The Mind-Muscle Connection

Don't underestimate the power of your mind when it comes to reaching your fitness goals

April 30, 2013
The Mind-Muscle Connection

One of the first quotes I read in a fitness magazine some 20 years ago was from Arnold Schwarzenegger and it was: “You need to put your mind in the muscle.” It discussed how crucial this component is when building and sculpting your physique and ultimately having success every time you step into the gym. A mind muscle connection isn’t always easy to “feel” or understand, especially when you are carrying higher volumes of body fat. This is something that takes time to master and when you do, you unlock a whole new avenue of strength gains and muscle control, the key to fitness success!

Recently, I have thought a lot about this process, and how easy it is to go to the gym and just “show up” or “go through the motions” and to be honest I have lost this concept over the past year. My life as a mom and having started a new career has me busier than ever. I am always running around, trying to be on time to work, my kids sporting events, birthday parties….everything! So by the time I get to the gym to lift weights, it’s usually 8:00 p.m. and I am there physically, but not mentally.

So how do you reconnect and begin reaping the rewards of this wonderful concept? For me, I began by using my time driving home to begin to plan, visualize and get excited about my training. What body parts am I focusing on? What exercises do I want to perform and in what order? I began coaching myself, preparing my mind for what I want to conquer in the gym. I am determined to be victorious and anxious to put my plan into action. I have a goal. I know how I want my physique to look and I dig deep to make sure I don’t lose sight of this and convince my mind I will WIN at the gym tonight. And let me tell you, this has helped immensely! My muscles are sore more than they have been in over a year. I can already feel like I am making gains and look forward to my next evening in the gym, rather than thinking, “I am SO tired, how will I get through this workout?” And once I get into the gym, my focus and concentration through each lift has been empowering. I am hungry for more and you can be too!

We all know how powerful the mind is…especially when it comes to working out, dieting and our overall opinion of our physique. You have two options, you can be positive and conquer the day or you can be negative and remain in that “dark” place. I have given many presentations to employees at my job and the first point I like to highlight is EVERYONE has to work out. Everyone needs to go to the gym or involve fitness into their lives in some way. This is a reality now more than ever. The American Heart Association has new guidelines for physical activity and that recommendation is an hour EVERY DAY! Gone are the days where working out three times per week will suffice. What will your “self-dialogue” be when you walk through the door to begin your fitness venture? Will you fight it the whole way through with thoughts of “I have so many other things I could be doing right now” or “I hate this place, I hate coming to the gym,” defeating yourself before you even lift a weight? Or will you walk in with a mindset of readiness, positivity, confidence and ultimately triumph?

As busy working moms we are used to taking care of everyone and everything, so it’s important not to lose sight of the importance of taking care of YOU! Equip yourself with tools to help set your mind up for success in the gym, whether it is new music, a new outfit, or even better a fresh new workout program, be prepared to walk through the gym doors with a determined mindset, a vision, and watch as you are able to put YOUR mind in YOUR muscles.

In good health,
Holly Powell
HollyFitness.com