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4 Obstacles That Keep You From Performing Like A Pro

A pro woman performs squats with a barbell in a gym.
Read Time: 5 minutes

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Have you ever rann 400-meters? Many can sprint the entire lap. They have excellent power and endurance to push themselves. For others, while one lap seems short, going all out for all 400-meters will leave them feeling like you’re dying. 

While running 400-meters, somewhere around the 200-300-meter mark, you might have to start to fight and dig deep. No matter who you are, there comes the point where your brain starts to signal to your body to slow down or stop. This is where our cardio power begins to diminish.

Now add your friends and family are watching you run while cheering your name. Are you going to let yourself slow down?

The gym is training; if you go to lift and workout, you most likely will not feel the same pressure as you would when it is time to perform. Training and performance are two entirely different things.

Your gym’s PR is not indicative of your performance during a workout. Performance is the test–the meet, fight night, tournament, race–when it counts. Gym lifts, sparring practice, and fast pacing are all examples of high-intensity activities that can be done when the mind and body are ready.

Some common obstacles that keep people from reaching these pinnacles on test day include nerves, lack of preparation, and stress. To prepare for this elusive performance, we must learn how to handle these obstacles and reduce our stress levels.

Let’s look at four obstacles that can hinder your performance

Obstacle One: Timing

You may train at the same time every morning or night. However, when it comes time to put all your work to the test, The event most likely won’t be the same schedule as your workouts.

If you want to be your best, you must be prepared because your time may not happen with the event’s actual start time. You may have to wait an hour or more past your readiness before the game begins.

To maximize your readiness for your event, aim to have workout sessions around the same time as when you will complete leading up to the contest. This way, your body will become used to this schedule and won’t feel overwhelmed or shut down by it.

Obstacle Two: Fuel

When getting ready to complete, you need to consider when and how to eat to avoid putting yourself at risk for either hypoglycemia or overeating. Overeating food can make you feel shaky during the event, while eating too little may lead to severe hypoglycemia.

Both can result in an overall wrong time.

Start the week leading up to your event. Work to ensure you are adequately energized by eating the foods that will help you perform. 

Eating regularly throughout the day is a great way to avoid feeling overwhelmed or anxious. If you have difficulty sticking to a schedule, try breaking up your meals into smaller, more manageable chunks. Additionally, ensure to include plenty of healthy snacks in your diet so that you don’t feel deprived or nervous all day long.

athletic blond female fitness model holding heavy barbell preparing squats blog

Obstacle Three: The Adrenaline Dump

There is no real pressure in the gym when it comes to lifting. If you fail a lift, you can simply walk it off and try again. You must refocus and continue competing if you attempt a lift during a contest.

Outside of your social media posts, no one is judging your gym workouts. 

Your heart may be racing, but it will calm down once the test starts. Although adrenaline can cause you to feel excitement and nervousness before a test, it will eventually wear off, and you’ll be able to focus on the task.

Your goals in the gym should be higher than what you expect to aim for on the day of any event, as this may mean training for a percentage output above your normal levels. Your coach or training partners can show up and randomly test you so that you get used to the feeling and drive past it.

Meditation and breathing exercises can help you overcome stress. Learning to control your emotions can be an excellent tool for performing. 

Obstacle Four: Distractions

It’s competition day, and that is the only thing on your mind.

There may be other issues in your relationship that you’re not aware of, and your partner is constantly blowing up your phone with complaints. Or if you’re dragging your kids around and it is taking longer than expected.

You might find yourself thinking negatively. If so, it might be time to take some steps to help with the distractions and allow yourself to focus on the positives.

Consider hiring a babysitter or asking a friend to help and turning your phone off to avoid distractions on your big day. Meditation and focus techniques that calm your mind and breath work can help reduce stress. 

Some coaches may be yelling randomly while you are about to lift, or the event’s music could make it hard to hear your coach. Focusing on your coach’s cues and ignoring background noise can help make a big difference in your performance.

Training is the process by which you improve your skills. Performance is when you put those skills to use in a real-world setting. If you want to perform better than you in training, you must be aware of all the obstacles above. You need to be physically challenged and mentally prepared for success if you want to achieve your goals. 

Set your new PR.

Editor’s note: The content on Base Strength is meant to be informative in nature, but it shouldn’t take the place of advice and/or supervision from a medical professional. The opinions and articles on this site are not intended for use as diagnosis, prevention, and/or treatment of health problems. Speak with your physician if you have any concerns. Please also see our disclaimers.

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