Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Mental Toughness

At my training facility, it is understood that when you come to train under my supervision you will be training very hard. Each and everyone one of my clients is made aware of this prior to their verbal commitment to becoming a client. This is not to scare anyone or a means of intimidation; it’s just the harsh reality of what training at Premiere Personal Fitness is like.

Working very hard builds strength. Working very hard builds muscle. Working very hard improves your cardiovascular system. Working very hard builds mental toughness. Mental toughness? Yes, mental toughness – but what is mental toughness?

I rarely come out and state that training as hard as we do will build mental toughness because in my opinion, one needs to train very hard for a while to understand what the term means and actually experience it themselves. I continually discuss my clients training with them – it is part of my ongoing responsibility and genuine concern for their training and overall level of health and personal satisfaction from performing all their hard work. I usually ask to encapsulate what they view our training style as and 99% of the time their answer is “it’s really intense”. I will then ask them what the benefits are that they feel from our training and the answers I usually hear are some of the more obvious such as "I have more energy" - "I can perform activities much easier" - "I don’t become so easily fatigued" - "My clothes fit better" - "I feel better about myself" - "Mentally I feel like I can achieve more than ever before". BINGO – we just hit upon the mental toughness I was referring to. The crazy thing is the more mentally tough you become from the intense training, the harder you will work and therefore enabling even greater gains in strength, cardiovascular fitness, muscle growth and mental toughness. It becomes a perpetual cycle of progress.

Being able to go beyond what you thought you could ever do in the weight room creates a mental toughness that enables a person to do more beyond what takes place in the gym. I’ve spoken to my girls from the Ocean Twp. High School field hockey team that I have the pleasure of training about what the additional benefits of our training offers. They said they feel that they can do so much more on the field since undergoing such intense training. They now can “push on” when in the past the may have given up. They not only became stronger and more fit, they became mentally tougher.

Don’t think that mental toughness is reserved for the athlete or only the young. No way! Everyone can work at developing that sense of toughness. Becoming mentally tough is you challenging you to do better than the last time, to work a little harder than you did before, continually striving to push yourself that little bit extra and confidently knowing that you can achieve what you set out to conquer.

“Train With A Purpose”

Fred Fornicola