Halfway through an explosive treadmill session, our iPod cut out and so did our rhythm. As we struggled into 20 more minutes of silent hill sprints, the negativity, boredom and outside world started to creep in.
Could we be bothered with that extra mile? Was that woman waiting for our treadmill? What if we had to stop halfway through an extra speed setting? As self-belief took a nose dive, we realised that our self-motivation relied upon an external source, and that music was masking a mental weakness.
Using music for at-home workouts is not superfluous for most people, but essential to peak performance, tempo and cadence. However, it may assist in helping you train your muscles, but not the motivated mind you require for achieving your fitness goals or the autumn season race calendar of new sporting challenges.
Digging deep when you’re working out alone requires a strong internal hard drive. Our advice? Bank an assortment of steely mantras and phrases from fitness classes or a personal trainer to replay when you’re chasing PBs alone. We can still clearly imagine the voice of a
Barry’s Bootcamp trainer every time we feel like giving up, barking ‘remember why you came today, finish strong!’
Busy lives, low funds or simple lack of confidence means we sometimes have cause to duck exercise classes and so to set good habits at home and strengthen your mind, here’s how you can become your own personal trainer.
Bank up fitness mantras
How do the city’s fitness elite train a steely mind? Refresh your memory and visit these Abu Dhabi trainers and then use their phrases as a framework for at-home fitness sessions.
Sasha Quince, founder of Let’s Go Yoga
Sasha has always practised yoga at home to YouTube videos. Her motivation comes from understanding that it isn’t how long you stay on the mat, but that you made it there in the first place. ‘My best advice is always remember how you feel after you exercise, imprint that into your mind and replay that exact feeling next time you end up convincing yourself to exercise. One hour working out is only four percent of your day and every journey begins with a single step.’ www.letsgoyogame.com.
Mohamed Elmorshedy, resort manager at Sheraton Fitness
Mohamed has more than 30 years of experience in the US and the Middle East. Looking a decade younger than his actual age, Mohamed truly lives to push his limits. to the max. ‘Visualise all the benefits of your hard work. Imagine having more energy, healthier complexion, leaner muscles, and a slimmer body. I know that changing your habits is extremely difficult, but as Winston Churchill said: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”’
Yvonne Fraser, personal trainer at Sarries Cycle
Yvonne runs approximately 50km a week, teaches eight classes per week at Saracen’s Cycle Gym and was on the treadmill the day her son was born. But don’t be daunted by her superhuman efforts, even she needs tips and tricks to motivate herself. ‘If I start to lose motivation during the run, I visualise myself reaching certain landmarks ahead. Something I always repeat to myself at the start of every run (to the beat of my steps) is “the first ten minutes are the worst”. A huge way to stay focused and to maintain your motivation is to get yourself in a happy place and have positive thoughts. You are always stronger than you think and, with that, you are fitter than you think.’ www.saracenscycle.com
Model home motivaters
Carry mini inspiration in your pocket from Instagram stars who have thousands of followers achieving body transformation with their at-home downloadable exercise plans. Here’s our pick of the best to follow now:
This Australian fitness star devises 12-week plans that rely on four, seven-minute high intensity circuits twice a week, one for arms and core and the other for legs and glutes. Kayla’s adoring army of ‘BBG’ girls form a supportive insta-community, posting progress pictures and motivational quotes to get you through the bicycle crunches, press-up planks and burpees. www.kaylaitsines.com Follow @kayla_itsines on Instagram.
Ever sat down and mapped out a whole workout diary with a pen and paper and then promptly ignored it? Downloading Amanda’s Fresh Body Fitness 12-week plans is different – your workout doesn’t have to break you. ‘I always thought I had to be sweating and out of breath by the end of a session but I see now that it is the consistency and variety we keep in our workouts that give us results,’ she says. Try the former Australian pole vaulter’s combo of HIIT body weight circuits with the support of her global community. www.amandabisk.com Follow @amandabisk on Instagram.