As a group exercise instructor, I have a few go-to words that I love to use to motivate clients when the going gets tough. The final 10 seconds of a 1 minute plank. 20 seconds of maximum power squat jumps. The final few reps of a heavily weighted kettlebell clean and press. All of these instances have one thing in common – they’re the part of your workout that change you. They’ll make you stronger, fitter and more resilient to every challenge (physical or otherwise) that comes your way. And yep, mental strength makes up at least 50% of the battle. So the next time you need to win a battle of mind over body, here are 26 words to get you through those final reps or seconds. One for every letter in the alphabet…
A – Accelerate: Because hauling ass means endorphins, and endorphins make you feel badass!
B – Build: Remember that fitness is a case of building yourself up block by block. Results will come with time and dedication, so know that every step is one closer to the end goal.
C – Calm: Train to stimulate the body, but also to still and calm the mind. Clear your mind of distractions so you can focus fully on your workout.
D – Discipline: Have discipline even on the days you don’t want to train. The first 5 minutes will be the hardest – the rest will be the best part of your day.
E – Effort: It’s the EFFort that makes it EFFective. Love the effort!
F – Fail: In fitness, there’s no such thing as failure. If you can’t complete that last rep, you’ve succeeded in working to your maximum. The next time, that maximum will be a little bit bigger, better or longer.
G – Gratitude: Work out because you love your body and you are grateful for what it can do. Show your gratitude by rising to your full potential.
H – Heal: Rest when your body needs to heal. A quality rest day means a smarter and more effective workout tomorrow.
I – Intention: Set an intention before every workout, and come back to that intention every time your mind wanders or your body falters.
J – Jump: Jump more. It’s playful. And sometimes life is too damn serious. Plus, jumping is a serious fat-burner.
K – Kale: Because kale is delicious, ridiculously nutrient-dense and so versatile. Eat it. Drink it. Be amazing.
L – Let go: Just let go. Of the judgement. The expectation. The doubt. Let it go and embrace positivity, certainty and good faith in its place.
M – Move: Think outside of your training session. The more you move throughout the day, the healthier your mind and body.
N – No limits: Don’t live by limitations. The possibilities are as endless as you believe them to be.
O – Overload: Keep progressing by increasing resistance and intensity as you improve. You’ll surpass every plateau in your wake.
P – Potential: Set no perimeter around your workout except for your potential. And know that your potential is even bigger than you can imagine.
Q – Queen: Yep, that’s you! Be the sovereign of your mind, body and soul.
R – Resistance: Adding resistance – weights, bands, bodyweight – is as good for your bone health as it is for your muscular strength. By working with resistance, you’ll gradually increase your bone density, so you really will be strong to the bone.
S – Sweat: Be liberal and let your pores pour out! Sweating is sexy. It’s detoxifying, invigorating and good for the skin. There’s nothing more satisfying than finishing a workout and peeling off the damp evidence of your hard-earned sweat! Bask in it – then go take a hot shower!
T – Test: Test yourself. Set regular challenges to track and celebrate your progress. 3 pull-ups when you couldn’t do 1 a month ago? Yep, that’s worth a pat on the back.
U – Up: Keep looking up. You will get fitter and stronger. Don’t stop there. Get even fitter and stronger. The upwards trajectory is incredibly addictive, so continue to crave and pursue your personal improvement.
V – Visualise: Visualise the goal, during both individual reps and the grand scheme of every workout. Thinking about the muscle you’re meant to be working will boost recruitment so you get more from the move. And thinking about your reasons for training will boost the results and feel-good factor of every workout. Dig deep into the mind’s eye and turn what you see into reality.
W – Win: Celebrate every win. Even the little ones. Success should go hand in hand with joy and reward.
X – Express yourself: Whether it’s via a fitness diary, social media, go-to gym outfit or your display at the barre, let the way you move be a way to share your eccentricity with the world. After all, your workout is yours to own.
Y – Yes: Say yes. Especially when it scares you.
Z – Zip in: Zip in your core – in everything you do. You’ll get more from every exercise and you’ll stand as tall as you deserve to every single day.
Want even more motivation with every workout? For PT enquiries, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Or join me for a TRX class at Heartcore – which combines almost every single one of these words to train by (sweat, resistance, discipline, winning, potential, and so much more). Plus, don’t forget about the 4FitnesSake Winter Retreat that I’m co-running in early March – it will be a long weekend full of discipline, gratitude and healing. Just 3 spots left, so book quick!