6 Ways to Workout Your Mind in the Gym

Turns out the gym isn’t just about building muscle. It’s also the best place to strengthen your mentality. 

In today’s world, it seems like everyone is going to the gym to stay healthy and look good. But have you ever thought about the bigger picture of working out? Sure, looking muscular and getting lean may be primary goals, but there is a lot more you can gain from hitting the gym. There are many parallels between becoming successful in the gym as well as in your career. While working out may seem like it solely helps us physically, it can also teach us many mental and emotional lessons that can benefit us to become harder, better, faster and stronger in all aspects of our lives.

1. Patience is a virtue.

Rome wasn’t built in a day — and neither will your body. Good results take time and great results take even longer. Repetition by repetition and day by day, a transformation will happen, and the gains will be visible. But never expect to see success after a day! The journey is always long with up’s and down’s, but in the end, a masterpiece can be built. Be patient — the day will come.

2. Don’t cheat.

Junk food. Supplements. Partial reps. Ending sessions early. Skipping days. To me, these are all forms of cheating. All of these will only hinder you from your ultimate goal. Sure, we all cheat once in a while but the more you do it the more it becomes a habit. Temporary progress isn’t worth the price of your character.

3. Hard work is the true measure of success.

Being successful in the gym or in life doesn’t just magically happen. Looking at the mirror won’t make your muscles bigger. Going to the gym once a week won’t make you fit. Soreness, shortness of breath, sweat — these are the byproducts of intensity and frequency. And both talk the language of hard work. Becoming successful in what you do and getting what you want was never meant to be easy.

4. There is always someone better than you.

This one was a harsh reality for me. I wanted to the best and think that I was without doing anything. The reality is that there will always be someone who is better than you at what you do. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing because the sooner you accept it, the faster you realize that you want to become better. When you see someone who is stronger, faster, and better, it ramps up the zeal in yourself. You, too, will become a stronger, faster, and better version of yourself, but you have to keep reaching.

5. Get out of your comfort zone.

The more you step outside of your comfort zone, the more you will learn and grow. The most muscle is built during the last two to three reps when there is nothing left in the tank. But how many times do you put down the weights because you mentally thought you couldn’t lift one more time? Putting that amount of stress on your body will force your body adapt. The same goes outside of the gym. Whatever your fears, put yourself in a situation to face them when the opportunity arises. Personally, I was deathly afraid of public speaking, but I realized it was such an essential skill to have to reach my goals. I repeatedly saw the opportunity for me to step outside my comfort zone whether it was speaking up in class or meeting new people, and I’ve become stronger for it.

6. Be diverse.

What I mean by being diverse is to have many different experiences. When athletes work out and get in shape, they don’t necessarily focus solely on one type of workout like cardio or strength. Getting an overall athletically fit body requires becoming a master in every type of workout. The muscles must be flexible and have the stamina to push a large amount of weight. The heart must be able to beat very quickly for a short period but then drop back to rest. When your body can be at its full potential with all of its physiological responses working in sync, the body will be elite. Outside of the gym, being a jack-of-all-trades and a master of all will exponentially expand your horizons. You become relatable to others. You begin to have confidence in what you do. You start having a passion for a variety of things. And then you realize that the opportunities for success come searching for you.

Darshan Shah
Darshan Shah

Medical Student, VCOM Virginia

Darshan is a self-driven, goal-oriented student of life who is passionate about promoting healthy change and success in all endeavors. He's a Medical school candidate at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine with a goal of practicing integrative and functional medicine.

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