Today we’re discussing the importance of exploring the edges of your capacity, this step to improving our physical performance is to strategically & periodically (not every day) take opportunities to work at and beyond our limits. Working at the edge of our capacity can be a very uncomfortable experience because to truly “go there” likely means pushing to failure whether with reps, distance, effort, time, speed, etc.
“Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
Know > Trust > Grow
Remember, there’s a difference between knowing where your edge is VS continually operating at that edge. One is a data point to guide future mindsets and effort while the other is a pathway leading to burnout and decreased performance/health. Going to the edge is an act of exploring who you are. It’s good to know who we are, not just when things are nice and easy, but when things are difficult, hard, or scary. You don’t need to go there every day, every workout and certainly not every workout you have.
Everybody walks in the doors of their gym to evolve in their own way, direction, and timeline. No one is there to stay the same version of themselves. So, let’s discuss how to begin finding your edges at the gym.
How to Find the Edge of Your Capacity
Know thyself, Do you love squats and dread handstand push-ups? Do you hang on longer than anyone else on pull-ups? Do you eat wall balls for breakfast? We must objectively know our skills, strengths and weaknesses as we reach extreme intensity.
Identifying and knowing these things about ourselves can allow us to create successful gameplans to amplify our abilities and confidently lean into our strengths and to stay calm and focused (rather than dramatic) when we encounter our weaknesses.
The next step is to TRUST OURSELVES! Once we’ve identified our strengths and weaknesses, physically as well as mentally, we must lean into our strengths as well as fight for every ounce of ability from our weaknesses. you have to believe that you have the resiliency, strength, ability, skill, or even sheer determination to get the work done, to sustain the difficult pace, to go 1% faster. If you don’t trust yourself, no magical coaching cue from me will guide you to your edge. You have to trust yourself to go there.
Knowing your limit may mean failing. Failing inherently breeds fear in 90% of all humans because our society tells us that failure is associated with losing and unworthiness. But failing is just a lesson, not a lasting identity. An instance of failure is a data point that at this date and place in time, with your current fitness level, with your current nutrition habits, self-talk, injury status and training history. Every single one of those factors is a variable you can tweak to push farther next time. Assess, learn from, and experiment with these variables to create future growth.
The Big Picture
You are capable of much more than you realized! And if you pay attention, you will build awareness to know how you react when the edge of your capacity encroaches (in life and the gym) – you may cry, scream, get scared. Do you lean further into the effort? Do you doubt yourself and shy away from the effort? Do you believe in yourself when things get intense?
When you build awareness of these behaviors, you have the power to alter them for the better and use them to guide you – inside the gym and out.