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Home Workout: How To Push Yourself To Do More While Exercising

Updated on April 3, 2013

Pushing Youself

While shadow boxing you are punching air. There is nothing to hit and no one to compete against so the punches often lack power. It is really easy to cheat yourself out of a good workout by just going through the motions. Without power the workout will not burn a lot of calories and it will not make you stronger. You will not gain muscle or lose fat doing that. You will just be wasting your time and giving yourself another reason to quit.

Go ahead and punch the air a few times, Just go through the motions while thinking about something else and you will feel what I mean. It will probably feel like a waste of time. Now get into a boxer stance with your hands raised in a defensive position. Clench your fist a little and imagine there is a trainer telling you to punch his punch pads. Then punch the imaginary punch pads with purpose. You should notice an increase in power. Thinking about your arm muscles and the power flowing through them may help.

Shadow boxing can provide a great workout if the punches have a lot of force behind them. Running on the spot can also give you a great workout or be a waste of your time depending on the amount of energy you put into it. When you push yourself you are doing more than just going through the motions and killing time. You are putting a lot of physical and mental effort into the exercise. Putting in the time and the effort leads to results. I can get a good workout in 15 minutes if I make good use of that time.

Running on a treadmill.
Running on a treadmill. | Source
Boxer's stance.
Boxer's stance. | Source
Exercising my upper body.
Exercising my upper body. | Source


Plan the workout. It is the first thing you should do to push yourself. Plan the exercises, the duration of the exercises and the intensity. It should be based on what you are capable of. Write your routine down so you can use it as a reference. If you just start exercising without a plan it is very likely that you will quit before doing as much as you could have. You should feel like your muscles got a good workout. You should not feel like you could have done more. My best workouts were planned. I worked out harder because I had specific goals.

Focus on yourself and use self talk. If you don't stay focused you will probably find yourself putting very little effort into the exercise. You may do the exercise and feel that you could have done a lot better if you were focused. Pay close attention to how much effort you are putting into the exercise and tell yourself to do more. Pushing yourself is mostly you making sure that you are doing the best you can.

Visualization can improve your exercise performance. Using your imagination you can get yourself into a better state of mind. Imagine that you are faster and stronger or that you are somebody else that is faster and stronger. Before you reach your actual limits you reach the limits you have imposed upon yourself. You can move beyond those limits using visualization. Two other visualization techniques are visualizing the desired outcome and visualizing yourself doing the exercise.

Multitasking takes your attention away from the exercise. It is harder to get a good workout when you are distracted. So it is better to do the exercises and then do something else. If I am running and watching TV I need to keep checking my speed. If I stop checking on myself I end up slowing down. Make sure you are putting the desired amount of effort into it. To get a good workout while multitasking it is important that you are aware of the amount of effort you are putting into the exercise I can jog and watch TV at the same time because jogging is about conserving energy. If I am watching TV while sprinting it hurts the workout because I need to be as focused as possible on myself to do my best.

Compete against yourself or someone else. You could compete against an imaginary opponent or a stranger if you want. People like winning. If you are competing you are going to try harder. Sometimes I try to do better than other people but mostly I complete against myself by trying to do better than I did not last time. Keep track of your exercise performance so you have a point of reference.

Follow along as other people exercise. There are exercise DVDs, TV shows and online videos. When I watch an exercise DVD and follow along I try to workout as hard as the people in the video. If the workout in the DVD does not seem like it is enough then I will watch it again, watch another exercise DVD or just do some other exercises. Sometimes I exercise before watching an exercise DVD to make it more of a challenge. The workout needs to be hard or you need to make it harder.


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    • DreamerMeg profile image

      DreamerMeg 5 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Yes, it's important to keep the challenge up.