We’ve all been there. You’ve worked hard at something, whether it’s in the gym or on a personal or professional project, and then BAM! You hit that dreaded wall where your motivation dries up and you’re left wondering if you’ll ever get back on track.

Motivation can be hard to come by when you’re not seeing results, especially in the gym. Mental fatigue hits and is often followed by physical fatigue, throwing you off course from reaching your goals. By increasing your mental focus, building your willpower, and working to set and celebrate milestones along the way, you can maximize your workouts and build momentum that will drive you to accomplish your health and fitness goals.

Read on to learn how your brain and body are connected when it comes to motivation and how you can optimize your mental strength and clarity to crush your goals.

What Causes Mental Fatigue?

Mental fatigue can result in a myriad of bodily reactions, including reduced focus and slower reaction times. Studies also show that a decrease in mental focus is also tied to physical body function, drastically reducing your strength and endurance. When you’re mentally tired, your body perceives exerting physical energy as more difficult than it actually may be, thereby decreasing your strength and endurance.

And the effects work the other way, too. When your legs, arms, and core begin to burn due to a good workout, mental exhaustion can take over signaling to your body that it can’t handle additional physical stress. Your brain tells your body that you’ve had enough, and you may end your workout before reaching your goals.

Mental Fatigue: Two Frameworks

When it comes to talking about and understanding mental fatigue, there are two prevailing models that scientists use to describe what happens.

The first is the central governor model, which situates the brain as the organ regulating your physical exertion. If the brain perceives your body is at a point of becoming unbalanced, the brain sends signals to it telling it to stop to avoid harm.

The second theory is the psychobiological model. In this theory, researchers propose that people workout until they think they are experiencing a high level of effort, then stop before their bodies give out. By stopping, the person working out perceives that any exertion beyond the current level is physically impossible. Theorists observe that people exercise until they experience high levels of perceived effort, and they stop exercise without actually getting to physiological failure, often because they believe the task is physically impossible.

No matter which model you believe you fit into, the results are the same: mental fatigue can lead to decreased physical performance.

Building Willpower

Maintaining self-control and building willpower are critical to succeed in any task you set out to accomplish, and your health and fitness goals are no exception.

Researchers and fitness experts recommend building in practices that can help you boost your willpower to help push you through a tough workout.

Working out in shorter, more intense sessions is one way, as they exert less mental energy than longer, more sustained sessions. Another strategy, especially for those who work out later in the day after work, is to try to preserve mental energy throughout the day. This can include doing other activities that are distinct from your normal duties when taking a break. For instance, instead of browsing the web, try going for a short walk.

And while building some practices into your daily habits can help boost your willpower, evidence suggests certain supplements can also enhance your mental energy, leading to better workouts.

For more energized workouts that will help you burn more fat and see results faster, which can help build motivation, SKALD is a must-have addition to your supplementation program. It not only boosts your energy but also increases your mental clarity, directly enhancing the mind-body connection necessary to maximize your results.

And when paired with VIVVID: MAGNUM MENTAL SUPPORT, you can enjoy even more focus that will help you keep your eye on the prize. It’s designed to boost your mental clarity, improve memory and concentration, and promote long-term cognitive health, all essential to a long and healthy life and essential elements in helping you feel the awesome sense of achievement when you power through and achieve your training goals.