I help take all the guesswork out of home exercise
HI, I'M Mickie
FREE HOME EXERCISE ROADMAP
Set up your home workout routine the right way from day one!
GRAB IT NOW
listen on your favorite podcast player
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.
This was a topic featured on the Crunches and Cosmos podcast. You can hear the episode below:
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.
ATTENTION–I’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.
Change intensity when you want to quit.
BEFORE YOU START exercising make a decision about how you’ll be modifying the workout so you don’t stop.
If you’re doing a cardio workout then plan to walk in place for 30 seconds when you want to stop. Then jump back into the workout after you catch your breath. You can do that as many times as you want to. The important thing is that you keep going until the end.
If you’re doing a workout with equipment then put down the equipment when you start hearing those voices that tell you to quit. And keep moving.
You can always go slower and make the moves smaller.
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.
The amazing thing I’ve discovered is that when you’re not a quitter at one thing you’re not a quitter at anything. So, once you learn how to keep going it’s how you’ll live your life–with massive amounts of resilience and perseverance–and capable of anything.