Concentration is the KEY to good gains. Concentration is the ability of a person to direct his POWER, EFFORT or ATTENTION on a single objective. For our application herein it is the ability to direct and channel our STRENGTH toward successful completion of the exercise movement at hand.
It seems that no matter how diligently we apply ourselves toward concentrating on the exercise at hand, our MINDS will wander on to other things such as: What we did yesterday, what we will be doing after our workout today, or a remark that someone made to you that you didn't particularly like will enter into your thoughts. The scene is endless. Other intrusions from the MIND will try to interrupt our concentration also. This is natural, but as you progressively develop your ability to concentrate on the task at hand you will reach a ZENITH where you will be able to shut out most of these intrusions.
I am going to give you seven steps which will aid you greatly in achieving the proper state of mind for your training purposes.
1) Always think about your training session in a POSITIVE MANNER.
2) Block out all negative thoughts.
3) Plan your workouts so that you won't be interrupted.
4) Don't make an excuse to miss a workout.
5) Don't let your thoughts wander off to other things; make every movement mental as well as physical.
6) Always be pleasant to others, but make it clear that you are there to train and nothing must interfere with your workout.
7) The Visual Image Technique -- This is a type of focusing in on CONCENTRATION that the popular physique and strength champion Chuck Sipes has used over the years with TREMENDOUS SUCCESS. Let's explore the application of the technique. Our goal will be to CONCENTRATE on the perfect set of repetitions we desire to perform.
Using the bench press as an example:
Before you physically perform the set of bench presses, begin by sitting on the edge of your bench. Now close your eyes for a moment. Mentally visualize yourself lifting the barbell smoothly out of the rack support. See yourself unlocking your powerful arms and lowering the barbell at a medium speed in a controlled, even movement to the chest. Just as the barbell touches the chest area, visualize yourself channeling the strength of every muscle fiber involved in the movement (triceps, pectorals, and deltoids) into EXPLODING the weight off the chest (while maintaining the even and controlled tension throughout the complete range of the movement). Continue to feel yourself becoming more and more POWERFUL as you continue to apply effort toward pressing the bar to the lockout position of the movement. Mentally visualize yourself doing this for the number of reps that you have planned for a particular set.
You will see NO FAILURE, ONLY SUCCESS with each repetition completed in a STRONG positive way. Now you should be ready mentally and physically to begin the actual set. I am sure that you can readily see how this technique can be applied to all of your other exercises as well.
Next: Keys to Effective Organization of a Training Program.
Enjoy Your Lifting!