How Your Mind Rules Your Workout

Keeping fit is not all about the body as the mind rules the way in the long term

Photo by Jared Rice on Unsplash

Be calm, present, and focused when you’re working out.


Because that’s the best mentality to enter into a workout with.

Of course, there are many who’ll dispute this approach because they feel you need to be pumped up or aggressive they’d be wrong.

I even know people who like to eat a lot right before exercising and this too makes no sense.

In fact, the variation in the approach to beginning a workout is amazing. It shows where people are in their minds not only when working out but also in other areas of their life too.

For example, if you’re generally not sleeping well you’ll probably find it more difficult to approach not only one workout but working out consistently also. And that’s when you may start marking strange decisions about how you’ll approach working out over the longer term.

As the mind directs the body, the results of all of your workouts and how your body looks are effectively dictated by the state of your mind in the first place and over the longer term.

Other than the mind, injury and bad diet are common problems that the ordinary person has to contend with when they commit entering into a workout schedule.

Many don’t understand what their injuries are and feel it’s best to build a routine of working out and try to ignore what’s going on in their body. But this will also impact your mental preparation before working out and limit your effort in certain exercises too. And in many ways, you’ll be going through the motions.

And there are plenty of people who try to trick themselves into believing they’re training to their best ability when in fact they’re only going through the motions and fulfilling their time spent in a gym.

Similarly, many gym users eat improperly but are consistent enough with their workouts and expect to have major fitness results after a couple of weeks. But for the average person, this is highly unlikely because their metabolism doesn’t allow them to be this type of athlete. And instead, the lumps and bumps of eating poorly are more obvious than the muscles that have been worked out over time in the gym.

But as you experience bigger injuries, fluctuating weight, or even age a little bit you’ll begin to learn that your preparation is very important before working out.

Because your body will change even if you try to improve it.

But being calm, present, and focussed is not what many younger adults commit to being when they work out. Many are too obsessed with what their bodies look like instead of realizing how their bodies feel.

For example, when the Smartphone began to become popular gyms all around the world began to realize that taking pictures and recording videos there was a potential risk to gym users' privacy. Many gyms put up signs to warn people that these phones were not allowed there and they needed to respect all other users instead.

But this didn’t last long.

As the technology advanced the rules in gyms in using technology began to lapse.

Photo by Anastase Maragos on Unsplash

Although many young females were happy that male gym users wouldn’t be taking pictures of them, soon after both males and female behavior began to change when working out in gyms. Rather than taking pictures of others, many younger gym goers became intent on turning the camera on themselves.

The advancing technology together with the progression of social media meant that younger people wanted to advertise their bodies to their followers.

And before long the need for privacy was flipped on its head and it came back to the body and making it look good.

At the same time when more mature adults were exercising to get healthy and feel better, younger gym users were trying to become pinups on social media. And that’s how more injuries, eating issues, and mental problems began to fester. So even though they may have looked good for one image and gotten followers, shares, and likes, in their minds many weren’t feeling as good as they looked.

For many in attending a gym and trying to follow a training program, it was off-putting as younger users would stall their workout and stand or sit in front of the mirrors for poses with their phones. Selfies were the rage and although on the surface this didn’t bother other users it meant that specific weight and exercise machines and free weights weren’t as available as they should have been to other users.

Photo by Quinten de Graaf on Unsplash

It proved that many younger users’ mentality was not entirely concentrated on their workout but only on its pretense.

Working out is all about becoming healthier and fitter over time. A session here and there won’t make your body better. Similarly, being motivated by only looking good will not sustain a long-term approach to training for what’s best for your body.

It’s only your mind that’ll be able to do this and that’s by preparing with the proper calmness, presence, and focus to become fit and healthy over the long run.

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Dr. Conor Hogan Ph.D.

Dr. Conor Hogan Ph.D.


Forbes, INC. & Entrepreneur Magazines, CBS, & NBC Featured, Dr. Conor Is The World’s Leading High-Performance Neuro Socio-Psychologist & Co-Authored 4 Books