You want to make the most of your training. Like us here at TurnFit, you want the best bang for every second you spend in the gym. We promise you that doing so is simple, but we should also clarify that simple and easy are VERY different things.
“Anything worth having doesn’t come easy, and things that come easy aren’t usually worth having.”
As the adage confirms, success, in every sense, isn’t meant to be a cakewalk. If it was, EVERYONE would be successful, which is nice to imagine, but really, that’s all it is. Success in any field requires patience, commitment, and consistency, all of which are related to a single psychological trait- resilience.
But what IS resilience? Great question.
Resilience, simply put, boils down to one’s ability to recover quickly from difficulties.
How quickly an individual can get back up after falling flat on their face (figuratively speaking) is how we know how “resilient” they are.
The thing is, some of us are born naturally more resilient than others.
The obese child who becomes a fitness model, the lady who goes from the street to the Hamptons, athletes who return from their injuries as stronger and more capable versions of themselves- ALL of these people would have to be incredibly resilient in their lives, staying patient and consistent along an undoubtedly turbulent path to transcend their limitations and to achieve their goals.
Sure, it’s possible that these hypothetical individuals were born more resilient than the rest of us. It’s also just as much (if not more) likely that they weren’t.
Regardless of their natural resilience, we tend to see such accomplishments as superhuman. We might view these people as “different” in a way and sometimes even rationalize their achievements by seeing them as a special kind of person, with a special kind of skill and/or special circumstances that allow them to get to where they are.
These beliefs and assumptions often limit our own growth because we perceive these achievements as things reserved only for a specific segment of people who are “built differently.”
We’re here to tell you otherwise.
The beautiful thing about the human mind and body is that they are ALWAYS adapting to help us “survive”. They are designed to help deal with environmental stressors that ALL of us face. Yes, ALL of us. The tubby child, the lady from the street, AND the injured athlete included.
The difference in the outcomes they had and the outcomes that most others get lies in their response TO the difficulties they faced- which boils down to………………
Resilience! You got it!
But if resilience as a trait is so variable in people, are success and failure pre-determined in a way? Not quite.
General psychological knowledge explains that our traits are genetically pre-determined to an extent. Beyond that, our experiences after birth shape the traits we have today.
The simplest way to explain this would be to say that our mind is constantly observing us. How we react to situations, what gets us going, what puts us off, everything. This information builds our sense of “self” and thus informs us of who we are based on our thoughts and behaviors.
Every time we back off from a difficult situation, we reinforce the idea that we are someone who does this. Our mind records this and adds it to its repertoire, and so the next time we are faced with a difficult situation of any sort, we will be more likely to back off because “it feels right.”
However, we need to understand that it only “feels right” because that’s who we’ve conditioned ourselves to believe we are! In other words, our ideas of who we are (shaped by our experiences) can potentially hinder us in our path to becoming who we CAN be.
So far, we’ve placed our finger on the problem. Our past experiences inform our understanding of who we are and what we can and cannot do; for those of us who are not born with high levels of the trait, our past experiences are not likely to reflect exceptional resilience that allows our mind to see ourselves in such a light. So, it doesn’t “feel right” to display resilience in the face of difficulty in future situations.
That’s good to know, but what does this have to do with making the most of my training?
We’re glad you asked, and we’re even gladder that making the most of your training with this information is relatively simple!
The Solution (How to make the most of your training)
We want to make sure you understand the “Why” before we explain the “How” and we’re glad you stuck around! Here’s the key to making the most of your training.
If our mind is observing us constantly, it would also observe us when we DO display resilience in a given situation and inform our understanding of who we are accordingly. Simply put, the more we display resilience in our lives today, the more likely we are to display it tomorrow.
Physical exercise is arguably the most productive way to build the mental toughness inherent in resilience so it is imperative to try to make the most of your training by training your mind AND your body. By mentally pushing yourself through the workout/exercise you had intended to do regardless of the circumstance, over and over again, you inform your observing mind that you CAN, in fact, do this. That you CAN face and conquer difficult situations.
Not every day is going to be sunny, and you won’t ALWAYS want to work out. There will be days where the same weight feels MUCH heavier and where everything seems to be working against you when you’re trying to make the most of your training. But the question is, do you do it regardless?
Success is a cruel master. The subjectivity of individual circumstance that tends to dictate our lives and actions are immaterial to the ever objective question success asks each of us:
“Did you do what needs to be done?”.
There are only two possibilities, either you did, or you didn’t. Simple.
Pushing yourself to finish a relatively intense workout, ESPECIALLY on a day you don’t particularly “feel like it,” is CRUCIAL. Doing so would not only make the “good days” feel better. It would also increase the likelihood of you being able to get through tougher workouts that you will progress to eventually and, more importantly, the challenges that life itself indiscriminately throws at us all in our path to self-improvement.
To build psychological resilience, we must put ourselves in situations that require us to be resilient. Make the most of your training in the gym by training BOTH your body and mind- recognize the discomfort, acknowledge it, and try your best to push through it. Like any other skill, resilience and perseverance require intense practice before they can be mastered.
In conclusion, the same hot water that softens the potato hardens the egg. You get to pick which one you’re going to be. Make the most of your training, to teach yourself to make the most of every situation.
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About Turnfit Personal Trainers
TurnFit Personal Trainers is founded by David Turnbull or “Coach David” – an experienced and successful Personal Trainer who strives to build happier, healthier lives every day.
With a focus on holistic health, we pride ourselves on making a difference and were recently awarded the 2019,2020 & 2021 Top Choice Award for Personal Trainer in Vancouver.
TurnFit’s mission to help you to build the skills and mindset it takes to feel successful in all areas of your life.
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We look forward to hearing from you!
-David Turnbull, TurnFit Personal Trainers LTD