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We all have those days in the gym where nothing seems to go right and we just want to sack it off and go home. Could the key to beating this be positive imagery and a change in mental approach to training?

Everyone has different reasons for working out. Maybe you want to lose weight, get stronger, build muscle mass or just train for general health and fitness.

No matter what your goal and how dedicated you are though, sometimes you just get those workouts where you can’t get psyched up or motivated, no matter how hard you try.

We all have different methods of getting motivated too.

For some it’s music, either in the car on the way to the gym, or by the use of headphones and an mp3 player. Others prefer to psych themselves up before every set and every training session, almost trying to get as angry and aggressive as possible, thriving off this energy. For others, the opposite helps – remaining calm and relaxed and possible even lifting in silence. Some folks don’t even bother about getting motivated at all. For them, the gym is a necessary evil – they get it done on their set workout days and times, and don’t really care if their workouts are slow, mundane and unproductive.

Hopefully you don’t fall into this last category. If you do care about your training results and your body, then chances are you’ve experimented with different types of motivation in the past.

Maybe you found that music was the one for you. When you’re preparing for a new attempt at a maximum deadlift or squat, or gearing up to set a personal best on your 5k time, you’ve got that go-to song that you always put on, knowing it’ll get you in the mood to give it your all.

If you thrive off silence and calm, then perhaps you completely zone out, almost going into a meditative state before you train.

One aspect that is often overlooked as a motivational tool however, is positive imagery.

Positive imagery is often advised as a way of helping people to keep on track with their goals. One of the most common examples is with those looking to lose weight.

A trainer or coach would ask their client what their ideal physique is. The client would come up with an idea – perhaps a celebrity, a fitness model or even a friend or relative and then use mental images of this person as their inspiration. This works great as a method of staying on track while dieting.

When you go to get that little extra treat from the fridge, think about going for dessert or getting extra portions of your main course, you bring this mental image to the front of your brain, and it gives you the motivation to be honest with yourself, stay strict and keep on track toward your goals.

This is a seriously effective tool for many people, and even helps the most haphazard of yoyo dieters make better choices and keep a positive mindset.

Could this work in the gym too?

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