9 MENTAL STRATEGIES TO IMPROVE YOUR WORKOUTS

9 MENTAL STRATEGIES TO IMPROVE YOUR WORKOUTS

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BY ERIC BROSER 

Most of us tend to look for external solutions to our bodybuilding problems. But have you ever stopped and thought that maybe the true key to progress lies somewhere within yourself and outside the gym? The most powerful computer known to man is not sitting on your desk—it’s stuck right between your ears. I’m talking not just about your brain, but your mind.

The extraordinary power of thought can’t be denied. “Mind over matter,” is real, and turning the impossible into the possible begins in your head. Learn to use your mind while lifting, and your body will follow. And mind you, these tips don’t stop at the gym.

Here are my top nine mindset strategies for continuous progress in your fitness. goals.

1. Visualize Success

Every night before you go to sleep, think deeply about exactly what you would like to look like. Form a strong visual of every muscle in your mind’s eye, then visualize your workout for the next day from start to finish in your head.

See the gym, the people, and the equipment. Hear the music, smell the atmosphere, and feel the sweat dripping from your forehead as you perform every rep with masterful precision.

Once you embed into your subconscious exactly what you want to accomplish during your workout, your body will be pre-programmed to follow.

2. Be Positive

Learn to approach every workout with an enthusiastic, positive attitude. Expect that you will have a more productive workout today than you did yesterday. Know that the weights are going to feel lighter, and each exercise easier.

Even when it’s not easy, learn to enjoy the pain (unless, of course, it’s the result of an injury). Embrace the pump, and be fully aware that this workout will bring you closer to your goals.

If you leave doubt at the door, you will have the best workout of your life today—nothing can stop you.

3. Be Aggressive

Don’t just lift the weights, attack them. Treat every rep as if it were your last. Lift like your life is on the line, and do whatever it takes to psyche yourself up.

Channel any anger and emotion you’re holding on to into every rep of every set. 

4. Focus

During a set, concentrate on what you’re doing. While resting, concentrate on what you’re about to do. Put away the cell phone, drop the newspaper, and quit the chatter.

Think about the body part you’re working with laser focus and forge the “mind/muscle” connection. If you want to work out with a partner, make sure he or she is just as passionate about training. as you are. If you can’t find someone like that, then you’re better off going it alone.

Always remember one thing: Your time in the gym is a gift. Don’t waste a single moment.

5. No Sulking

If the first few sets of your workout don’t go as well as planned, don’t let that get to you and set the tone for the remainder of your workout. If you attempt to set a personal lifting record and miss, don’t get depressed.—just regroup! Leave the negativity behind, and look ahead.

The gym is no place to hang your head low or feel sorry for yourself. It’s your sanctuary, your domain, your temple.

At the gym, you’re the boss of your body and your workout. And remember, it’s the one place where reaching failure is a good thing

6. Don’t Get Complacent

It’s perfectly OK to pat yourself on the back after a solid set or productive workout, but don’t let that smile get stuck on your face. Set your sights on the next set or next workout and think about how you will crush your previous accomplishments. Complacency is the enemy of a bodybuilder.

Your body is an adaptive machine, so you need to push further to progress to the next level. You just benched 315 for the first time…awesome!

Now it’s time to figure out what it will take to do 320. To truly succeed you cannot merely be hungry…you must be starving.

7. Toughen Up

Don’t avoid pain, embrace it. When the going gets rough, the tough get going, and that applies to the art of bodybuilding perfectly. There’s simply no way around it.

When pain occurs (unless it’s injury pain…learn the difference) while lifting, don’t think this is the end of your set, but just the beginning. Think of pain as a signal telling you that you’ve entered the growth zone. 

The juncture of the set that will trigger the physiological reactions that will lead to growth. When your muscles are burning, your heart is racing, and nausea is looming, you’re one step closer to your goal.

7. Toughen Up

Don’t avoid pain, embrace it. When the going gets rough, the tough get going, and that applies to the art of bodybuilding perfectly. There’s simply no way around it.

When pain occurs (unless it’s injury pain…learn the difference) while lifting, don’t think this is the end of your set, but just the beginning. Think of pain as a signal telling you that you’ve entered the growth zone. 

The juncture of the set that will trigger the physiological reactions that will lead to growth. When your muscles are burning, your heart is racing, and nausea is looming, you’re one step closer to your goal.

8. Have Faith and Get A Grip

You must have faith in yourself and faith in what you are doing. If you have faith in your workout program, your dietary regimen, and your supplementation strategy, you’ll greatly increase your chances of being successful. 

9. Dream

Don’t set limits or let anyone else tell you what you can and can’t accomplish. Your body is only limited by where your mind is willing to take you.

An 800-pound bench press was once thought insurmountable…now there are men that rep with it. Conceive, believe, then achieve.

Those that are afraid to dream are bound by the limits that their mind sets for them. Dreamers see beyond what is and look to find what can be.

Dream big and always seek to raise the bar, then go after it with every ounce of your being.