How do you keep going during a workout?

May 22, 2020

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I'm Mickie. Co-founder and CEO of One Strong Southern Girl. Our team is here for you. We want you to remember us because we helped changed your life. 


Today I’m answering a question I get asked all the time: ‘I always want to quit during a workout. How do I keep going? Are there any tips you can give me?’ That’s a great question! This is a common place we all find ourselves in from time to time.  If you’re struggling with this during your workout then I’m going to give you a strategy that’ll help you keep going.

First of all, you’re not alone! Your mind will naturally want to take the path of least resistance when things get tough.

It’s normal for self-talk to go something like, ‘you’ve done enough for today…‘, ‘this workout isn’t for you, it’s ok to stop it‘, ‘at least you did something…you can try again tomorrow‘.

These are the subtle messages you’ve been hearing for years that lead to stopping a workout when it starts to get tough.

What I hope you realize is that 99% of the time you’re telling yourself that you can’t go on physically but quitting is happening in your head.

Most people (especially women) are capable of SO MUCH MORE than they realize physically. You’ve just never developed a habit of physically pushing yourself.

But when it gets tough and you DON’T stop–that’s when you get results.  That’s when you see what you’re really made of. It’s when you’ll realize you are your biggest obstacle to workout consistency.

The good news is that the people who seem to never have to quit during a workout aren’t any better, different, more talented or smarter than you. They’ve just learned how to keep going.

Learning how to keep going is like learning anything else. You’ll get better at it the more you do it. You’ve created a habit of stopping, so now you need to create a habit of not.

There are several ways to attack this problem but my favorite strategy is to have a plan. 

Create a plan for what you’re going to do when self-talk starts you down a path of stopping instead of squeezing out those last few reps in a workout. 

ATTENTIONI’m NOT your doctor and I’m not encouraging you to push yourself when it’s not smart to keep going. In fact, as a licensed medical provider I recommend you always stop exercising (and contact a medical provider) in the following situations: if you have chest pain, if you ‘see the light’, if you’re dizzy, if you feel like you’re going to throw up, if you see stars, feel like you’re going to blackout, etc.  

Here’s a smart plan for how to keep going when a workout gets tough

The important thing is that you don’t quit moving completely. 

This strategy works because you’re NOT quitting. You’re adjusting, pivoting, adapting to the circumstances until your second wind.

And over a few weeks, you’ll find this begins to happen naturally and the self-talk about stopping will go away.

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