It doesn't matter whether you can power through 100 burpees, or if you’re struggling with five. You can still enjoy that unstoppable rush that comes from exercise. We spoke to Rachael Newsham to find out what it takes to feel at your best.
You don’t need to be super fit to feel unstoppable. It's a feeling that affects you on an emotional level much more than a physical level. It’s a feeling of no compromise, no doubt, a feeling that means you never waiver in the pursuit of betterment. Rachael Newsham, Les Mills Program Director, describes that unstoppable sensation as a feeling of singular focus. “It's a silencing of the noise and every other sense other than your sense of self. It's like nature’s adrenaline. It gives you a feeling of superhuman abilities.”
And it can kick-in through all sorts of scenarios. As you’re ticking off your chores at home, at work, playing sports, working out … “That unstoppable feeling is when you are in your flow state. When you feel like you could do anything,” explains Rachael.
While you feel it in your gut, that unstoppable power doesn't entirely come from within. Surrounding yourself with the right people is key. “You feel unstoppable when you feel belief around you,” says Rachael. “You want a circle with an authentic attachment to you, when the people you’re working closely with are literally pumping your tires and letting you know you’re on fire. This generates that sense of having the universe on your side.”
When it comes to exercise, there is even research to show that when you surround yourself with others you can feel more unstoppable than ever. When you’re working out alongside others, or even just sharing your exercise experiences with others, you experience something called ‘the group effect’. This is when enjoyment, satisfaction and exertion levels reach new heights.
For Rachael, BODYCOMBAT is where she most often enjoys that unstoppable feeling. “It’s the moments when I’m standing in front stance and busting out a bunch of jabs at the end of a BODYCOMBAT class. You’re focused on nothing but just jab, jab, jab and you’re holding on for dear life. But then you realize you’re not actually holding on, you’re punching through, you’re beating the fatigue. You feel like nothing can stop you – and it feels amazing.”
Yes, the buzz is amazing, but Rachael warns that it’s not actually something you want to feel all the time.
“Feeling unstoppable is what gives you that endorphin high, it’s an awesome peak, but it’s not a place you want to be all the time,” It’s important that you celebrate the feeling of achievement but you don’t want to stay in that place – because building fitness is all about building challenge. “You want to willingly step into a place where you feel overloaded, perhaps you’ve added more resistance, maybe you’ve pushed your body to a new level of fatigue. It’s when you feel this uncomfortable struggle that the transformation kicks in – this is when you build bigger biceps or grow stronger glutes.” So when you do feel unstoppable, enjoy it as it means you’ve been consistent and you’ve earned it. But be prepared to move out of that zone and on to a new challenge that leaves you feeling like you just can’t go on.
It’s also important to remember you can’t always perform at your peak, and that’s okay. If there’s one thing that the global pandemic has taught us is that we can’t always be unstoppable. COVID-19 brought the whole world to our knees. Any expectation that we can consistently be in control and reach peak performance all the time is misaligned. We have to be okay with not always being in control, not always being able to smash through the challenges.
HOW CAN WE BE UNSTOPPABLE IF WE’RE TOO SCARED TO EVEN START?
Rachael often hears people are ‘too scared’ to try a new workout, and she wishes she could help people stop using this as a limiting belief. She says that if you want to work on your body, you’ve got to get out of your head. “Trying a new workout is not going to kill you – it’s not a shark, there’s no gun involved, you’re not jumping off a cliff. Put it into perspective. Yes, you might feel a bit awkward not knowing what you’re doing, but that’s no big deal. Just get over this old-fashioned thinking and choose to be a braver you.” She adds: “Choosing to be brave for small things really builds and flexes your bravery muscle, which means you can be REALLY brave when it matters most!”
Her other piece of advice: “Just do whatever you can to have fun". No one fitness formula rules them all. The only secret to success is to maintain consistent enthusiasm – and that comes down to finding something you enjoy.
If you need some inspiration, Rachael suggests you give a BODYCOMBAT workout a go. "BODYCOMBAT serves up plenty of moments when you can feel unstoppable, and the reward is instant. Regardless of your fitness level, the workout drives you to feel empowered, strong and exhausted – all at the same time."