Body: Don’t Stop Your Exercise Halfway

exercise halfway - 2016_01_20

This morning I did 21.5 minutes of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Exercises. It included 4 10-min Tabatas, 1 short jog (about 1 km), 3 sets of pull-ups and dips.

At the end of it, I was tired, hungry, and it felt good. Like I’ve accomplished something.

But If I had listened to my mind earlier, I would have given up halfway.

It’s shocking. I know that I’m not as strong, as fast, or last as long in my 20s. But this… this dropping out halfway because I’m not “feeling it”?

It’s simply unacceptable.

exercise halfway (1) - 2016_01_20

Giving into it now, means that I’m more likely to give in next time. Not acceptable. I gritted my teeth and finished my workout.

I learnt a couple of things along the way.

  1. One Step, One Rep, One Jump at a Time
    Focusing on completing each action distracts from the bigness of the entire workout. Think of it as looking at the start of long journey vs looking at taking a step on the journey. The former is quite intimidating; while the later — well, easily done.
  2. Take a Break, but Get Back On Soon After
    I know that the entire goal of Tabatas is to go at it as hard I can. But I also find that taking slightly longer breaks in-between sets helped me catch my breath and psyche myself up. I might add 10 more seconds to my rest time and then carry back on.
  3. Talk Yourself Hot
    I use this tactic to make me want it (and unwant something else). I throw in challenges to myself: “Burn this bitch. Come on. Do 1 more. Lift lift lift. ONE MORE!” Interestingly this self-talk crowds out the urge to disappear from my workout.
  4. Drop to Complete
    There comes a point when it’s almost impossible to lift, act, or take another step. That’s when I drop weights or change exercises to complete my workout.

    Most folks push through it and I respect that. But it is tough. And unless I’m psyched up (or called out), I think it’s better to complete the workout than to just give up. We can always go harder the next time.

So… that’s it. My four ways to keep on going when the body wants to give up.

How do you keep chugging on?


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