How To Get Back To Being Mentally Tough


Feeling your motivation slip away a bit? Is your New Year's resolution fading away? Well, I have the perfect guys here to help you light that fire you once had.

Have you ever wondered how they do it?

You see it every day at your gym. These trainers who are coaching athletes, adults and all other types of clients through intense, structured and sometimes grueling workouts. Then right after they are done coaching their client, you see them turn around and coach themselves through almost the same exact thing. It’s non-stop challenging of the mind and body and these guys do this every day of their life! To be a top trainer or athlete you need mental toughness. The guys in this article have it down to the T.

I interviewed 10 of the top strength coaches, athletes and entrepreneurs in the world to find out.

1 ) Jason Glass 

Jason is one of the world’s top strength and conditioning coaches focusing on rotational power. He trains and consults for athletes and teams from the PGA Tour, NFL, and NHL. Jason is an international lecturer and presenter on the topic of human performance and athletic development. Jason is the host of the Coach Glass Podcast, which you can download from iTunes.


Change Your Mindset! 

As soon as I am done with my workout I tell myself: “You didn’t have to do that.”

“Just this morning I woke up at 6 AM and I did not feel like working out. I was tired from travel and just not into it. But like a lot of people fail to do I sucked it up and got my run in.  After I was done I said to myself: You did not have to do that!

I hear people every day say: "I have to go workout” or “I have to get my run in” like it’s a bad thing they are forced to do. Nobody’s forcing you to do this. Change your mindset! 

When you workout your doing something purely for you! This empowers me to to wake up early and get that workout in or push past that last grueling set. Everything I do in my workout benefits me.

2) Lewis Howes 

Lewis Howes is an New York Times Best Selling author, entrepreneur, and former professional Arena League football player. He hosts The School of Greatness, a talk show distributed as a podcast. He is on the advisory board of the non-profit Pencils of Promise.


“Have a vision that is more powerful than your pain. “

Enough said.

3) Lee Taft

Lee Taft from is highly respected as one of the top athletic movement specialist in the world. Since 1989, Lee has taught foundation movement to beginning youngsters and helped young amateur athletes to professional athletes become quicker, faster and stronger.

Lee Taft

Focus and Nail It!

“When I am going through a tough workout there are 2 times when I have to inspire myself to work through it. The first time is before the workout begins. I know why I am doing the workout and how it will benefit my body in the short and long term. This conversation is done well in advance and is what keeps me training day to day. The second conversation is during the “sticky” parts of the workout when it hurts. I have always been good at making myself focus on the technique and how I am performing the exercise in the moment. This takes my mind off the “discomfort”, at least for a little bit, and allows me to get through it. So what I say during these times is “Focus” or “Nail it”. This keeps me on track so I do the exercise well and don’t just agonize over the workout.”

4) Frank Nash 

Best Selling Author and International Speaker/Personality Frank Nash is one of the most in-demand and exciting coaches, writers and presenters in the Fitness industry today. Frank is the owner of Frank Nash Training Systems in Worcester, MA.

Frank Nash

Trick Your Mind, The Team is Depending On You!

“I have this weird mental trick and flash back to when I was a college athlete. I picture my team in front of me cheering me on and depending on me. If I don’t get that one or 2 more reps I let them down. To me letting your team down is one of the worst things in the world! I put that pressure on me and it makes me get those 1 or 2 more reps.

That competitive nature of being there for my friends is what pushes me. It’s you them and one more rep.”

5) Rick Mayo (Owner of one of America’s most profitable gyms per square foot North Point Fitness & Owner of Alloy Personal Training Systems. Rick helps thousands of fitness facilities across America.

Rick Mayo

Remind yourself how fortunate you are! 

When pushing through a tough workout I try to remember that I am “gifting” myself with better health, movement quality and, of course, an improved physique. Instead of viewing workouts as something that I “have” to do, I try to remind myself that training hard is something that I “get” to do. When the going get’s tough, I simply remind myself that I am fortunate to be in a position to be able to perform this challenging workout. So, suck it up buttercup and do work!

6) John Annillo 

John has worked everywhere from the corporate gym in NYC to the Strength and Conditioning Department at Ohio State University. He’s a partner in Beautiful Bodies Boot Camp in New Jersey, developed a couple of iOS Applications, and serves as a consultant for fitness companies through Gym Autopilot.

john annillo

Focus on the three W’s.

I need WILL to succeed, this extra rep is merely a test. If I want to WIN I can’t give up. My WHY is what turns that negative voice inside my head that would tell me to give up into a positive one that keeps me going. Thinking of where you want to be is the easy part. Realizing that it’s that last rep, extra lap, or next workout that will get you there is the hard part.

One of the reasons some people are successful and others are not can simply come down to the number of negative vs. positive thoughts that they have throughout the day. This only gets more pronounce when you’re in the Gym and have 300 lbs over your chest; either you’ll pump yourself up enough to push it or you’ll attempt it haphazardly. If you can’t push through these tough times during your workouts, you’ll never be able to push through the tough times in life or business.

7) Wil Fleming  (Wil Fleming is the co-owner of Force Fitness and Performance, in Bloomington, Indiana which is one of the most successful training facilities in the Midwest. Wil is a national level Olympic weightlifter and the coach of dozens of successful weightlifters ages 11 through 40.

wil fleming

Remember your long term goals

“When a workout gets really tough it is essential to look at your long-term goals. This can either push me to hit bigger numbers, or it can serve to make me throttle it back in case I might just not have it that day. For me if it is a competition next year, I know I have to push myself for it, but I also can’t wreck myself and risk losing the opportunity to train the next day or next week. Long-term goals are the measuring stick for me when it gets really tough.”

8) Justin Grinnell 

Owner of one of the leading training facilities in the Midwest, State of Fitness Gym in Okemos, MI.  He also runs a Corporate Wellness Training Center in East Lansing, MI.  Justin is a featured writer in the magazines Healthy & Fit, Muscle & Fitness and Breaking Muscle.

justin grinnell

Remember Why You Started! 

“Tough workouts are not only about completing a hard workout full of heavy weight and lots of sets and reps. Sometimes the tough part is even getting into the mindset of completing a solid workout. Some days you are on and feel like moving a ton of weight and some days seem to be more complicated. Work, school, stress or whatever may be getting in the way. But I am a firm believer that we all can make time to commit to your workout. So I constantly remind myself about all of the reasons why I even need to start this workout. It simply will make me a better person for my family, others and myself.

9) Billy Burghardt 

Assistant strength and conditioning coach for the Michigan State University Football & Wrestling Teams. Bill is a certified strength and conditioning specialist with the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association (CSCCa) and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

Billy B

Keep it positive, break it down! 

“I focus on positive self talk. I break up the reps mentally into smaller chunks so 15 reps becomes 3 sets of 5. Then if it’s really excruciating, I imagine someone in my family depending on me to get that next rep. “

10) Ben Boudro 

Ben is the owner of Xceleration Fitness in Auburn Hills, MI. He is a former captain of the wrestling team at Michigan State and is now a nationally known fitness writer. His work has been featured in Men’s Health, Muscle & Fitness, and many other publications.


Know that there is always somebody trying to outwork you.

It’s probably weird for most people to do by this trick that has stuck with me since my wrestling career. I force myself to go into a mindset that somebody is right next to me doing the same workout and he’s out working me. I think of somebody who is exactly my age with the same build and same everything.  I think of that person out there trying to get the same thing I’m after and It drives me nuts.  It forces me to get that last rep or finish that run faster. Another thing I do is picture my family watching me. My son Hudson is watching, my wife is watching or my brothers are on the sidelines cheering me on. Don’t ask me why but it works and it pushes me way outside of my comfort zone every workout.

Chase It!

More readings: 

Tricks Trainers Use to Keep Clients Motivated

10 Creative Ways to Find New Motivation for Your Fitness Goals

5 Mental Tricks for Mustering Exercise Motivation