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What do you think about during a Workout?

by | May 26, 2021 | Fitness | 0 comments

As new research has shown, we do not think what we think about during a workout or vice versa. It greatly affects the effect that we get from it.

And now we will learn how our thoughts can affect the speed of progress of workouts. And even how they can separate the champion from the audience.

The meaning of what we think about during a Workout

For many people, a workout in the gym or a jog means a mental break. And at the same time, the opportunity to think about the events that happened during the day. Or vice versa, do not think about anything, just making movements on autopilot.

But if you also want to improve your sports performance. It will be useful to learn about the results of 4 studies that we will now consider.

Scientists are increasingly saying: what happens in a person’s head during training can significantly affect their effectiveness.

What we think about affects the effectiveness of the Workout

Over the past few decades. Physiologists have come to understand the level of our achievements in a wide variety of fields. From sports to music and science. It depends not on natural talents and abilities but on the number of hours we spend for conscious practice.

Conscious practice

Conscious practice is a term coined by cognitive psychologist Anders Erickson, and its meaning will be discussed later. And now there is one essential point for understanding.

In a study that was conducted with violinists, Erickson found:

  • Those violinists who failed to make a career as a performer spent up to 18 years of conscious practice. On average 3,400 hours.
  • Professionals — 5.300 hours
  • Virtuoso violinists from the most prominent orchestras 7.400 hours

Returning to the term “conscious practice.” in contrast to the unconscious, involves simply repeating the same exercises repeatedly. conscious includes:

  • setting specific goals
  • tracking progress and
  • constantly improving equipment. 

And this is important both for training in the gym and in those sports where endurance is needed. Although initially, it seems that here you go outside and run at a comfortable pace. It is not entirely true…


Scientists from the University of Ota compared the methods used by high-class professional runners. And their colleagues who have achieved less success. The fundamental difference was that the first ones were more often used:

  • interval training
  • running at different tempos
  • running for time

All this requires constant attention and concentration.

In addition to engaging in the conscious practice, you need to monitor your progress throughout the week and months. Constantly correcting and making appropriate changes to them. And not just keep doing the same thing as before.

A study conducted in Toronto among triathletes. Found that most experienced athletes not only carefully plan their training for the year ahead. But they regularly arrange fasting weeks for themselves. So that the body recovers and they can continue to move towards a better result.

Beginners, on the contrary. Train with maximum intensity until the accumulated fatigue or injury. Do not force them to stop training at all for a while.

Scientists divide mental tactics into associative and dissociative.

Associative Tactics

in the first case, you concentrate:

  • on a specific task here and now
  • on breathing
  • techniques
  • involving the necessary muscles in the work

Dissociative Tactics

And in the second, on the contrary. You think about anything but exercise, for example:

  • about what you will do after training
  • what movie you watched yesterday.

A series of experiments in which they ruled over the past few decades showed that: the thoughts of the most successful athletes were more often associative. While their opponents have achieved fewer results, they have not been focused on the process. 

But all this does not mean that you need to think about all the movements in every workout. For most people, training should be a mental relief because not everyone has a goal to win competitions.

But a study that was conducted in Ottawa among runners showed that. Athletes subjectively evaluate the most conscious workouts that require maximum effort and concentration as the most pleasant and enjoyable. Therefore, if you add a little conscious practice to your classes several times a week, this will help to improve your performance and give you more fun seriously.

What is Workout for you?

It will be interesting to find out what training is for you. is this more of a way to relieve yourself from things and think about something of your own? or do you focus on the process as much as possible at this point? 

I wish you success, take care of yourself and have fun with proper training.

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