Limit Break: How to smash the hardest sets in the weight room
Rome wasn’t built in day, and neither will you be. Gaining strength in the gym happens rep by rep. The challenge is in making the most of every workout and conquering those final hardest reps.
Below are a couple of simple but potent mental techniques to help smash through the barriers, both mental and physical, on the path to power.
First, divide a larger number of reps into groups of smaller numbers of reps. Try segmenting a 12-rep set into 3-3-3-3 rep mini-sets, or an 8-rep set into 3-3-2 reps. The key is to make longer sets feel shorter and to give yourself the motivation to climb the mini-sets on the way to finishing the full set. This division is purely a mental reframing; keep your momentum and don’t allow for unearned rest between mini-sets. What works for solving big problems by breaking them down also works for hard workouts.
Second, think of the final set as the “Championship Round”. These are the reps that matter, that separate the good from the great. These are the truly transformative reps that lead to significant long-term strength gains and proof of triumph over your formerly weaker self. Will you leave the job unfinished, or will you go home a champion?