“If you don’t train yourself mentally, you’re not going to be as good as you can be.”
When you think about “getting your head in the game,” you may think it’s just about strategizing against your opponent during a team sport, or finding the motivation to work out at 5 AM. But according to Holly Rilinger, a Nike master trainer, former pro athlete, and avid meditater, the mind plays a much bigger role in helping you achieve your fitness goals.
“You can train your body, you can be fast, you can be quick, you can be strong—but if you don’t train yourself mentally, and you don’t show up to that game in the right mindset, you’re not going to be as good as you can be,” says Rilinger.
According to Rilinger, you should be training your mind the same way you train your body—with discipline and repetition. “In any kind of training program you’re going to have moments where you think you can’t do it, or you’re in too much pain and you think you need to stop,” says Rilinger. “But if you take a breath and you realize those are just thoughts, and you can push through and gain control of yourself mentally, you’re going to be able to push harder physically.”
A key to finding that focus and being able to control your thoughts during a workout is to practice mindfulness outside of the gym.
Riligner sets the tone and purpose for her day by meditating for 10 minutes every morning.
“I sit down and I breathe—it allows me to condition myself to stay focused for the rest of the day,” she says. Read more about how meditation helps Holly Rilinger jumpstart her day.
“Meditation and training may seem like two very different methods, or two very different things, but I think what you’ll find is they actually fit together seamlessly,” says Rilinger.
Coach, trainer, and 10-year veteran of the fitness world, Holly Rilinger is known as one of the most inspiring motivational trainers in the game.
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So I'm a former pro athlete,
and what I learned is that so
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much of the game is mental.
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You can train your body, you can be fast,
you can be quick, you can be strong, you
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can be all those things, but if you don't
train yourself mentally and you don't show
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up to that game in the right mindset,
you're not gonna be as good as you can be.
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Why not train your mind the same
way you'll train your body?
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So that means with discipline,
with repetition, and
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what I created is a class
that actually combines both.
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So meditation and training can seem
like two very different methods or
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two very different things, but
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I think what you'll find is they
actually fit together quite seamlessly.
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In any kinda training program you're gonna
have moments where you think you can't
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do it, or you're in too much pain and
you think you need to stop.
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And if you take a breath and
you realize those are just thoughts,
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you can actually push through and
you gain control of yourself mentally,
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you're gonna be able to
push harder physically.
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And it's the same thing with meditation.
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You breathe, you realize that your
thoughts aren't controlling you.
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Most of the time they're not even true,
the thoughts that you're having.
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And you observe them and
you let them go, it's the same thing.
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You allow yourself to have breakthrough
moments, whether it's physical or mental.
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