Bodybuilders and strength athletes alike push their body to its limitations on a regular basis. It is not uncommon to see people running to the nearest garbage can on leg day and it's not unusual to see someone who has just completed a personal best sitting there shaking from the enormous hit their nervous system just took. To really see what you are made of and how far you can actually go with regards to strength training for size, mass and power, you have to be willing to train in the absence of fear and attack each and every set you do with maximum intensity despite the idea of what 'could' happen to you in that set. Yes injuries are a part of this whole experience but you can't let that hold you back and if you do things right, you can minimize that risk and greatly improve upon how you complete your workouts. Here is how you do so.
Stress Proper Form For You
Your best chance at maintaining your health when it comes to weight training is by adhering to the biomechanical actions that your body naturally moves through. That may mean disregarding what textbook form says and adapting the specific movement so that it compliments your natural movement planes instead. If something doesn't feel right when you perform it and make your way through your sets, then it isn't right for you and this will in turn create a mental barrier for you which will hold you back from going all out on the exercise. If you can't go all out, then you're training with the fear of something bad happening which will only hold you back with your progress. So rather than do that, make sure everything you do feels right and then go as hard as you possibly can with that movement.
Emphasize Proper Rest
Overtraining is a real thing and it can happen to anyone despite what you may have heard or read otherwise. And in many instances, it is overtraining that leads to injury and causes you to hold back while in the gym. If you aren't fully recovered from a previous workout, then you should be nowhere near training that same muscle group again. However, if you have stressed the importance of recovery and proper rest for each muscle group, then when it is time to train that area again, you know you're fully healed and ready for another onslaught of banging it out with the weights. If you're still a little sore or stiff, then you're going to hold back. If you feel great, then you won't be worried about causing any undue harm to your body.
Eyes on the Prize
There is nothing more motivating than having a goal and having the desire and passion to achieve that goal. You will take your training to a whole new level if you put a specific goal with a time frame in place that propels you to go all out in the gym. If you have a fighting nature about you or if you can muster up intensity on cue and you then apply that to attaining a goal, fear is no longer a factor and the thought of anything other than completing what you have set out to accomplish is eliminated. In fact, you will completely forget about the possibility of injury or failure and will forge on as if nothing can or will stand in your way of doing what you have to do and training like this is awesome!
Now that you have your mind right, your form down tight and you're feeling refreshed and full on energy, the last thing you need at your disposal to kick fear straight in the face is solid pair of training shoes. When you feel grounded, you feel sturdy, you feel strong and feel like you can take on anything. Shoes such as the Super Shift, Tactical Trainer or the Mission Trainer will provide this feeling for you. So lace up, get to the gym and stomp that Heyday symbol right in fear's face!
Author: Dana Bushell
AST Sports Science sponsored athlete/writer, sponsored by Schiek Sports Inc.