Sometimes you feel fierce and ready to take on a tough workout. Other days? Well, that's what these strategies are for. Try them and a tough set (hill repeats, anyone?) may feel like just another easy workout.
Rely On Your Playlist
People who exercised to music thought their workouts were easier than when they went without—even though the workout was exactly the same, according to a study published in the Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology.
Music may distract your mind enough that you don't really notice you've done 10 hill repeats or 15 deadlifts until you've finished them. At least it keeps your mind from thinking "when will this be over?" and other workout-busting thoughts.
Keep Your Sports Drink in View
When people just looked at a bottle of sports drink, they were able to exercise longer than when a plain bottle of water was in their line of sight. What's more, in the study, published in the Psychology of Sport and Exercise journal, they weren't encouraged to focus on the bottle; it just happened to be within view.
What's the magic? The thinking is that having sports drinks around makes people feel like they're taking on positive challenges (as in, "if there's a sports drink here, I must be an athlete").
Work Out With Someone Else
Not just at the same time, but in synchrony. When a college crew team did this on rowing machines, their pain thresholds were higher than when they did the same workout alone, according to a study in Biology Letters.
Synchronized movement may boost endorphins more than exercise alone does. As a result, you may tolerate more pain and do a harder workout without feeling so whipped.