This article is about pushing to the limits while working out. Some can and some can’t. How come if two people are planning to go for a 7km run, one will end up running 5km while the other one will run 10km?
How come if two people with equal fitness levels perform as many push ups as possible that one person will end up doing 70 push ups. The other person on the other hand will only do 50?
Both people might feel equally tired but somehow the first person is able to push through his exhaustion and do an extra 20.
The phenomenon of pushing yourself to your limits is related to mental toughness.
Mental toughness can be defined as the ability of maintaining focus and determination to complete a course of action despite difficulty or consequences.
In other words, if your plan is to do perform 100 burpees, this would mean to perform 100 and not 90.
An important thing to know is that training results are often achieved in the last 20% of a workout. It is often in the last part of the workout that you are really challenging yourself. It is also often in this part that the involved muscles are being overloaded.
This is the difference between feeling tired after performing 3 rounds of a certain set of exercises and stopping your workout, or trying to find the energy to squeeze in one extra round.
Some people are born with mental toughness when it comes down to training and some are not.
Often it is something that you develop in your early years due to your surroundings.
You might think that it’s not in your nature to push yourself hard while you train. I believe that you can improve this.
Intrinsic vs extrinsic motivation
People, who push themselves hard while working out, often have an intrinsic motivation when it comes down to training. This mean that they are determined to push themselves out of their comfort zone and reach their training goals. They need little encouragement to get motivated.
Others work out but have a rather extrinsic motivation. Someone might train because others are telling him to do so.
I believe that the more regular you train and build up an achievable routine, the more you will start to shift your motivation from being extrinsic to intrinsic. This often goes hand in hand with starting to enjoy to push yourself to your limits.