How You Can Have The Confidence To Increase Your Strength

by TaylorR

Thank you for all your get well messages to Dan yesterday. Over the past 2 days his arm has begun to regain some range of motion, so we’re hoping he is on the fast track to recovery!

While he’s been unable to play around with his workouts lately, I’ve been going strong. Having the knowledge from this past weekend really boosted my confidence to really push myself.

Just like in other aspects of life, sometimes we let fear stand in the way of changing. Getting stronger is a changing process, it takes going beyond our comfort zone, pushing our bodies in ways that might not be comfortable in order for muscles to adapt and build strength.

I realized during the trip that I was letting fear hold me back… especially in moves like the Turkish Get-Up. The move I mentioned yesterday I wanted to perfect.

Fearful Of “I Can’t” 

I wasn’t confident in my body’s ability to lift a heavy weight over my head. I was fearful that my shoulder would give out. Fearful my wrist wouldn’t be able to stay straight… fearful that I would fail.

I was afraid I couldn’t do it.

So what did I do? I kept working out in the safety zone. I used a weight that I knew I could handle, which means it was a weight that wasn’t doing too much to help me accomplish my goal of strength.

If it feels easy, then it is. It’s that simple.

For most exercises I have been using a 35-pound kettlebell. I can swing it, squat it, even press that baby… but I didn’t even try to TGU with it. Hell no, do I look crazy to you?

Okay, don’t answer that.

For weeks Dan has seen my improve and has urged me to use the bigger weight. I just kept telling him I couldn’t. I kept grabbing the 25-pounder instead.

“Do Or Do Not… There Is No Try”

doit

Can anyone name that movie quote?

Dan & I repeat this to each other often… it’s the quote that gets us powered up to do something when we’re on edge.

It’s the quote I repeated to myself yesterday when I grabbed my 35-pound kettlebell and did something I haven’t done before:

2 Turkish Get-Ups on EACH side. 

Yea, it was a big day!

What suddenly switched in my brain that allowed me to not only try but to do multiple reps?

C – O – N – F – I – D – E – N – C – E

—> I had the confidence that I was stronger than I gave myself credit for.

—> I had the confidence to finally do what was needed if I really want to be able to lift heavier.

—> I had the realization that I wasn’t going to improve by sitting stagnant.

5 Ways You Can Increase Confidence To Build Strength

confstrength

1. Set goals for specific exercises.

Choose just 2-3 exercises you want to focus on to get stronger with. You can’t become great at a dozen moves at once, by focusing on a handful you’ll be able to better dedicate yourself. For me those moves include: Get-Ups; Handstands; and KB Pistol Squats

2. Study the moves.

Increase your confidence by knowing the exercise(s) inside and out. When you know you’re doing it right, you’re much more likely to push yourself harder. That’s one of the main reasons I went for it yesterday!

3. Have a spot.

Sometimes just having someone there helps give a boost of confidence and strength. I saw this happen this weekend when a girl asked for a spot to try to get-up a new weight… it was over 10 pounds heavier than she had ever used before and she did it. At the end she kept saying “Really, you didn’t help?” It’s a cool feeling.

*Spots are recommended anytime you’re lifting for a new PR*

4. Don’t think long.

The longer you stand around looking at the weight you’re wanting to do, the harder it becomes. The mind is a powerful thing.

Take a deep breath, breath out and go for it. Do it before your brain tries to ask you “is this really a wise idea?”

5. Slowly build up.

Start off light, each time you can accomplish 10 reps fairly easily is a sign that you’re ready to move up in weight.

Once you move up, aim for just a rep. If you do that rep, then try one more… take it rep by rep until you can’t complete another with proper form or full ROM (range of motion).

What exercises are you wanting to improve? 

 

  • steph

    I didn’t immediately think of a movie quote, but your comment did make me giggle. I always think that saying “try and do ____” is redundant. Kinda like “hot water heater” or “free gift.” If you do something, isn’t it implied that you tried? Trying TO do something makes much more sense.

  • http://abs-of-steel.com Abi@AbsofSteel

    I like the study the move point. When I’m learning a new move that involves a heavier weight it usually takes me a couple of times watching different videos to understand and get the form right.

  • http://www.naturallifeenergy.com Aqiyl Aniys

    I love the study the moves point. I actually love watching people who I feel are doing an exercise correctly and I mimic the person. It encourages me to continue.

  • http://www.althegalruns.com Allison

    I’ve recently started weight training so I could use these tips. Thanks!

    • http://www.fitwomensweekly.com TaylorR

      You’re so welcome! Good luck with it, there are lots of helpful articles here and at fitwomensweekly.com to help get you going!

  • Becky

    This is so my problem. The clean is the one that my mind wins over my body every time. I can do it but if I think about it I can’t even make my arms snap around to do the clean weight or no weight on the bar. I know it’s mind over matter, and I hate when mind wins, ugh!

    PS- Turkish Get Ups are my favorite! (and I never see anyone else do them???)

    • http://www.fitwomensweekly.com TaylorR

      You can do it. When I go bigger with a move I know, I take a few steps away, turn around back to the weight, march up and just go. Then my mind can’t get in the way… no time to process it! Good luck!

  • http://www.roamingraspberry.com Kim @ Roaming Raspberry

    Not gonna lie, when you told me you got that new Kettlebell to work on Turkish get ups I was like, what!? Cause I knew you could do heavier! Maybe I should’ve told you I use the 35 pounder, I know that woulda gotten your competitive side in gear and you would have been there that much sooner! ;) ha ha. I like you!

    • http://www.fitwomensweekly.com TaylorR

      That def would have helped! It was more for fear of my bad shoulder. But glad to get back into the progression side of things! The goal… 50 pounder!

  • http://day-with-kt.com Kim

    Great tips – I have a couple of things that stress me. I think that #4 is the tip that I need to remember the most – I do better if I “just do it” than when I stand around thinking.
    Pretty sure your quote is from Yoda in one of the Star Wars movies.

    • http://www.fitwomensweekly.com TaylorR

      Yes it’s Yoda!

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