Staying conscious during your workout

Fitness & Training Tips
By Jade Loney
Jade Loney

About Jade Loney

I’ve always had a passion for health and fitness (I’m currently studying nutritional medicine.) However, it wasn’t until I started training at Ignite that I fell in love with CrossFit and the awesome community that came with it. CrossFit has helped me reassess what fitness means to me and shifted my focus to performance. The human body continually amazes me with what it is capable of and that fascination is what led me to become a trainer; to help others find their own strength and confidence! I’d love to make it to Regionals one day but even if I don’t, I’ll have enjoyed every step of the chase. If I’m not working I’m usually here training so if you see me on the floor please say hi! I don’t bite that much. 🙂
How many times have you come into the gym and ‘gone through the motions’ of your program without being fully present?…

Our minds wander easily, with thoughts ranging from what we’re going to eat for dinner to negative flashbacks about something that happened earlier during the day. Happens to me all the time!

When your mind is focused on something other than our present, you’re not fully engaging in what your body is doing in this moment. If you’ve been training regularly for some time, you’re probably using your unconscious mind because you don’t have to think about the process of what you’re doing – almost like being on autopilot!

However your conscious mind is all about awareness. The more consciousness you have, the more awareness you have about yourself, your environment and yourself in your environment. More consciousness also allows you to be better at assessing situations in your life and make changes to meet any changed conditions.

If someone is unconscious, they will keep repeating or re-encountering the same issues over and over again without even thinking about modifying something about themselves to produce a different outcome.

When we’re not using our conscious mind during training, we continue to produce the same results without making necessary changes to see improvement.

Here are my tips on thinking more consciously during training:

1. Focus on every breath of every rep of every movement

Being in the present moment can be difficult when you have a long-ass mental checklist of things to get done, but if you want to make your workout count you need to put yourself in the present moment. Focus on every muscle moving, every breath you take and everything you are feeling in your body during each rep. Ask yourself, at what point is the exercise becoming challenging, or is it not challenging enough? Which part is challenging you; the loading of the movement, the range required, the technique? Are you breathing correctly?

2. Think about what you want to achieve

During your workout, think about the goal you are trying to achieve and how this current exercise is helping you build towards achieving that goal. Once you combine this insight with the feedback your body is giving you during each movement, you are in a position to consciously assess your efforts and make adjustments accordingly. For example, increasing the reps or weights used for a movement, improving your technique or control during a movement, or increasing your intensity during an aerobic workout to get a better time.