It’s Your Head Giving Up

Hey friends!

How are you?! How was your weekend?

Mine was fabulous. As always. :)

Did the dinner thang with a friend on Friday. Completed a full-body weights workout, followed by a 35 mile bike ride and a 7 mile run on Saturday. Refueled (see below), baked a cake, read books, did some grocery shopping, napping, and went and saw a movie with the husband on Saturday afternoon/evening.

Slept in, went to church, and enjoyed a family dinner and dessert night with my husband’s family on Sunday.

{The lemon cake I made. It was deeeeelicious-and I made it without oil or butter. Woot.}

Pretty legit couple of days, right? :)


Let’s back up to that training workout I did, shall we?

There is a saying I saw on Pinterest that caught my eye, to help me explain this all:


And boy did I have to dig that one up while I was riding and running. At about mile 30 I was like, “I should just bag this and go run now.” Ummmm, yah. That wouldn’t do me any favors in the long run, now would it?

I mean the Half IronMan is going to be a looootttt longer than 30 miles.

So I pulled a motivational quote on myself, told myself it was my head giving up, and kept on riding.

And guess what?! It worked.

It’s Your Head Giving Up

In BodyPUMP I often pull out motivational sayings and quotes to make them smile, push on, and to not give up.

BodyPUMP is about strength and endurance, so it’s important to force the muscles to get all the way fatigued (or else there isn’t so much of a ‘burn,’ and the person might not ever see physical changes in their body<—which is sad because I don’t want anyone wasting time at the gym!)

A small smattering of things I’ve said/say in class:

  • “Every athlete does squats! If we want to look like an athlete, we must train like one!”
  • “If you change nothing, nothing will change.” <—especially said when changing weights on the barbell
  • “Dig deep. This is your fitness we’re working on!”
  • “You didn’t come to quit. You came to get fit!”
  • “Remember why you’re here. Why did you get off the couch?”
  • “If this were easy, everyone else would be in here too!” <—this gets lots of smiles :)
  • “You’re getting stronger right now.”
  • “What you’re feeling right now is strength & power. There is no better feeling!”
  • “Love doesn’t need handles.” <—yes, I’ve said this before.

+ tons more. It totally depends on the day, the class (who is there), and how I am feeling that day, but that gives you an idea. Sometimes all we need is a good push in the right direction.

That push can come from a fitness instructor who knows what she/he is talking about, and who cares about the class. I am a passionate person, so none of these things sound weird coming from me. However, I also know when to back off and say things like “keep going, you’ve got this!” Or “you’ve already come so far, you can be proud of yourself!” (These tend to be directed to classes that have newer people to BodyPUMP.)

You get the idea.

But of course, that push must often come from within. It MUST come from your brain. From your mind. Because in reality, you are stronger than you think, so it’s most definitely your head giving up before you legs or arms. 😉

Of course, during that tough spot on Saturday, I only had me, myself, and I on that bike… I told myself stories.

Essentially I trained my brain to enjoy the burn, the pain, the fatigue, instead of hating it. And I reminded myself how good I would feel if I reached the number of miles I said I would do, and how my fitness was being improved if I did.

So, the lesson?

When the going gets tough, take control of your brain and remind yourself why you started in the first place. 

Your brain is the best tool you’ve got when it comes to fitness. It must be conquered before any real mileage can be taken on or races won.

Mind over muscle, baby.

Cheers to healthy brains AND bodies!

Have a LOVELY Monday. <3

When was the last time YOU needed to tell yourself a story during a workout?? What do YOU remind yourself of, when your head is giving up??

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  1. When I feel like giving up, I think to myself, “Do this because you CAN!”

  2. Completely agree on the mind vs body! I often tell myself to be grateful that I have the ability to run and lift weights, and that usually gets me going. I also love this quote via pinterest: Working out is a reward, not a punishment.

  3. i always remind myself of how great i’ll feel when i FINISH, and how crappy i’ll feel if i don’t finish!

  4. Love those little sayings. I am going to print them off and keep them handy!!! :)

  5. Danielle says:

    This post came just at the right time! Saturday we did a long run and my achilles and heel were screaming, major pain, and we still had 3 miles to go. That last 3 miles were totally mental and tough! I was so happy to jump in the cold pool after, lol.
    Yesterday was super hard – 52 mile ride out in the hill country, and it was major HILLS! omg it was so flippin hard. I was almost in tears and thought about getting in the SAG wagon a few times. A nice cyclist gave me a pep talk right at the last 7 miles, and I decided that he was right, and I could finish… then I got lost and added another 2 miles by mistake, but thankfully finished. Everyone was done and waiting on me, and it was hard. Training with people that have done the full Ironman is tough, and I’m always the slowest, but I suppose if I can train with them that will prepare me for the Half IM coming up.. :) at least that’s what I hope!
    The phrase that I used a lot yesterday was: DIG DEEP! lol love that one. I also told myself that I can do this, and won’t die. Yeah, I kept saying to myself, “I’m not going to die out here… so I mine as well finish this!” it worked, sorta, lol.

    • DANG girl. You are legit!! I can’t believe you did 52 miles!! I don’t know if I’ll ever come close to that in training, haha.

  6. Lindsay says:

    That lemon cake looks wonderful! Is the recipe on your blog somewhere?

  7. Great motivation! I always say to myself “Just one more minute. You can do anything for one more minute!” I say that 60 times in an hour long class, but it works!!! :-)

  8. Great post!! I always have to remember its mind over matter. And that I am working out for me and my happiness and sanity. I have the power to overcome this difficult task and how much better I will feel coming out of the challenge! Challenges only make us stronger people in the end.

  9. I always think, “You’ve never regretted a workout before, don’t make this the first one!” I love reading through these. Great motivation!

  10. I always try and think of how proud I’ll feel when I’m done! And dang! Did your Saturday have a few extra hours added to it!? Impressive!

  11. Stefanie says:

    Hey Annette! It’s Stefanie from St. Louis…just wanted to remind you of a saying ou threw out quite a bit during squats. It always got a laugh and it’s one of my favorites!

    “If you don’t squeeze your butt, nobody else will!!”

    We miss you at 24!

    • Awwwww MISS YOU!!!

      You’re right, I didn’t say that. But boy do I ever pull that on my classes here. They all laugh too. MISS you guys SO bad. HOpe all is well in the StL :)

  12. That is so true, Annette! When I’m working out, I often have to make the conscious decision to keep going, even when my legs, butt, arms, abs, etc are screaming at me. I’m sure it would help having you there cheering me on too 😉 (Especially the one about the handles.. HAHA!)

  13. LOVE your quotes. Gotta keep these in mind. Sometimes my brain gives me a tough time. But that lemon cake might also be good motivation. :) YUM!

  14. Woooo! I wanna train for a half iron man so bad! That’s my next endeavor. Love reading about training. Keep the tips and training info coming.

  15. you are sooo right mind over muscle :) I have been using this to push myself more in speed workouts.

  16. Love this post! So true! I am going to ‘borrow’ some of those motivational sayings for step haha. I know what you mean about making sure it isn’t always about pushing them harder. I make sure to recognise the effort they HAVE already put in too- especially beginners. It’s daunting and can be a huge struggle doing a class for the first (or first few) time (s). Especially one as complicated as Body Step!

  17. Definitely some good quotes in there!

    I just remind myself of how much better I’ll feel when the workout’s done if I know I’ve done the whole thing. If I quit, I’ll kick myself in the ass over it later so I might as well see it through.

  18. Yessssss. I have lengthy negotiations with myself. “If I make it to… Ok, just til the …. but you can still go until…”

    I tend to surprise myself, when I push myself.


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