Beat the Counting Blues: Tips for Avoiding Repetition Overload in Your Work

You are in The Capsuled, ready to conquer the world. While you wait for class to start, you look at the blackboard and discover that today it’s time to do an AMRAP (as many rep as possible), which in Spanish translates to “do as many rounds as possible”. The number of repetitions, to your surprise, is high: 25 devil press, 50 renegade rows (25 with each arm), 50 thruster and 50 kettlebell swings. You have 25 minutes to complete the greatest number of rounds possible and, just looking at it, without having started, you already feel overwhelmed thinking about the number of repetitions that await you ahead .

What can you do to not overwhelm yourself before starting the training?

  1. Follow the coach’s instructions.

Important. The instructors are the ones who have carried out the planning of the training, so they are the ones who can best guide us and indicate how to focus the training. Some routines are more focused on strength, working with high loads; and others are more focused on cardiovascular resistance. For this reason, when in doubt, it is very important to consult what the objective of the training is in order to select the appropriate weights and carry out a good strategy in order not to die trying.

  1. Generate a strategy.

In addition to the information provided by the trainer, we must also use our own knowledge about ourselves. As mentioned in the article on “psychological training for athletes”, self-knowledge is very important for performance. Knowing how to identify your own strengths and weaknesses is key in order to get the best out of yourself and be able to generate a good strategy.

After consulting your instructor, he recommends that you take an intermediate weight that allows you to work at a good pace (because a very high one can make you stop every two or three repetitions to rest and this is not the objective), but that you also do not go too comfortable

In addition, he advises you to distribute the repetitions in different series, for example, that you go from 10 to 10, which allow you to keep a more or less constant rhythm.

By listening to these tips and looking at the workout more closely, you anticipate, based on your own experience that the devil press and thruster will take up a lot of time, while the renegade row and kettlebell swing can be done much faster. Knowing this, you decide to divide the first two into sets of 10 repetitions at 10 and the second ones at 20 repetitions at 20. Also, based on this and what the coach has indicated, you select the most appropriate weight for your dumbbells and your kettlebell

What can you do to not get overwhelmed during training?

You start the training, you have planned it well and it seems to be working, but the fatigue begins to take its toll on your willpower and you are having a hard time finishing the batches that you had proposed. Thrusters cost more and more and getting to 10 isn’t easy. You look at the clock and you feel more and more overwhelmed, what can be done?

  1. Make the strategy more flexible

No plan is foolproof, so don’t worry if your planning doesn’t go as expected; you are always in time to change it. The idea is not to give up. If you notice that reaching 10 repetitions is costing you, break them up and do them 5 at a time, but keep a constant pace. In this type of training, it can be more effective to perform sets of 5 on 5 with a rest time between sets of a few seconds, than trying to do 10 reps in a row and having to stop for two minutes to rest.

  1. Count backwards or split the repetitions in your head

Let’s imagine that you decide to continue with your initial strategy, but counting so many repetitions overwhelms you a bit. In this case, you can trick your brain by counting down the repetitions (10, 9, 8, 7, etc.). Although in the end the work is the same, your brain can get the feeling that there is less to finish: counting backwards focuses on what little you have left (two repetitions, for example) and not on what you have done (8 repetitions).

Also, another little trick is to break up the repetitions in your head, for example, if you are going to do 20 in a row, counting from 1 to 10 and then from 10 to 1 or counting them by 5s can take a lot of pressure off.

  1. Focusing and control of breathing

Focusing on the good execution of the movement can be key to not getting saturated. Likewise, rhythmic breathing with physical exercise is essential to oxygenate the body and brain. Not knowing how to breathe correctly can worsen performance and generate a greater feeling of overwhelm and fatigue during the execution of movements.

  1. Enjoy your training and forget about the rest.

Each person is different; your health and fitness, your circumstances, your willpower, etc. so it is normal for each one to go at a different pace, with a different weight and strategy. Comparing ourselves with other people can sometimes cause a lot of frustration, for this reason, it is best to focus on yourself and enjoy what you are doing. Focus on the present moment and do your best in that moment.

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