7 Powerful Mindset Tips to Make Your Next Workout Better


Workouts are just as much about psychology as physical exercise. If you fail to prepare yourself for a workout, you won’t get the most out of it. Mindset matters. This is especially true with weight training where focus and good form are so important for success and avoiding injury. Preparation is key when it comes to getting the powerful benefits that strength training offers and ensuring your next workout is effective and safe. Let’s look at some ways to maximize your mindset when you’re strength training and doing other forms of exercise.

Fuel Up for the Proper Mindset

Nutrition plays a key role in mindset and in performing your best during a workout. If you’re working out in the morning, eat a healthy breakfast. If your workout begins after work, make sure to eat something at lunch. Some people think eating before a workout is counterintuitive because it will slow them down and make them feel sluggish when they exercise. There’s also the idea that exercising with low glycogen stores will help you burn more body fat. Unfortunately, exercising in a fuel-depleted state makes it harder to do high-intensity exercise, like lifting heavy weights or HIIT training.

If you have an intense workout planned, maximize your performance and mindset by eating a balanced meal of complex carbohydrates for energy combined with lean protein for tissue repair beforehand. If you’re doing a low-intensity workout, go ahead and skip the meal. Decide how much to eat based on how long and intense your workout will be. Poor nutrition will make you feel less motivated, and you won’t perform your best.

Hydration Matters Too

Hydration matters too for performance and mindset. Along with maintaining a healthy blood volume and blood pressure, fluid helps lower your core body temperature during exercise and prevents overheating. Why is this important? When your body temperature rises, exercise feels harder. For example, a study found that inadequate hydration reduced performance for resistance training. It suggested that the effects may be mediated by the effects of dehydration on the brain.

How can you avoid poor performance from dehydration? Drink a glass or two of water within 30 minutes of an exercise. Make it a habit to weigh yourself before or after a workout. The difference in weight will correspond to how much fluid you lost. This will give you a better idea of how much to drink during your workouts. For every pound, you lose during an exercise session, drink 16 ounces of fluid. So, if you lost a pound during a 45-minute high-intensity sweat session, try to consume 16 ounces of water during your next 45-minute HIIT session to stay adequately hydrated. Also, look at your urine color. If it’s darker than pale yellow, you have some catching up to do!

Dress the Part

To optimize your exercise mindset and performance, dress the part! Wear clothing that makes you feel good and will not restrict or limit your movement. A good option is loose clothing, preferably cotton, that “breathes” when you sweat. The more comfortable you are during a workout, the easier it is to push yourself. Also, make sure your shoes are comfortable and provide adequate support for whatever activity you’re engaging in—even if they were expensive!

Have a Goal for Each Exercise Session

Mindset is also impacted by the goals you set. Write down your workout goals and break them down into smaller ones. Then focus on one mini-goal during each exercise session. This will help keep your mind focused on the task at hand. Write everything you do down in a fitness journal, so you can track your progress toward reaching your goals. You can use this log as motivation to keep going when you don’t feel like working out, or as a reminder of how far you’ve come. It’s easy to get distracted when you’re working out, so know what your goal is and focus only on that goal.

Focus on Movement Quality

When it comes to working out, it’s easy to think that more is better. But you should focus on quality over quantity. Ensure you’re moving as efficiently as possible so that you’re not wasting energy and expending unnecessary effort. That means using proper posture and form when performing exercises such as squats and deadlifts.

Sometimes we get so caught up with exercising that we forget about the quality of our movements. This can lead to injuries, bad habits, and poor results.  Watch yourself in a mirror or film yourself to ensure you are doing the exercise correctly. If something looks off, stop, and correct it immediately, so it doesn’t become a habit.

Don’t Overexercise

You might be tempted to over-exercise to burn more calories. But over-exercising can lead to muscle soreness, fatigue, and other symptoms of overtraining, which can make it difficult for your body to recover adequately before the next workout session. It’s also damaging to your motivation and mindset. One study even found that overexercising fatigues brain function to the point where it affects the ability to make decisions. Imagine how that can hurt your motivation and mindset! One way to avoid training too hard is to periodize the intensity of your workouts, so you’re not pushing yourself hard every time you train.

Mix It Up!

Change your routine occasionally, by adding new exercises. This keeps things interesting and stops boredom from setting in. It also exposes your body to new challenges. With so many types of exercises you can do to build strength and endurance, there’s no reason to feel bored. if your current aerobic workout isn’t challenging anymore, try cross-training for variety. If you need a break from weight training, try adding plyometrics exercises into your routine (which focus on speed and power).


Without the right mindset, you won’t make the expected gains in fitness. You might even lose the motivation to work out. The truth is that your mind has much more to do with your success than you might think. If you want to make your next workout better, keep these tips in mind. Be aware of any negative thoughts that come up during your workout and try to refocus them on positive ones instead!


  • “How Hydration Affects Performance – American Council on Exercise.” 29 Apr. 2015, https://www.acefitness.org/resources/pros/expert-articles/5397/how-hydration-affects-performance/.
  • “Extreme Exercise Might Dull the Brain, Study Says – WebMD.” 26 Sept. 2019, https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/news/20190926/extreme-exercise-might-dull-the-brain-study-says.
  • Judelson DA, Maresh CM, Farrell MJ, Yamamoto LM, Armstrong LE, Kraemer WJ, Volek JS, Spiering BA, Casa DJ, Anderson JM. Effect of hydration state on strength, power, and resistance exercise performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2007 Oct;39(10):1817-24. doi: 10.1249/mss.0b013e3180de5f22. PMID: 17909410.
  • “Nutrition and athletic performance – MedlinePlus.” https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002458.htm.
  • Judelson DA, Maresh CM, Farrell MJ, Yamamoto LM, Armstrong LE, Kraemer WJ, Volek JS, Spiering BA, Casa DJ, Anderson JM. Effect of hydration state on strength, power, and resistance exercise performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2007 Oct;39(10):1817-24. doi: 10.1249/mss.0b013e3180de5f22. PMID: 17909410.

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