Freckles in April: My Tips for Gym Success: Know Your Brain

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

My Tips for Gym Success: Know Your Brain

5:15 comes reeeeal early.

I tried doing Kayla Itsines' Bikini Body Guides a year or two ago and really loved it. I ultimately couldn't stick with it, though and I've recently figured out why.

If I always know that I have to go hard then eventually I quit.

I have to be able to go into my workout saying, "I'm pretty tired, I can have an easy day." Inevitably, I'll get warmed up and get into the zone and have a great workout. But if I wake up knowing that I'm going to get my butt kicked then I often can't force myself to even get out of bed.

I know it's totally silly! But that's how my brain works and knowing that (and working with it) has given me the best and most consistent exercise I've ever had in my whole life.

I mentioned this to a friend the other day while we were hiking and she thought for a moment and said she can't make herself exercise if she knows she's gotten less than 7 hours of sleep the night before. She can't look at the clock as she's trying to fall asleep because if she sees a number past 10:45 then her brain gives her an automatic pass to skip the gym the next morning, whether she feels well-rested or not.

Exercise and fitness are as much mental as they are physical. If you can figure out what game your brain is playing then you're well on your way.

see also: this article, which I found super fascinating and comes to mind a lot when I'm at the gym


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  1. I've run several half and full marathons – all that to say, I'm a person who can run. But I always give myself permission to quit running if I'm not feeling it by Mile 2. Because every first mile or so SUCKS. And, I've only stopped at Mile 2 three or four times over zillions on runs. It's TOTALLY a mental game!

    1. I totally get this. I've let myself quit mid workout ONCE in almost 10 months because I was *actually* too tired. It's crazy how you have to trick your brain into getting going!


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