Most of us who join a gym are intending to exercise to improve our bodies and, therefore, improve how we feel. But changing our bodies is a team effort. It involves our bodies, and our minds.

In order for this change to happen successfully, we need to change how we think, and thus how we feel. The following 3 principles are a must if you want to get the most out of your training routine and change the way you look and feel:

1) Uncomfortable.
Your workout needs to be uncomfortable. However, there’s something you should know. Comfort is only a state of mind, not something physical. Therefore, it doesn’t really matter if you lift really heavy weights, or run super-fast, or scream and grunt like an animal during your exercises. The point is, to grow and improve at the gym, you should feel mentally uncomfortable. Unbalanced. Perhaps awkward. It may sound strange, but if during your workouts you feel comfortable deep down inside your soul, you probably won’t get the most out of your movements and won’t experience the growth you are looking for.

2) Goal-oriented.
During your workouts, you shouldn’t go with what, or how you feel, and you shouldn’t pick exercises you like doing. You need to figure out what you need to do according to your goals. So, if your goal is a flat tummy, you need to eat and exercise NOT based on how you feel, but rather based on your goal. The things that don’t usually come easy to you are often what your body needs in order to achieve that goal. You may love the elliptical, or you might not have time to eat breakfast, but no matter how much you do on that machine, and no matter how much you defend your lack of time, your tummy will not become toned until you do the things you need, not the things you like.

3) Objectiveness.
Ideally, the workouts, or the exercises you perform, shouldn’t come from you. Why? Because without even knowing, you’ll chose exercises that fit your personality, and start new habits that fit your way of living. Without even knowing it, you’ll take an exercise routine and mold it to fit your lifestyle. For example: a laid-back person who needs higher intensity workouts to break his routine and experience a change might join a yoga studio, when in fact he needs to join a spinning class. Since the one who created the problem can’t see the problem, it is better to have someone who knows what they are doing, and knows what you need to choose an intensity and create a workout routine for you. You shouldn’t know what exercise is coming up next, so you won’t be able to mentally prepare for it.

To Summarize:
Your body just follows your mind. Therefore, exercising is all mental, and the success of your workout will often be affected and influenced by how you feel during your workouts. Technically, you don’t have to do anything other than move properly for your body to build muscle and burn fat. “You” don’t build muscle, your body does. And “you” don’t burn fat – your body does. However, being aware of how you feel and how that can affect your goals can significantly increase your chances of success. Everyone feels more-or-less the same way when they join the gym. How we react to what we feel during exercising is what separates one from another, and success from failure.

You should feel uncomfortable. Your exercises should be goal-oriented. And the decisions about which exercises you do should be objective. Using these three principles will help to guarantee that your work at the gym improves your body, and therefore, how you feel.

All the best,

Leo Frincu is a world wrestling champion, author, speaker and performance coach for business leaders and athletes worldwide. To learn more about his training philosophy, check out his latest book, “WELCOME HOME, 3 Simple Steps On How To Reach Your Highest Potential,” available on Amazon and iBooks.