10 Mantras That Get Trainers Through Tough Workouts

Emily Abbate
by Emily Abbate
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10 Mantras That Get Trainers Through Tough Workouts

Some days the thought of lacing up your sneakers to work out sounds absolutely dreadful. We’ve all been there, even the most enthusiastic fitness enthusiasts struggle with staying motivated day after day. After all, we’re only human … Whatever the reason may be, there’s always room for a little extra motivation to get you going and through a workout.

We talked to trainers about the go-to mantras that keep them at it when the going gets tough.

1

I CAN DO THE HARD THINGS

“Given old injuries, I have to remind myself to respect my body and my limitations in the moment. On the flipside, I have done and can do hard things. It’s a great reminder to stay the course and to keep showing up for myself. Sometimes we need to give ourselves permission to dig deeper.”

— Nicole Sciacca, chief yoga officer at Playlist Yoga

2

YES, I CAN

“I might not want to when the workout starts feeling tough, but I can do it. I can either quit or ‘yes, I can’ keep going and push through. And I’m not going to be a quitter. Not now. Not ever.”

— Jenna Arndt, trainer at Switch Playground and Swerve Fitness

3

BREATH IN, BREATH OUT

“You can do anything for one breath. So, one breath at a time means anything is possible!

This mantra is actionable (literally gives me something to do) and gives my mind something to focus on, besides resistance or pain — or feeling like I’m going to die. It also forces me to tackle the workout one moment at a time.”

— Bethany Lyons, co-founder of Lyons Den Power Yoga

4

WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU MAKES YOU STRONGER

“I really work to look at life and my athleticism is a gift from God. I take nothing for granted. Every day is an opportunity to become more than what you woke up as.”

— Mike Medrano, trainer at Performix House

5

TO GIVE ANYTHING LESS THAN YOUR BEST IS TO SACRIFICE THE GIFT

“This Steve Prefontaine gem reminds me that my fitness ability is indeed a gift and shouldn’t be taken for granted. In this respect, regardless if it’s my ‘best’ workout or not, I will give it everything I have to give that day or go down trying.”

— Rich Velazquez, run coach and COO at Mile High Run Club

6

ONE INCH AT A TIME

“This quote comes from the Al Pacino speech in ‘Any Given Sunday.’ It gets me through hard workouts, bad training days and just about every fitness struggle possible. It reminds me to focus on what is directly in front of me and nothing else. I don’t need to worry about how much longer the workout is, how many total reps are left, how many rounds I’ve done or where the people around me are. I simply focus on one rep and the one movement I have to do next and that’s it. That’s how you win, one inch at time.”

— Danielle Barry, coach at Solace New York

7

MAKE SH!T HAPPEN

“It’s pretty simple. I use this mantra not just in my workouts but also in life. At the end of the day, you’re really the only person in charge of your results and accomplishments.”

— Jason Tran, trainer at Fhitting Room and Swerve Fitness

8

MY BEST IS GOOD ENOUGH

“Comparisons ruin pretty much anything for anybody. The last thing we need when doing work on ourselves is a comparison to anyone else. This one grounds me, in me.”

— Bree Branker, New York City-based personal trainer

9

FOCUS ON YOUR GOALS

“Working out helps me build the energy I have. It’s almost like a refuel, a recharge to say the least. I always have a goal in mind when working out. And that’s not just toning my body. I also think of what I need to get done within the next 24 hours. Working out prepares me to be the best version of myself in the gym and with business.That’s what amps me up.”

— Devon Levesque, trainer at Performix House

10

YOU’RE YOUR BIGGEST COMPETITION

“I treat my workout like a game in my head. Thinking of finishing, being competitive with myself, winning the day being in the moment get me through. Also that there could be a prize at the end other than sweat. Usually it’s an iced coffee. It distracts me and helps me find the energy to keep going, keep moving. It reminds me it dig deep and give my workouts my all.”

— Lacee Lazoff, trainer at Performix House

About the Author

Emily Abbate
Emily Abbate

Emily has written for GQ, Self, Shape and Runner’s World (among others). As a certified personal trainer, run and spin coach, she’s often tackling long runs or lifting heavy things. In addition to that, she’s working on Hurdle, a podcast that talks to badass humans and entrepreneurs who got through a tough time —a hurdle of sorts— by leaning into wellness.

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