The psychology behind training
What is the secret behind success, why is it that some people can get so easily in shape while others struggle forever without seeing any significant results?
What is more important your diet or your exercise routine? Well, both are important, but the real difference between those who succeed and those who don’t is not the training or the diet, but the mindset that they bring to their routine. It is one thing to know how to train and how to eat a proper diet; it is quite another to actually do it.
If you want to get good results and stay fit for life you have to be willing to make the effort to change your habits and your thinking. You also need to get organized – draw up a plan follow it till you achieve your goal. Once you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve you should set a goal; a long term goal which you can break into several short term goals.
What is the difference between a person who is forever starting and another person who actually finishes what she started? This is where the psychology comes in. Whether you achieve your goal or not depends on your mind set.
We have pinpointed 4 points which are most crucial for success.
- Confidence. Confidence is the belief in your ability to succeed. If you have a shaky self esteem it is going to be difficult for you to succeed, because you will probably engage in negative self talk that is going to affect your performance.
So in order to succeed, you need to believe in yourself and in your capacity.
- Organization. Good organization starts with setting a goal. Setting a goal starts by taking a decision. To take a decision you need to find a reason. The process of goal setting not only helps you to focus attention and increase your concentration, it also encourages persistence. If you decide to loose 10kg in 2 weeks you are setting an unrealistic goal. You might wanna loose 10kg but you need to give yourself time to do so. Meanwhile think only of ½-1 kg a week.
You wont get far without good organization. You can be inspired and fully motivated but unless you are organized – unless you are following a plan – you will soon find yourself falling into the trap of your old habits.
- Motivation. If you follow a plan you hate, you eat a diet you can’t stand and follow an exercise routine that you don’t like you will never succeed. We can suffer for a while – that’s why some diets can work on reaching short term goals – but in the end you will always give up.
To stay motivated you need to enjoy what you are doing; you need to find a diet that fits you and that you like with that in mind that it will help you to loose weight. You need to find an exercise form that you enjoy doing. You should also give your self small rewards for each small goal you achieve.
When you start to see changes in your self it will motivate you even further.
- 4. Concentration If you don’t focus your attention on your plan you will forget and find yourself slipping back into old habits. Before long, you will find yourself behaving in the same old way – eating the wrong foods, skipping exercise and so on. Everything eventually becomes a habit, which is why you need to concentrate most in the beginning of the process. I recommend you take small steps in changing your habits, work on one or few goals at the time. This is less energy consuming and you are less likely to give up.
Putting it all together, you will see that even you can succeed. You can reach your goal if you just put your mind into it.
In the last issue we covered exercises for the lower body. This time we’re going to introduce you to some new exercises that target the upper body.
Start by doing these exercises twice or three times a week. Target 2-3 sets for each exercise, beginning with 15-25 reps. As your body gets used to the exercise routine, you can gradually increase the reps.
Push ups (working muscles: chest, front shoulders, triceps)
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Get down on your knees and hands. Straighten your back so your entire bodyweight rests on your arms. Lower your body until your chest touches the floor. Keep enough distance between your hands otherwise you will mainly be working your triceps. Push up again to a starting position.
For an easier version of push ups, put your knees and move your bodyweight backwards by pushing up your buttocks. For a more difficult version keep your legs straight instead of bent.
Single Arm Row (working muscle: upper and middle back)
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Put one leg on a bench, bend your torso and lift the weight up to your side. Your arm is close to your body throughout the movement. To target your middle back you should bring your elbow as high up as possible and at the same time squeeze your shoulder blade. Lower your arm to starting position.
Shoulder Press (working muscles: shoulders, triceps)
Stand upright, contract your stomach and keep a correct posture. Hold the dumbbells at your shoulder level and press the weight up. Go down to starting position.
Dips (working muscles: triceps)
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Sit on a bench or a chair. Put your hands on the edge of the chair, your legs can be either on the floor or on a higher level (advanced). Remember to keep your elbows close to your sides As you go down, your elbows should point backwards, not to the side. Keep your shoulders pushed down throughout the movement.
Biceps Curl (working muscles: triceps)
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Stand up straight with your stomach tight with dumbbells in your hands. (Alternatively you can use rubber band instead of dumbbells.) Curl your arms up to shoulder level and bring them back down to starting position.
Two of a kind
Helga Bergsteinsdottir is a sports and rehabilitation counselor and a nutrition counselor with a university degree in Fitness, Nutrition and Rehabilitation as well as psychology. She is also an ISSA certified fitness trainer and her speciality is weight management. Helga is the co-founder of the “8 weeks to a new you” programme, enhancing healthy weight loss, through fitness training, nutritional education and an altered mind setting.