The surest way to lose focus during an exercise is to judge yourself on that exercise. Instead, get “ mechanistic.” Focus on what you can actually do, as opposed to your emotional reactions to the exercise.
Don’t think, “Damn, this weight feels heavy.” Instead, think, “Drive your heels through the floor; be patient; make it happen.”
Don’t think, “I’m not doing this exercise well.” Think, “Tight on this next rep; go!”
Don’t think, “Boy, that was a tough rep.” Think, “Breathe. Stabilize your core. Get ready.”
Ignore what you feel. Think about what you can do.
Focus on the movement and not your emotions. Remember, progress isn’t linear and you’re bound to have some bad days. That doesn’t give you a bye. In fact, it’s slogging through that crappy workout and getting it done that will ultimately lead to your best performances.
I’m not implying that you shouldn’t adjust your pace if you feel you’re plowing through a conditioning circuit more slowly than last time or that you should ignore all feedback from your body. But to allow yourself to self-criticize when you’re still in the game (i.e., still exercising) is to enter into a spiral that will eventually lead to the thought, “Who am I kidding? I can’t do this. “ And, lo and behold, you won’t. Not motivating, not results-producing, not effective.
Stay focused. Exercise impeccable technique. Get your numbers down.