When it comes to attaining your strength lifting goals, it has been my experience that seeing yourself doing it in your mind's eye is the first step to achieving them.
To be able to lift heavy weights, you have to visualize it in your mind's eye over and over again, seeing and actually feeling yourself doing it.
Two of the greatest lifters the world has ever known -- Arthur Saxon and Paul Anderson -- have talked about this idea. Anderson said he'd visualize himself doing a 400-lb overhead press; that's where he set his goal and he embedded this picture in his mind -- and he got there unbelievably fast. Saxon said if you don't see yourself lifting a certain poundage, chances are you never will. He said you have to see yourself doing it first and believe that someday you will lift that weight to actually be able to do it.
Anderson later said that once he was able to overhead press 400, once he actually did it, he then wanted to do 500, so he had to readjust his goals. He said that once he made his goal of 400, it was as if his mind and body relaxed and it was very hard to gear everything back up to get to the higher goal of 500, so Anderson said to said your goals high the first time. And I agree with this one hundred percent.
My thinking is that in weightlifting, as well as in life, there are rhythms and a momentum you generate with your mind. Just as Saxon and Anderson talked about seeing it first, I believe that the more you think about something, the more passion you develop for it and the more momentum you generate way down deep within yourself. So your mind and body start taking on a life of their own, developing a rhythm and momentum that are constantly fed by you seeing and believing in your own mind that you can achieve your weightlifting goals -- because if you don't believe it, who else will?
The more you think about something, the more it will become a part of you, clear down to your subconscious mind, and your subconscious mind will figure out a way to make your goals come true.
If there's a certain weight you want to lift in any exercise, think about it all the time, because the more you think about something, the more momentum your body and your whole spirit will develop. Keep seeing yourself lifting the weight over and over in your mind, keep developing a feeling and a way of thinking that you will do it, and eventually your subconscious mind will make it happen for you. I've done this myself in various lifts time and time again. But it doesn't happen overnight -- you have to stick with it and give it everything you've got.
The mind is a very powerful tool, and when directed and focused, it can make some very powerful things happen for you. Once you totally unleash this inner power in yourself, the sky's the limit. Believe that the more you think about something, the better and more powerful you will become in that area because this concentration generates an echo that seems to keep repeating itself, er, generates momentum and passion and a feeling in yourself that nothing can stop you from attaining your goal.
If you hit a sticking point, don't give up. Keep after it because your inner mind will give you the answer to continue to make progress. You must stay positive and keep believing and keep pushing, pushing, pushing, and every time you add a few pounds to your lift, you are making progress.
You many only be adding a pound here, a pound there for the longest time, and then all of a sudden, your body will hit another rhythm and you'll be jumping 20 or 30 pounds at a time -- just out of the blue, you'll really surprise yourself. I call it rhythm of plateauing or jumping from one level to another.
Always remember the power of your mind's eye.
Enjoy Your Lifting!