Psyched Up: Talk to Yourself

Psyched Up: Talk to Yourself

Disagreeing with yourself when your own brain advises you to quit may be the ticket to enhancing your performance in the gym. Motivational self-talks can reduce your rate of perceived exertion (RPE) – that is, how hard your body feels it is working – and actually increase your performance. When you self-talk, you work out harder and longer. Your own encouraging words can block the negative signals from your body and allow you to exercise 20 percent longer.

Changing what you say to yourself while training or competing manipulates how much effort you feel you are putting forth, which can help you last longer and perform better. Such motivational messages from “Feeling powerful today” and “My legs can squat all day” to “I can do this!” and “Finish strong!” for the typical fitness buff who finds cardio workouts a tad boring, consider focusing on elements of your training that may be exciting – such as being with a community of like-minded people or the challenge of beating your personal best – and use self-talk based around these qualities.

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