I never seem to get any interesting email anymore.
The AOL ‘you’ve got mail’ guy tells me I got mail.
(sounds of tearing envelopes.
Hey- Use yer imagination!! )
Oh goodie. Just in time for my blog. What a coincidence, huh?
Here’s an interesting email I just got.
“Any suggestions on getting going for the gym when youre not feeling like it?”
Well, thanks for the interesting email !! Absolutely!!!
The one very important aspect of strength training that is often overlooked is the psychological one…
(and while my background is in strength training, you can apply this perspective to any kind of training.)
and more particularly – the phenomena of perceived weight load/overload.
I’ve often been in the gym on a day when I just didn’t feel like working out.
I’ll drag my ass in there anyway, because I know – that if I didn’t,
I’d feel even worse (and lazier) the NEXT day.
But, once there, I’d have to “get my mind right” – that is, psych myself up.
The right music helps, but in the end, its just ‘YOU’ versus ‘LAZY YOU’,
or ‘IT HURTS, YOU’
or ‘IT’S TOO HEAVY YOU’
or ‘I’D RATHER BE WATCHIN OPRAH YOU’
(no, no… NOT THAT! Say it ain’t SO!)
Well, you know what I mean.
I like to run a kinda game on myself.
Before starting a heavy set, say- deadlifts, I’ll repeat 5 or 6 times:
(under my breath , usually…
though, maybe people CAN hear me, because I do get a LOT of funny looks in the gym……
—- but maybe it’s just ’cause I’m funny lookin’….. who knows – )
“NO WEIGHT” , “NO WEIGHT”
“NO WEIGHT” “NO WEIGHT”
Now- of course, consciously, I know that 630 pounds weighs 630 pounds.
………….But exactly what does 630 pounds FEEL LIKE?
Well, that’s where this little ritual comes in…. it’s still 630 pounds,
but it feels much lighter than what I would expect 630 pounds to weigh if I hadn’t run thru my lil ritual.
Get it? SURE- It’s all in your mind…. and- that’s the point.
Your are using your MIND as a muscle to help you lift the weight.
Hey, before you scoff yerself off, TRY IT.
A lot of people use it, and it works.
When I was coaching youth baseball, I used to preach to the kids that they
should VISUALIZE themselves making a play or hitting the ball before they actually stepped in to play;
the parents seemed to think I was crazy, but the kids that tried it found that it actually improved their game.
This is the phenomena of the ‘self fulfilling prophecy’ or ‘Pygmalion effect’; and I used it often when I was teaching motivational sales techniques back in my rat-race days as well.
In Sociologist Robert Merton’s ground breaking book “Social Theory and Social Structure”,
he described this effect , and wrote it occured when “a false definition of the situation evokes a new behavior which makes the original false conception come true”.
If you like to read, I highly recommend “Iron Mind: Stronger Minds, Stronger Bodies” by R. Strossen;
it was a great primer on “getting yer mind right” for a session of lifting heavy weights, broken down into small ‘digestible’ pieces.
Just remember – your motivation must be mental.
Your body is never gonna say “let’s workout!”.
Mind First – Body Follows.
Choose to do it – then DO it.