Take control, believe and achieve

We’ve all heard the maxims: If you can see it, you can achieve it. We see the lift before we do it, feel the pain that comes from stretching muscle and relish the growth pains afterward. We use visualization because it actually works. But what can you do if you’ve switched up your program but simply can’t get the results you want? It’s simple: Get inside your own head and switch it up!

A ton of psychological research shows the connection between what you believe happens in the gym and your workout success. More specifically, researchers have shown that the more you feel in control of your workout and that you’re getting results from this control, the better you feel about your workout and the more you feel like you can make changes and overcome potential obstacles and difficulties. And researchers say it’s simple: You have to make your own breaks.


Working out is hard work. It’s demanding but worth it. If you are stuck in a rut and feel like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel – no solution, no way out – change your thinking. Instead of trying to do something you can’t do or continuing to do the same thing without results, do something specifically to give yourself a sense of confidence and control. Do your favourite exercise or a week of your easy routine. This will not only give your body a break from the constant stress of high-intensity, balls-to-the-wall training but also give your mind time to relax and recuperate from continual frustration. So next time, you’ll be physically and mentally charged for victory!


Coffee P, Rees T, Haslam SA. Bouncing back from failure: The interactive impact of perceived controllability and stability on self-efficacy beliefs and future task performance. J Sports Sci. 2009 Aug 19:1-8. [Epub ahead of print]

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