Surprising yourself during workouts

In what ways do you find you surprise yourself during workouts?

Had an unexpectedly light week of training a few weeks back, so I pushed off a recovery week and decided to pick workouts in the same energy systems as last week. Having struggled with (but completed) a 6.7 Tabata workout last week, I selected Ansel Adams -3 today, 50s on/40s off at 120- 125- and 130%. I decided to modify it by doing the descending progression of 130-, 125-, and 120% tho.

After the second set, I was feeling ok and was going to do the third at 125% again, but figured I’d try at least the first couple at the peak 130%. Interval after interval, I told myself I would only do one more, and lo and behold, I finished all nine at 130%!

So here’s my question: what ways do you find you surprise yourself during workouts, and what tools do you use to give yourself room to exceed expectations? I guess in my case it was lying to myself? :laughing:


I never exceed expectations. I’m always a failure, I just fail badly or fail less badly.

But, my brain works different.


Build is killing - it takes a lot commitment to get through without failures. I often step off after a workout and say to myself that I am an idiot doing this and dont know how I managed to finish.