Friday, January 23, 2009

Thinking into Your Workout

Not too long ago, the question about working out with a partner came up at Rosstraining’s forum. As it turned out, the overwhelming majority who responded to the poll stated that they worked out alone. Most of the reasons revolved around one central theme: the ability to concentrate. They wanted to work out without any distractions. That’s a sharp contrast to those people who love to run on treadmills in gyms while reading People Magazine or watching Television.

Those of us who routinely succeed at the fitness goals that we set know the importance of a focused mind when training. Some people believe this only a physical endeavor. There is a reason that these people usually don't reach their goals. They don't realize that they cannot reach them without thinking into the work. You need to focus on what you’re doing and think into the muscles that you’re working.

George Jowett called his muscles slaves for a good reason: They did exactly what his mind told him to do. He, along with many others who came before and after him, noticed that the more thought he put into his muscles, the stronger he became. He surmised that “nervous energy” was one of the keys to strength.

As it turns out, science has proven him correct. Back in 1992, two neurosceintists
did a study where they took test subjects, made one flex their pinky finger against resistance while the other THOUGHT about flexing their pinky (but not moving it at all). The thinker increased the strength nearly as much as the doer!

So, putting mind into muscle is more than just half-baked, metaphysical Bullshit. It' has sound basis in fact. Your mind and your mindset is crucial to the success or failure of your workout. You'll put more power to your muscles by thinking into them and believing that you can do what you put your mind into doing. I've elaborated on this in the past and I'll continue to do so in the future because I can't stress enough how important a focused mind is to meeting your goals.


David at said...

This is a great blog. I think we agree on a lot of things when it comes to fitness. This post is also excellent. Your mind is incredibly powerful. It always pays to focus your mind on whatever you're doing, especially when exercising.

Thanks for the great post!

- Dave

Anonymous said...

I never thought about actually thinking about the muscles i'm trying to improve. I'll do that now, Thanks!


Justin_PS said...

Hey David, thanks for dropping in. I stuns me when i realize just how many people miss that one. I remember reading that Vince Gironda used to insist on 45 minutes of uninterrupted exercise. If something were to interrupt the workout, he'd take two hours off. He felt that concentration was that precious.

Hey, Em, when I get back to Vermont, I'll let you know when I'm going to BJJ next, if you're still interested. I'll show you a few things before we go too so you're not completely lost out there. Again, let me know if you're interested.