Your Mind Is A Powerful Tool
Imagine you’re working out. You’re doing a deadlift and you’re now at your 5TH set. Normally, you do 5 sets and then you’re done. But today, something’s different. After your 4th set your body is forcing you to quit. You feel sucked of all energy, you’re shaking, feeling tired and literally, about to topple over.
At this point, it’s probably time to call it quits. But wait, something happens. A voice in your head tells you: hold on, keep going, you can do that, it’s not over yet. Well, don’t be surprised, it’s a good sign! That is your mind telling you not to give up. In fact, it’s a warning in disguise. It’s telling you: if you do give up, you will be really disappointed you didn’t try to go the extra mile. It doesn’t matter if you fail your 5th set. You tried to do it anyways. At the end, it wasn’t actually defeat. Ok, you failed your 5th set, but at the same time you still made progress. You made more progress than you would have made if you stopped at your 4th set and went home. Your mind pushed you to exceed your boundaries and overcome this challenge. This type of scenario is precisely how you meet your goals. You don’t turn around when it gets tough, you fight through it. This is going to be your entire weightlifting journey.
The Mind Element Is Pretty Overlooked
Making progress in the gym means overcoming new challenges. Sorry to tell you, but it’s going to be a hard ride. I would be a terrible weightlifting coach if I told you otherwise. But you are ready for that, right? Of course you are! After all, you want to achieve your goals. Failure for you is not an option. So, how do you really overcome new challenges? Well, that is pretty obvious right? Your body becomes stronger and bigger and that gives you the capacity to deal with more. Yes, true. But, what is the actual spark that starts this whole process? For instance, you might be able to do 4 sets at a particular weight on a deadlift one session, but your goal is to do 5 with the same weight, the next. This is essentially you getting stronger. But, where does the drive and motivation come from to push you to do this? After all, it’s going to take you a lot of extra energy, motivation, dedication and pure force to be able to succeed in that. Physically, it’s going to be a drain on your body. But that’s the whole point of adaptation.
- The importance of the mind in achieving your weightlifting goals.
The spark that’s going to push you through this entire adaptation process is going to be your mind. Imagine going from 4 sets to 5 sets. Physically, it’s going to be hell! I am not going to lie. But, this is exactly the point in your training in which the power of your mind plays its strongest role. At the point where you feel the stress the most and you feel like you have done as much as you can, your mind is going to be telling you to keep going. Not to give up, not to back down, and not to walk away. The deciding factor in whether you succeed or fall down is going to be your mind.
It’s your mind that’s going to give you that extra push that drives you through these workout challenges. The good thing for you is, the mind almost always wins over the body. In other words, even if your body is on its last legs, your mind is going to give you just enough drive to see you through that final, decisive push. If you don’t, you will probably feel really guilty at the end of it. Trust me, there have been occasions when I haven’t used the power of my mind and I have walked away too early from a workout because I felt like I didn’t have anything left in the tank. I always come back saying to myself: I really regret that now!
It Takes Just Two Seconds To Think
Many weightlifters are too quick to finish a set (or a workout) and say to themselves: that’s it; I am done for the day. But the thing is, most of the time they could have done just that little bit extra. When it comes to the whole adaptation process, it’s this extra bit that’s the most crucial part of your weightlifting. Yes, I know it’s brutal and hard! But it’s the part of your workout that’s going to really push your body to its limits and force it to become stronger and bigger.
When I am deadlifting, I always reach a critical point where my body is hammered. I feel shaky, tired and deprived of all energy. Sometimes I hesitate whether I should keep going for one final push. But at that moment I always stop and think. I get ready, look in the mirror and take 2 seconds to tell myself: I can do this; nothing is going to stop me! My fellow weightlifters out there: it really works. Just when I am about to stop, this mental motivation always gives me the final drive to bring me through the final and hardest part.
- By using the 2-second rule, your mind will be telling you: this is easy, nothing is going to stop me, I can do this. This will give you that drive to go further, harder and longer with your workouts.
Go The Full Distance
Mental drive is so important in your weightlifting journey. I can’t stress this enough. Without it, most people would probably never reach the most stressful, challenging parts of their workouts. The fact is, it is pretty easy and tempting to finish a workout early, still leaving a bit in the tank. But if you ask me, it is this final part that is the most crucial bit of the adaptation process. Finishing your workouts too early will always mean you risk limiting your true potential.
This is why I love the mental drive aspect of it all. It’s your mind: what you say to yourself, what you are thinking, the benefits, the consequences that all form that crucial two second decision: will I go for it? In my experience, this two second decision always give me enough motivation, drive, power and strength, to push myself through that final set, rep and exercise. Without this major mental aspect, I can honestly say that it would become one impossible ride to try and successfully overcome the many challenges of weightlifting.
If you have any questions about the article or would like to discuss further some of the topics mentioned, then please feel free to leave comments down below!