The Importance of Positivity in the Gym

by Adee Cazayoux July 30, 2014

The Importance of Positivity in the Gym

Belle & Bell ambassador Adee Zukier explaining what a positive mind can do for you in the gym...and in life.

The Importance of Positivity.

Being an avid fitness enthusiast, you are already in a position where you are challenging yourself day in and day out to better yourself. Whether you are searching for that next PR or just trying to shed some stubborn pounds, it is absolutely essential to understand the power of positivity. You haven't been in the gym long enough if you haven't had a negative day. That day in the gym where the weights you warm up with feel impossible to lift, a day where you look in the mirror and still aren't seeing the results you've been yearning for, or maybe sheer frustration from a long lasting plateau.

When I first started weightlifting (I still have some bad days) I allowed the negative thoughts in my head to over power me. Out loud I would say "I can't get the technique right" "I should've pulled the bar higher" "My mobility is holding me back from lifting well." My knowledgable and sometimes extremely wise boyfriend, Hayden Bowe, sat me down and explained to me how the things I was saying were keeping me from being the athlete I am capable of being. Simply putting negativity into the air makes it more likely to become true. He explained to me simply that I needed to shift from can't, should've, holding me back, to "I will continue to work on my technique" "On the next lift I am going to pull the bar higher" "I can make my mobility better". This shift in language not only improved my athletics but it also affected my attitude. I began having more fun in the gym, enjoying the good days and shrugging off the bad days, who would've known?

Many researchers including Charles Darwin and those at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, or Technical University of Munich in Germany, and many more have proven the effects of outwardly expressing positivity even if it conflicts with internal feelings of negativity. In short, smiling when you're unhappy will make you feel happier, saying positive things about yourself when you are feeling down will make you feel better. Now let's take this concept with us back to the gym! 

When a weight feels heavy...

SAY: "I can lift this weight"
NOT: "Man, that felt heavy"

When you are feeling like your body just won't change... 

SAY: "I will hit the gym harder and eat better but my <insert body part here> is looking stronger"
NOT: "This is hopeless"

When you don't feel like going to the gym...

SAY: "I accept this challenge and will work as hard as I can"
NOT: "I'm too tired"

When you have hit a long lasting plateau (in the gym, or on the scale)...

SAY: "I am going to be due for a breakthrough soon so I am going to keep working!"
NOT: "I give up, I am never going to improve again"

While saying the positive may not make it come true, it will definitely be more likely then if you said the negative! Together we must understand the importance of positivity, on days where the going gets tough take a step back and work on something different, or appreciate something that is going well. Try and end every day on a good note and you will be surprised in the difference it will make to your life.

Be sure to follow Adee on Instagram (@adeezukier) and check out her website, Working Against Gravity.

Adee Cazayoux
Adee Cazayoux

Known as the "Barbell Gypsy," you can find Adee weightlifting, bobsledding, powerlifting, or competing in the NPGL or the CrossFit open. She also started Working Against Gravity, which develops individualized nutrition programs for athletes.

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