One of the benefits of strength training that is oftentimes ignored is mental toughness. As people, we focus on the physical and physiological benefits of strength training as they relate to our appearance and general health or well-being. It is true that strength training provides improves our health, well-being, and appearance, but it also has psychological benefits. Clients at the GH School for Healthy Living know that results require focus and hard work. It is very true that what you get out of your workout matches what you put in. Working hard and concentrating on your experience ensures you get the best results from your training session. Your session is also a chance to connect with yourself. When those last three or four repetitions seem impossible, digging deep within yourself and finding both the physical and psychological strength to complete the set is very rewarding. This brings us to the issue of exertion.
Exercise requires exertion. To ensure maximum results while preserving safety, it is important to regulate your level of exertion. One of the best ways to do this is to use the Rate of Perceived Exertion scale, or RPE scale. The RPE scale simply rates your perceived level of exertion from 1 – 10. The number 1 represents how you feel when you are laying on the couch, while the number 10 represents the effort of an all-out 100 meter sprint. Cardiovascular exercise, such as running or walking, should feel like a 6 – 8, depending on your goals and fitness level. Ask your GH educator about what RPE number is right for you so that you can get the most out of your aerobic exercise. Strength training rarely feels like an 8, but is a helpful tool in learning about your exertion level and a great way to communicate your experience to your trainer.
Before you start that first set at your next session, think about it as a chance to reconnect with yourself and the potential within.