Bodybuilding is one of the sports that challenges us the most as individuals and presents us with the most problems. With all the complexity, it is not surprising that most of us look for external solutions to problems. Hardly anyone can deny this fact.
But have you ever thought that the true key to success is not out there somewhere, but already hidden within yourself? You don't need technology, you just need the most powerful computer mankind has ever produced. And it's not on your desk, but between your ears.
Your brain, or more precisely your mind, is the most powerful weapon you have in the fight for an ideal workout. Use this extraordinary power and make the seemingly impossible possible. Let your mind lead the way and you'll see your body follow. With the 9 mental strategies below, you'll also program yourself for 100 percent success. So, here we go!
1 - Visualize your goals
The best way to never lose sight of your goal is to visualize it. Every night before you go to bed, you should take time to consciously think about what you really want to achieve. It doesn't matter if it's a certain look, a certain body fat percentage, or a certain strength performance. Form a strong image in your mind's eye and then envision your next workout to work on your goal.
Go through it from the first warm-up set to the cool-down. See the gym in front of you, hear the music, feel the sweat dripping down your body, and picture yourself performing each repetition with precision. Once this image is ingrained in your subconscious, you'll find that you'll be fitter and more motivated with every workout.
2 - Be positive
A negative attitude is poison for your progress. So learn to approach each workout with an enthusiastic and positive attitude. The night before, visualize yourself performing an even more productive workout the next day than you did the day before. Talk yourself into believing that the weights will feel lighter with each passing day and that each exercise will become a little easier.
And even though it won't be easy, that's no reason to fall back into the negative spiral of thinking. Learn to love the pain, the pump, and the numbness in the muscles. (Unless, of course, the resulting pain is the result of an injury). The most effective way to stay positive in the face of muscle pain and numbness is to simply smile. Don't believe us? Then try it out and start grinning broadly once at the end of a heavy sentence. You will be amazed at how effective this measure is.
3 - Be aggressive
Strength training is not just about lifting weights. It's about you attacking the weights. It's about treating the dumbbells and machines as your enemies, and putting them in their place with all your might. Treat each repetition exactly as if it were the last. Make your workout feel like your life depends on every single repetition. Try to maintain this level of aggression throughout the entire workout. Music can be the key here. But be careful: there are other people working out in the gym. So you should only mentally foam at the mouth during your workout.
4 - Focus
The problem with most amateur athletes is that they don't concentrate enough during their workouts. So focus on what you are doing during every single set. Don't give up that focus even after you finish a set. Instead of having a chat or checking the news on your smartphone, you need to focus on what's next - the next set. Think about the body part you want to train next.
Direct your mental laser focus on the target muscles and thus promote your "muscle-mind connection" even before the following set. It is especially important to make the right choice when training with a training partner. For optimal results, you need a training partner who is as passionate about training as you are. If you can't find such a partner, solo training is the better option. Remember, the time you get to spend in the gym is a gift. Don't waste a single moment there.
5 - Stop pouting
It may well happen that the first sets of your workout don't go the way you want them to. But don't make those first sets the symbol of your entire workout. Sulking is never a good solution. If an attempt to break your bench press record fails, don't whine about it, rally. Put the negative thoughts behind you and look forward.
The gym is not a place where you walk around hanging your head and feeling sorry for yourself. The gym is a sanctuary, your territory, your temple. In the Gym, you are the boss of your body and your workout. And remember, the gym is one of the few places where failing at something is a good thing. To fail, of course, only to start over.
6 - Do not become complacent
It's perfectly fine to give yourself a pat on the back once after a productive workout. But don't let that mental grin hang on your face for too long. Set your sights on the next set, the next workout, and your next goals. Think about what limits you want to cross next as a bodybuilder.
Complacency is the biggest enemy of any bodybuilder. Your body is a very adaptable machine. Accordingly, you must keep pushing yourself to reach the next level. If you stop, you lose! Don't stop being hungry, but always set new goals for yourself.
7 - Harden yourself
Don't be afraid of pain, but enjoy it. When it gets hard, it gets decisive - when it gets decisive, it gets hard. That is the credo of bodybuilding. There is no way around it. Pain is part of it. (Again, this excludes injuries and threatened injuries, of course). Just because it hurts doesn't mean you've reached the end of your set - it's just the beginning. Henceforth, see pain as a signal that you're reaching the "grow zone." Once you've made that psychological connection, as soon as it hurts, your performance will increase all on its own.
8 - Develop a passion
Without passion, especially in bodybuilding, nothing works. You have to have a passion in yourself for what you do. If you invest passion in your workout, in your nutrition strategy and in the sensible use of nutritional supplements, you massively increase your chances of success. And that's regardless of whether you want to be more defined, gain mass, or create a specific max.
9 - Do not stop dreaming
The imagination of the mind is your most important weapon. Only those who dream and set big goals can achieve them. Don't set limits for yourself and certainly don't let anyone else tell you that you can't achieve something. Your body is only limited by the limits of your mind. It used to be unimaginable that someone could bench press 400 kilograms. Then someone came along, believed in it, tried it and did it.
Those who are afraid of dreaming let their limited minds dictate their boundaries. Dreamers, on the other hand, see beyond the horizon to what could be and usually find a way to get there. So, let "Dream big" be your motto, raise the bar a few notches, and then chase your dream with all the energy you have.