try taking longer deeper breaths when you contract through the movement. Your breath is a representation of your mood, if you are relaxed and happy your breathing will allow for full expansion of the diaphragm and allow more oxygen to flow through the body. So many people start to shorten their breathing right down and, 9 times out of 10, tend to gas themselves out from lack of oxygen instead of actual muscular failure.
If you can build this control around training this will make a huge difference in your perceived exertion as well as your limit of actual muscular failure. So there’s some nice benefits during training, however I want to focus on a game changer post training. If you allow 10-15mins post training to take back control of your breathing and allow your body to bring the heart rate and breathing back down, this will allow the parasympathetic nervous system to send signals to the body for repair. It will take the body out of fight and flight mode and allow proper digestion processes and cell repair, along with many other benefits that will make a HUUUUGE difference to your body composition.
I want you to try breathing this week, many of you have a Fitbit or similar and they all have a breathing app on them, or something for a short, guided breathing session that you will come out the other end feeling a million bucks. If not, starting with simply 5mins of 1 to 1 breathing, so 4 sec out 4 sec in can do wonders. Remember what I said earlier, it’s not more information that’s important, it’s just the ability to learn and apply this stuff. Try this after training just twice a week and I want you to notice how much more mental clarity, recovery and motivation towards training you have.
Remember to take in the good out of each day and for a couple moments throughout the day. Mentally note down 3-5 things you’ve done well. A total switch in mindset incorporates a positive attitude as we get so lost in everyday life we forget to dwell in the goodness of it. If you can apply what we have just gone through, I am confident you will be happy with the outcome. But I want to hold you to this, and this is coming back to the community aspect. Mindfulness is hopefully an interesting topic that you will take on board, however I know you are here to take control of your training and build a body you are proud of.
So if you’re ready to step up and take control of your training, lets book in a coaching call so we can talk 1on1 about what you’re struggling with and find the ultimate game plan for your physique.