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How to Make Yourself Physically Tougher

Toughness, commonly defined as the ability to tolerate an uncomfortable situation over time, is split into two main categories: mental and physical. Athletes from a range of sports try to become tougher to improve overall performance. According to R.J. Anderson, assistant editor at “Coaching Management,” becoming physically tougher involves a program of exercises for both mind and body.

  1. Define your goals and expectations for becoming physically tougher. For example, a basketball player may define physical toughness as the ability to play tough defense, or grab loose balls or offensive rebounds. A mixed-martial-arts fighter, on the other hand, may define toughness as the ability to withstand a series of strikes and kicks.

  2. Build mental toughness by focusing and concentrating on the task at hand. Stew Smith, a former Navy SEAL and a certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, says that mental toughness is the key to increasing the body’s ability to withstand physical pain and discomfort.

  3. Perform every workout or training session with 100-percent effort. Tough workouts build physical toughness by teaching your mind and body how to deal with uncomfortable situations.

  4. Avoid pain during the workouts and training sessions. Becoming physically tougher should lead to discomfort, but not to pain or injury.

  5. Increase your strength level through strength-training workouts. Stronger athletes are typically the ones who are physically tougher and able to withstand higher levels of intensity in the game.

  6. Stay focused on your goals; building physical toughness takes time and dedication. The process will not be easy; stay committed to the overall goal, and you will see gradual progress.

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About the Author

Based in Nebraska, Jeremy Hoefs began writing fitness, nutrition, outdoor and hunting articles in 2006. His articles have been published in "Star City Sports," "Hunting Fitness Magazine" and RutWear field journals, as well as on the Western Whitetail website. Hoefs graduated with a Bachelor of Science in exercise science from Nebraska Wesleyan University.

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