Mental Preparation and its Effects on Training
The physicality of weight training and the importance put upon it often times supersedes what many consider to be the main contributing factor to success in this sport; mental preparation. Yes you have to train hard, train intelligently and be consistent day in and day out with the physical tasks needed for progress to occur, but your approach should start well before you hit the gym floor. Much of your time out of the gym should be dedicated to thinking about what you’re trying to achieve and mentally preparing yourself for what’s about to occur. You need to be thinking about the exercises you’ll be completing, the pain you’re going to endure, the mundane existence of eating the same foods every day at the exact same times and then you have to be able to clearly see your finish line in your mind. Once you’ve mastered that, then you are well on your way to being successful in this sport. If you haven’t already practiced this approach, here are a few starting points for you to maximize your mental preparation as it relates to training.
Visualization (Mental Imagery)
When you close your eyes what do you see? Do you see yourself winning, do you see yourself executing the most difficult of goals you have set out for yourself or do you see yourself failing and unable to complete what you have set out for yourself? The positive or negative impact that visualization can have upon our mental approach is huge and is therefore a facet of training you must conquer. Every time you think about your performance, it must always conclude with a positive outcome for you. Any type of negativity that may be imbedded in your conscious and unconscious thoughts must disappear for you to be as successful as possible.
Positive Reassurance (Self-talk)
Believe in yourself and in your capabilities and tell yourself you can achieve greatness. Often times athletes will talk to themselves about their game plan just so they can simply hear it out loud and work their way through any type of mental barriers they may have put upon themselves. Other times you may hear people reciting motivational quotes or song lyrics in an attempt to muster up the motivation and courage to carry out whatever physical task is in front of them. Self-talk and positive reassurance of one’s abilities can be a significant driving force behind any type of training or athletic performance; especially in the absence of outside support.
Take hold of your emotions, master the art of control and then call upon your inner demons when the time is right. For many, just thinking about the gym is enough to invoke rage and intensity but for others it may not be enough. The trick is to find something that infuriates you to the point that you need a positive release of that pent up anger and energy. Once you’ve found that trigger, apply it to your training and then watch and see just what you end up being capable of doing. The level of intensity at which you work while in the gym is the only limiting factor in your success or failure in this sport. Find true intensity, learn how to invoke it on call and then enjoy the ride to a whole new physical dimension.
Your ability to mentally prepare for the gym will have a tremendous effect on your overall training. To take things to the max you must maximize this facet of your life and what better way to do so then by envisioning all of the things you plan on doing while rocking a pair of The Max Hightop Bodybuilding Sneakers by Heyday Footwear. I can see it now, bar bending on your shoulders, legions of fans screaming in adoration for you to complete the lift all while wearing the sickest squat shoes anyone has ever seen!
Author: Dana Bushell
AST Sports Science sponsored athlete/writer, sponsored by Schiek Sports Inc.