I bet he's not listening to Brit Brit.

I bet he's not listening to Brit Brit.

I’m going to try something tonight that I’ve haven’t done yet. I’m not in a particularly good (or bad) mood, and I don’t really feel like writing. I suppose this will be a good test to see if I am cut out for this type of thing. If the article is dull and boring, well, it’s probably time to pack it up. If this one rocks as much as the rest of them, well, maybe there’s a future here. Please, don’t snicker. We all know that they’re awesome.

Tonight’s topic of discussion is the psychological (I hope I don’t have to type that word too much) aspect of lifting and training. It’s something that we don’t even realize is there, yet it defines our individual preferences, how hard we lift, where we like to lift, and is a huge factor in our successes or failures.

My guess is that 75% of the people that go to a gym are what I call recreational users…I mean, lifters. They go for an hour and half, talk for an hour and lift for maybe 30 min. They don’t see any results. They don’t reach their goals (if they have any). And they certainly don’t understand why.

Besides the obvious reason, going to socialize rather than actually do work [son], it’s because they never had their head’s in the right place to begin with. You know why the gym is packed right after New Year’s and right before Spring Break? Because people are motivated to get that killer body. What they’re motivated by is anybody’s guess…it’s probably safe to say it’s between their legs…but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that their minds are in it.

I’m not going to pretend like I’ve done some grand scientific research or anything like that, but I am overwhelmingly confident in saying, through my own experiences and lifting with the various people that I have over the years, that there is absolutely a direct correlation with your psychological mindset and your physical output.

I am admittedly a complete headcase when it comes to lifting. I need the right atmosphere, the right music, the right equipment, and no distractions when I lift. When I’m lifting, I’m one pissed off individual. I feel like I’m Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, except that Dr. Jekyll never shows his true colors. This is my time to release. This is when I am who I truly am. I’m intense, I’m focused, and I’m driven. Now, take me out of that state of mind and put me in a Gold’s with Britney Spears playing over the speakers and a bunch of wannabe’s on the Smith Machines doing 1/4 squats with 405 lbs., and all that drive and intensity goes away. I just can’t focus. I’m too busy feeling disgusted to concentrate on my lifts. When that happens, my output drastically decreases. I remember one time very recently I had bench pressed 265 lb. without a spotter for two reps. That very next week, I went with a friend to a Lifetime Fitness and could barely get 245 lb. off my chest. I’m just extatic that didn’t happen. There’s nothing more embarassing than lying on your back with your arms and legs flailing all over because your chest cavity is about to cave in and puncture a lung. The following week when I was back in “my” gym, I put up 265 lb. like it was nobody’s bidness.

Then there’s the whole mind-muscle relationship. You see your muscles and it motivates you to lift even harder. Why do you think guys stare at themselves for hours when doing upper body lifts? They get a nice pump in their muscles, and before you know it, they’re fuggin’ Ronnie Coleman putting on a show for themselves in the mirror thinking, “And now, introducing, the 2009 Snap Fitness Mr. Universe, Jooooooe Douchebag!” I admit, I do the same thing. Luckily for me, I have the humbling disease known as “little man” syndrome (no matter how “big” I get, I will always feel small) and my wide-eyed stares of achievement don’t last long. This phenomena of the mind-muscle relationship, I feel, is also partly to blame for people walking around with hunched backs and chicken legs. There’s nothing sexy about building a thick, wide back. I mean, who sees it? Hardly anyone. So if no one can see it, why build it? Same goes for your legs. After you’ve just got done doing your 4th set of 315 lb. squats, is anyone really looking at your glutes and hamstrings thinking, “damn I sure would like to see those hammy’s without those shorts on.” Doubt it. So again, what’s the point?

The point, is that your mind is controlling your fate. Your mind tells you when you can and can’t lift something. Your mind tells you when you are or are not tired. Your mind can either be your best friend or your worst nightmare. You can use your mind to put yourself in another situation to get you jacked in order to pull 500 lbs. off the floor. Or your mind can tell you that you can’t run that last 100 m sprint. It’s those instances when you need to tell your mind to shut the fuck up and just get through it. That little little voice in your head controls everything. If you’re strong willed, that little voice will tell you to stop being such a fucking pussy and just fucking do it, you little bitch. If you’re weak, you will listen to that voice, you will give in, and there is no hope. The point, is to get mental!

Don’t Miss Your Chance

I was stuck in Corporate America for 9 years. I was miserable.

Then I took control.

You can too, and it starts right here.