How mindset impacts our performance in the gym

Has your training felt kind ”off” recently? Perhaps your head is not in the right place, and you are starting to see that impact on your performance in the gym.

Or maybe you just hit a new PR lift recently.You impressed and surprised yourself, and you are trying to understand what changed that meant you hit that lift.

This article will focus on how your mindset directly impacts your performance, the impact of a fixed mindset and a growth mindset, and the impact stress has on your training.

Let’s take a closer look!

What mental barriers are impacting your gains?

Establishing a strong mental attitude is essential, and it directly impacts your results. For example, if you don’t think you can do a press-up, are you going to try? Unlikely.

If you change your mindset to ”if i practice hard, one day i will do a press-up”, the chances are, you are much likelier to try and therefore achieve your goals.

But let’s look into this a little further.Let’s see how a fixed versus growth mindset impacts your training and what impact stress might have on performance.

Fixed versus Growth mindset

The best performing athletes in life adopt a growth mindset. This viewpoint allows athletes to embrace challenges, never give up despite facing obstacles, take learnings from mistakes, and gain inspiration from the succes of others.

Athletes with this mindset don’t limit their world and constantly strive to expand it.

On the flip side, athletes with a mindset that is fixed have the opposite views. These athletes believe they can’tmake changes, no matter how hard they try,they are scared of failure, so they give up easily. Another athlete having succes scares them, and they struggle with negative feedback.

Don’t worry. Your mindset is something you can alter. Once you adopt a better mindset, you will immediately find yourself much closer to your training or sports goals.

Set intentions

When you do anything, you should set an intention or goal. That rule applies to the gym and anything else you do in life.

Why are you doing what you’re doing? This includes planning your intention before you train, exercise, or play sport.

Consider how you want to feel after training. What steps will help you achieve this? Plan your intentions based on how you want to feel post-workout.

Good examples include feeling productive, improving your mood, increasing your weight, or reducing stress.

However, be wary of the difference between intention and expectation.


Elite athletes are great at visualizing where they want to be.It is one of the most powerful mental tools you can use to overcome doubt and build a growth mindset. The concept is based on the fact that if you can imagine yourself achieving a goal, you have more chance of physically achieving it.

Be as detailed as possible, considering each individual aspect. Engage all your senses. Take a minute to visualize before you dive into your trainiing, and it will help you start on the right foot.

The impact of stress

One major impactor on changing your mindset can be stress. Don’t get me wrong, a little bit of stress can be a good thing, as it helps drive you to achieve your training goals.

However, too much stress can hinder them. Stress can have a significant impact on training performance.

Stress and exercise are a common relationship. Pre-race or pre-training jitters are to be expected. However, bad stress can mentally and physically impact your progress and performance.

When you get stressed, your body releases cortisol, also known as the fight-or-flight response.Your body hits high alert, and your heart rate and breathing rate quicken as your muscles tighten.

Tense muscles can greatly impact your trainig performance, as the body will stop moving as effectively and efficiently.

How to decrease stress

As you can tell,if you suffer from stress, then it is important to try and lower your stress levels.You certainly don’t want your stress levels to impact your performance.

Here are some ways you can lower your stress:

Try breathing techniques – focus on each breath and count to four before breathing out.Repeat this ten times.

Get more or better sleep – try and focus on getting more quality sleep.Go to bed earlier, and try to go for an hour without screens before bed.

Sort out your diet – stress can develop from a poor diet, so try to limit how much pre-packed and processed foods you eat.

Write it out – use a journal to vent, or try talking to a friend.

Organize your time – set alarms and keep a calendar to help keep your stress levels down.

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