You know it well—the burn. That feeling you strive for, and when you get there, it takes everything you have to stay with it. Some days it’s easy to get there, while on others, it seems impossible. There are times when we fear it and don’t want to get near it, but the feeling of elation and empowerment that comes afterward is just too good to resist.
The “burn” is a term often used to describe the muscle soreness you get during and after a good, solid workout. Then there’s the after-burn, or the calories expended after working out, referred to as “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption” or EPOC. When your body continues to burn calories after a session, you’re in a great spot—but we’re talking about the feeling you get when you’re fully engaged in your workout, to the point where you’re operating at maximum intensity. When you challenge yourself at that level, you’re going to get the after-burn anyway—your body will continue to burn calories like a stealthy, efficient machine and your metabolism will be revved for the rest of the day.
In our ideal world, we all should reach a point where we’re not satisfied unless we feel the burn—we should actually crave it. Beyond statistics and heart rate monitors, it’s about igniting that fire within; the one that keeps you motivated and inspired to strive for your best in every workout. You’re not going to be at your best every single day—you won’t always beat your time or increase your reps each session. We all have our off days; sometimes we don’t get enough sleep or just don’t feel like ourselves. It’s about giving your best in that moment, and being present for each rep, each variation, and each mile.
A true champion is inspired by challenge and accepts nothing less than his or her best. Why not be a champion in your own right? It doesn’t matter whether you’re training for the Olympics, preparing for a marathon, recovering from an injury or trying to get rid of post-pregnancy pounds—giving it your all during every workout is within reach. Striving for the burn will help you get to that next level of fitness faster than anything else.
Engage the mindset of an athlete for each of your workouts. If you follow these tenets, you will yield results before you know it.
1) Focus on being present in the moment.
2) Strive for improvement with each workout.
3) Push through the burn to get to the next level.
4) Get out of your comfort zone.
Body Mind Architects’ founder Bing Ding has some words of wisdom to share, “Achieving your dreams and goals requires discipline, focus and the willingness to train at your fullest capacity for that day,” he says. “Face your obstacles, stay conditioned both mentally AND physically, and challenge yourself every day to be just a little better.” Each small step up paves the way to an incredible life transformation, and ultimately, success.
Chaton Anderson is a Writer, Filmmaker and Fitness expert, as well as a product and pop culture addict. She is always looking for the coolest, hippest things on the market, as well as the newest health and fitness trends to hit the scene. E-mail her at Chaton@FusionIntegrated.com with questions or leads on products and services on the cutting edge.