Push Through Any Workout with These Trainer Mantras

Push Through Any Workout with These Trainer Mantras
Photo: Twenty20

We’ve all been there: You’re at the end of a workout class when the instructor says you have another set of burpees to do. Your muscles and your mind want to scream “no” as soon as the words come out of her mouth. You can’t possibly push through another cardio set…except you can. And you should.

Even some of the toughest trainers — ones who barrel through sprints and hoist heavy weights like they’re lighter than shaker bottles — play this mind game. And it all comes down to mental toughness and a few motivating mantras. So next time you’re up against a round of squat jumps or your last 50 meters of a 5K, channel these mental tricks from our top fitness pros. The only question you’ll have left to ask yourself: Can you handle the ego boost you’ll feel at the finish?

RELATED: 19 Positive Affirmations That’ll Change the Way You Think

13 Mantras Top Trainers Use to Boost Their Mental Toughness

1. “How we do anything is how we do everything.”

“The way we practice is the way we perform, so in moments of fatigue it’s a great reminder that even now — especially now — I need to give my best. The mantra motivates me to give 100 percent even when I’m tired or don’t feel like it. And these are the moments that help form my habits and shape my mentality as an athlete.” —Milan Costich founder of PREVAIL boxing

2. “Do more than expected.”

“My main mental focus while training and pushing through my last rep always circles back to what was embedded in me as a professional athlete. The importance of finishing is something I’ve carried with me not just in training but in life. I constantly remind myself of what I’ve accomplished simply by doing a little more than expected. Holding myself to that standard doesn’t change with how I train myself. Chasing greatness in all things is a mentality for me… a way of life. What you achieve is dictated by how you respond when you’re being challenged the most.” —Curtis Williams, owner of Training C.A.M.P. and former NFL player

RELATED: Meditation Meets HIIT in New Mindful Fitness Approach

3. “Think of how good you’ll feel.”

“Sometimes when I struggle with motivation, whether it’s finishing a workout or even just getting to the gym in the first place, I try and tell myself, ‘Just think of how good you’ll feel when you’re done.’ Remembering the feeling of finishing a workout strong or pushing myself to do more than I thought I could always gets me through and keeps me coming back time and time again!” —Nora Minno, trainer on Daily Burn 365

4. “Let’s go!”

“Some days are just a struggle! But that doesn’t mean I give up; it means I have to get creative. The mind is the most creative and powerful muscle so I can either let the blues take over or I can shift my attitude and make it happen. My mantra ‘let’s go!’ is so simple but it really pumps me up. I also dance it out. I do just a little movement, side to side, shake out my hands and take a deep breath — all while repeating ‘let’s go!’” —Astrid Swan, celebrity trainer

5. “Gratitude and competition.”

“On days where I want to stop the workout, I’ll think about how grateful I am to have a strong, healthy body, and how lucky I am that I get to choose the gift of exercise. It’s not a punishment. On the other hand, I am very motivated by competition. So on days when I take class, I’ll take a mental note of who I think is a better athlete than me, and he/she will be my mental competition. It makes me work harder and it also makes it more fun for me.” —Ashley Borden, celebrity trainer

6. “I’ve got this.”

“I repeat this passionately — and with conviction. I also take a moment before a truly challenging moment, set or interval, and visualize the experience as clearly and authentically as possible. For example, seeing myself perform each rep of a set and vividly imagining what it will feel like, especially the last couple reps. I see and feel the struggle and myself successful in overcoming it. I actually feel my nervous system start working. I think that feeling is so important. Then during the movement, I focus all attention and energy on the muscles working and imagining them bursting with power. I also make sure to be fully in it until the very last second — like, bar back in the rack — before shifting my focus.” —Gregg Cook, trainer on Daily Burn 365

RELATED: 7 Trainer Quotes That Will Instantly Boost Your Confidence

13 Mantras Trainers Use to Push Through Tough Workouts
Photo: Twenty20

7. “Pain is only temporary.”

“With about 25 percent of my workouts dedicated to restoration, mobility and flexibility, the remaining 75 percent is all-out, like hill sprints, trail runs and kettlebell training. When I’m in these very challenging zones my mindset shifts to survival mood. And one thing that I always repeat in my mind is the pain I’m feeling right now won’t last forever. If I can hold on for just a few more seconds, I can reap the rewards. Pushing our bodies beyond what we thought we were capable of is simply one of the most satisfying things we can do in life.” —Nick Malizia, Master Trainer at Burn 60

8. “This is when change happens.”

“Change lies just on the other side of feeling uncomfortable. True change really begins when things get a little bit tough and you’re able to work through that. [When you push] through a final 2 to 5 reps or 10 to 20 seconds past that uncomfortable point — keep in mind, during that time your body is adapting. However, it’s also important to remember that if you begin to compromise your form, it is time to shut it down, reset, and then try again.” —Jason Walsh, owner and founder of Rise Nation

RELATED: 19 Reasons to Work Out (Beyond the Perfect Body)

9. “You’re stronger than this.”

“I repeat this to myself when I need to power through something tough. And it works just as well outside the gym in all areas of life. Also, I focus on the sensation of my breath as it comes and goes. It centers me and helps direct my energy and power into the challenge at hand.” —Adam Rosante, celebrity trainer and strength and conditioning coach

10. “I can.”

“It only takes trying it a few times to realize how motivating mantras really are. It tricks your brain into believing something is true. Think: ‘I will not give up!’ ‘I can and I will!’ Or, ‘I am strong, I am powerful!’ Another strategy that works is to imagine you are performing, and all eyes are on you. Visualize those cheering fans across the finish line. I guarantee you will push harder, sweat more, and even perfect your form! And when in doubt, crank up that music. Fast heart-pumping tunes have been shown to bring workouts to the next level.” —Jessica Schatz, master Pilates instructor

RELATED: The 25 Craziest Workout Excuses Trainers Have Ever Heard

11. “Are you a quitter?”

“I ask myself things that challenge my integrity towards my values. Things like, ‘What kind of man are you?’, ‘Are you a quitter?’ ‘Are you serious about what you set out to do?’ ‘Are you a mover and shaker or what?’ Those work for me, because I would never want to let myself down under those circumstances. My recommendation for everyone is to think about the things you value and tie them into the task in front of you. But it has to tie into your values.” —Prince Brathwaite, trainer on Daily Burn 365 and CEO and founder of Trooper Fitness

12. “Superhero.”

“I repeat mantras to myself when struggling with a workout or looking to push through it. I focus on single words and some of my go-tos include: ‘Strong. Capable. Badass. Superhero.’” —Emily Schromm, trainer and CrossFit coach

RELATED: 275 Bodyweight Exercises to Shake Up Your Workout Routine

13. “Don’t quit on me.”

“My drive and commitment is the foundation to my overall success. Pushing the boundaries is something all too familiar and something I’m faced with every day. Some mental tricks I use to get through an extra tough workout including repeating, ‘Don’t quit on me,’ ‘Don’t cheat yourself; treat yourself,’ and ‘Work for it.’” —Corey Caillet, celebrity trainer on Revenge Body 

Read More
4 Science-Backed Ways to Motivate Yourself to Work Out
Get Sculpted Shoulders With These 5 Exercises
Just Not Feeling It Today? 33 Sources of Workout Motivation

Related Posts

Scroll to Top