Trainer Tip Tuesday: The ‘Just-One-Rep’ Plan


It’s Trainer Tip Tuesday!

Today’s tip is a little mindset shift that can go a LONG ways for your confidence and strength development: take on your workout ONE REP at a time.


You’re probably saying ‘Duh, lady, heard that before and I have the t-shirt,’ but I mean it a little differently 🙂


I’m going to make a little confession here before I illustrate my point: many of the exercises I do these days in my Kettlebell-CrossFit training are really challenging for me, and in all truthfulness, they kind of scare the crap out of me. Not because what I’m doing is inherently dangerous, but because I still work to quiet that little voice of doubt in my head that says ‘I don’t know if I can do this/can handle this.’


That doubt has overwhelmed me on many occasions, and threatens to from time to time still.


It has shut me down and caused me to say ‘I can’t’ before I’ve even tried.


There’s nothing quite as disappointing as going home thinking you really didn’t try your hardest/give it your all.


Eventually, I got sick of selling myself short all the time out of fear and doubt. But I still needed a thought process, a mantra, to help me think my way out of my fear and doubt.


I made a deal with myself: I would simply tackle each workout one rep at a time.


Instead of letting the workout as a whole overwhelm me, I would make myself fully present in and only aware of each repetition, and when I’d executed that rep, I’d allow myself to take on the next one.


And it worked.

I would be so focused in the execution of one rep at a time that three things would happen: a) I’d produce some really high-quality, full-effort reps, b) my fear would disappear, and c) my confidence in my own abilities skyrocketed. I was definitely on to something here.



If you’re someone who gets overwhelmed or intimidated by a workout or by certain exercises, try giving the ‘only one rep’ perspective a try.


Imagine that heinous exercise that seems to be your nemesis or just intimidates you.


Maybe it’s burpees, or back squats, or push ups, or pull ups, or barbell cleans or kettlebell snatches.


Imagine you’re supposed to do 5 or 10 or 15 or even 30 reps of that exercise. How do you feel when you hear you have to do THAT many of the exercise that torments or scares you?


Now imagine you only have to do one rep. One fantastically focused and gorgeous rep. How do you feel now?


I’m betting, if you’re anything like me, the second scenario was welcoming and relaxing, while the first scenario was more like having a large brick wall thrown in your path.


So if you’ve been intimidated by trying a new exercise, completing a tough workout, increasing the amount of weight you’ve been using for a particular exercise, or just plain testing yourself to see how many reps you can do (like with pull ups!), I suggest trying the ‘one rep mindset’ trick.


Buy fully into that one rep, show yourself you can do it, and keep buying in to each next rep until you’re hitting–then surpassing–your goals.


Think yourself stronger, action yourself forward.

You got this!

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