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5 ways to push through a tough workout…

“No one said this would be easy, just know that nothing beats the feeling of accomplishment.” 
~ Unknown

Day 2 of Insanity Max:30! was Tabata based.  The good news for me was that I love Tabata training and do it quite often.  The bad news was that this was at Shaun T’s crazy Insanity pace and it killed me.  

High JumpsI was pretty sore already from yesterday’s workout and had to keep talking to myself into not quitting.  I ended up maxing out at 11:08 minutes, which is pretty respectable. The workout was a really good blend of plyometrics, pushups, abs and triceps, ending with a minute of high jumps, which I’m convinced is humanly impossible.  

To get through the crazy pace of these workouts, I’ve developed a number of tactics that help me push a little more, go a little further and do a bit more than the day before: 

  1. Set a goal:  before each workout, I set a goal of how far I want to get for me to be happy with my effort.  Since I maxed out at 7:41 minutes yesterday, there was no way I was stoping before 8 minutes.
  2. Break up the task:  instead of focusing on the full 30 minute workout, I focused on the 20 second Tabata intervals.  I kept telling myself that I ‘can do anything for 20 seconds’ and pushed through each section.  Whether it’s 20 second intervals, doing 10 more reps or running until the next street, setting small goals allows you to go further than you otherwise would have.
  3. Focus on your breath:  throughout the workout, my legs were cramping, my arms felt like jello and my abs were on fire.  So instead, I focused on exhaling as I pushed through.  Your breath will never hurt so make sure you’re getting as much air as possible and I promise that exhaling through that extra rep will help you complete it.
  4. Modify:  I wasn’t strong enough to do plyometric tricep pushups (it hurts my head just writing out the name).  So instead of stopping, I modified the exercise and did them on my knees.  As I get stronger I’ll go down on one knee only and then eventually I’ll try the first few with my knees off the ground and alternate.  Modifying is always better than not doing anything, you have to keep moving to get stronger. 
  5. Get stubborn:  our minds give up way before our muscles max out.  I keep reminding myself of that when I want to give up, I get stubborn and I do 2 more reps…and 2 more after that…and maybe 2 more after that… you get the point.

Hope these help you next time you’re ready to quit.  I know I’ll be using them tomorrow morning when I attempt Day 3.  At this point, I just hope I’m able to get out of bed…


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