Society, in general, are very unaware of blatant messages their bodies are telling them. For them, it is simply a vehicle that is supposed to function while they continue their lives abusing it.
Becoming aware of your body and learning how to look after it, so it functions and feels the way you want will be a large determining factor in overall health and life satisfaction.
This article is purely intended to get you thinking. I’m not about to invent a new mix of sports to create some revolutionary new fad. The purpose is to build a new viewpoint towards bodybuilding that uncovers a very meditative, monk-like state by people that are very in tune with their bodies.
For many, bodybuilding is viewed as a very egotistical and unintelligent activity that just backs their self-centered needs. I understand this stereotype is here for good reason, and this is article is not for them, because they either won’t read it or are looking so hard for an argument they won’t take in its message.
But for any bodybuilder that has been consistently improving for a respectable length of time. They will know the feeling of a fully contracted hamstring, they will know what muscle is weak or what exercise they always feel well at a certain angle.
Getting so in tune with their body that they can fully visualize muscle contracting under full control. This level of self-awareness in itself is very addictive. But the meditative, body awareness factor that you start to experience in this state is what really makes this sport so much more than purely a physical workout.
This is why I see a close representation of yoga, to bodybuilding. Shutting out the outside world and working on body movement, breathing and balance are the core of these two activities. I am aware this feeling comes into other sports.
I am very blessed to have got my foot in the door with a massive range of sports from canoe polo, rock climbing, rugby, triathlons, a high level of rowing and everything in between. So I know how good this stuff feels, and there is nothing like the adrenaline rush of a full speed gallop on a horse in a game of polo!
But… yoga and bodybuilding are really the only two activities that can create this fully controlled environment where you can get right to the core of this “in tune with your body” feeling.
So now you are aware of this whole other mindset behind training, I want you to use this to your advantage! If you want to continue progressing in the gym or have high aspirations of getting to a high level of competition.
Being aware of the mindset requirement is one of the most crucial elements. Without a doubt, I know that every single professional bodybuilder that is consistently improving has an incredibly high level of body awareness. Learning to look at training as a mental release just as much as it is a physical workout will be the biggest element to your success, hands down.
Once this level of awareness is activated, I guarantee the way you train will change. Reps will slow down, breathing will change, and warms ups become rituals. The days of throwing weight around and letting form go just to get a rep count will be over. You will start understanding true muscle failure and tension because you will FEEL the reps, not just count them!
Bodybuilding has become very OUTWARD in the way people are motivated to training and compete. The focus becomes the competition, the result, the social attention. This is why nowadays you see so many go hell for leather into their first show, then fall off the face of the earth and never do it again. This is because the motivation is purely OUTWARD and they need to be noticed, why do it if no one is watching?
With this being the focus, nothing is done without recognition or appraisal of others, so you miss the building blocks of self-discipline and growth, that comes with improving your life with a long term focus.
When this realization and change in mindset is made to more of an INWARD drive, this is where long term habits and success will knock on your door. The drive is internal, you see the improvements, you feel good with this continuous goal and you are focused on pushing your own limits while not giving a f#%k who is or isn’t watching.
Learning that bodybuilding will already place you as an outsider in society, should already show you that without the internal drive to progress, society will drag you down. I call it the art of not giving a shit.
Success is a level of achievement that should be very personal, this can be academic, financial, physical etc. I want mindset to be a much bigger consideration in sports success. I’m not talking about simply motivation, as this is a short term “feel good” emotion that does not last. Learn to maintain long-term habits that consistently build you in the right direction, that’s an internal (inward) drive. That real vision that gets you moving day after day, it’s not painful, it’s enjoyable.
I am not digging at people who have a social media account of celebrating victories, but there MUST be more substance behind it than this social recognition for being “hardcore” because this constant external justification will tire real quick and you will find yourself moving further and further away from your initial passion.
This “drive” sounds scary and somewhat painful for a lot of people. Because every second motivation video goes on about dragging yourself out of bed in the morning or something just as dull. But for me, the drive should be because you enjoy the damn process! There is no award for dragging yourself through hell, just for the sake of hard work.
So enjoy the process, there is no extra prize for hating every minute of it and “getting through”. Find a variation of training that fits you, that you enjoy. You will find much more satisfaction and “success” in this area. This is where an argument can be made for what is the right type of training for a certain individual. If you really enjoy heavy low rep training, it may be an indicator that you have a better fast twitch muscle fiber response. But it might just mean you are more motivated to train like this… so do it!
So this could lead to a whole other article, but mindset in training is an area that I believe is untouched in scientific studies as it is far to the individual to collect. This is why so many studies end up just proving what athletes already knew because they were so in tune with their body they knew what responded well before there was evidence to support it.
I hope this was an insightful read and was able to shine some light on the most important part of your success. Keep this in your mind for your next workout and take a step back to VISUALIZE the movement, the outcome, the goal, and remember to do it for YOU.
If you’re ready to step up and take control of your training, lets book in a coaching call so we can talk 1on1 about what you’re struggling with and find the ultimate game plan for your physique.