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April 16, 2020 4 min read

How to push through your limitations and reach your true potential.

Are you struggling to up your game, increase your weights or burst through a training plateau? Do you find it hard to stay motivated? Or you’re coming up short on how to get to the next level?

In this article you’ll discover 9 top tips that are currently being used by industry pros’, elite athletes and coaches outlining the best strategies and techniques required for reaching and exceeding your own expectations.

What can I do to go beyond my personal best?

  1. Ask yourself one question: “Do I have a burning desire to succeed?

Desire is the main ingredient of any achievement or success. A personal commitment to train and to win is an incredibly powerful tool when attempting to achieve your goals. The reality is the only person that is stopping you from achieving your best is you.

"How do you teach will, desire, not to quit in any circumstances? you don't see this often, once every 10 years if you're lucky. Nadal has made other guys better trying to compete with him. In the definition of 'where there's a will there's a way' he's the picture you're going to see." John McEnroe on Rafa Nadal

  1. What’s your tolerance to pain?

When all’s said and done, the only way you’re going to reach and exceed your goals is to push yourself. Striving through harsh and gruelling workouts may be tough, but breaking extreme pain thresholds may be the only way you are going to really see drastic improvements. While it is accepted that agonising pain in the gym does much more bad than good, a healthy burn is a major sign you’re on the right path.

“Athletes  understand that pain is temporary and will not last forever.  High level athletes accept that they will feel pain in training, just like they accept the risk of injury. Some athletes, such as long distance runner, dissociate from the pain by focusing on other things such as cadence, which helps them “block out” the pain when training.” – Dr. Patrick Cohn

  1. Consider Professional Coaching

A good coach can make a world of difference. A super coach can make the difference between No 1 and the rest. Constructive analysis and technical support are just a couple of the massive number of benefits that hiring a professional trainer can have. Your mentor will help you to set high standards of training while maintaining a psychological edge, allowing you to achieve and eclipse your maximum potential.

“All skills are perfected through the process of failure. Embrace loss as a necessary part of improvement.” - Sports Psychologist, speaker and author, Jerry Lynch from Creative Coaching

  1. Adopt an “App-titude”

Another way to push your boundaries is to train with advanced and sophisticated technology or “Apps”. New software or technology apps are being launched into the market every month, often designed to maximise health, performance strength and power in a whole new way. There have been a number of innovative breakthroughs made in terms of modern training equipment aids, such FitBit, MapMyFitness, MyFitnessPal, Striva etc

  1. Embrace Sophisticated/Modern Training Protocols but don’t forget to sweat!

Just as outdated equipment is continually being improved and evolved, outdated training methods are also being replaced with better approaches.  Scientists are inspired by athletes to increase the capacity and effectivity of certain muscles and stamina building approaches; this in turn inspires athletes to test and question the latest methods used. Although we can increase the effectiveness of our workout, there is no replacement for good, old fashioned hard work and sweat.

  1. Repetition – Focus on doing the right things right – even in your sleep

Repetition isn’t just the Mother of skill – it’s the Mother, the Father, the Uncle and the family pet. Practice makes permanent is a mantra I’ve always lived by. Once you have grasped how to train, the next challenge is to overcome the monotony and mental struggle of repeating a process until you can complete the exercise upside-down, without breathing, in your sleep, with no hands. 

“Perfect practice makes perfect”

  1. Increase the resistance

Weight training is one of the main building blocks for the success of any athlete. From rugby, to kayaking, to badminton, an athlete with equal skill as his opponent will triumph due to power and strength. These days we’re stronger and more robust than ever, especially in the case of female athletes, so the need to one-up your competition through any means necessary is becoming more and more important. Contrary to popular belief, cardio (such as running) and weight training go hand in hand when trying to build a muscular physique. Don’t settle for the same weights day in day, out – push yourself by increasing your resistance and adding more to the bar.

“If you don’t stretch your limits, you’ll set your limits.”

Rob Gilbert, Motivational speaker, author of Gilbert on Greatness, Professor at Montclair State University

  1. Set Goals but ensure they’re realistic

Unless you’re Arnold Schwarzenegger, you’re not Arnold Schwarzenegger! You need to remember to set realistic, achievable goals which will help you progress to the next tier of your workout plan. Modern psychological techniques such as visualization of success, meditating or even PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) can all help you to match and beat your personal best. 

“There isn’t a person anywhere who isn’t capable of doing more than he thinks he can.”
Henry Ford

  1. Competition and working deadlines:

Competition provides the ultimate motivation to reach and surpass your expectations. Healthy competition can benefit a number of ways; through the desire to beat your friends, your competitors, or through the desire to beat yourself! Someone who thrives on competition is more often more motivated to succeed.

Finally practice what you preach. If you follow these 9 tips and put them into practice you will see major improvements in your chosen area. There’s no substitute for getting out there and tearing down your old limitations and having the confidence to create new goals, personal bests and the best version of you.

What do you think? How have you adopted new techniques and strategies that have challenged and motivated you to achieve new heights? What advice would you give to any aspiring athlete, competitor or individual looking to transform their progress and reach their personal best.  Include your suggestions and comments below.