- Beast mode – in the gym you need to stop thinking of yourself as a human, a human with imperfections, limitations and weaknesses. One of my favourite quotes and one I remind myself of before any competition or tournament is, “To achieve all that we are truly capable of we must first regard ourselves as greater than we are”. Remove all doubt and negativity from your mind and imagine something greater, something stronger and more powerful.
- Visualise success – whether you are about to sprint 100m or lift a weight, don’t just think about what you are about to do, think about every minute aspect of it and everything that you need to do in order to achieve it. Visualise not only completing it but completing it with ease. If you are lifting a weight picture lifting it like it were no more than 10kg, if you are sprinting think about your perfect form, beating everyone else (by a handsome margin) and not being out of breath at the end. Get used to the idea of overachieving and it will push you to do better each and every time you train.
- Focus – I know far too many people that go to the gym and spend half their time on their phones, their excuse, “it helps me take my mind off what I am doing”. This is exactly the opposite of what you should be doing, you cannot visualise something if you aren’t even paying attention to it. Listen to your body and focus on what you are doing, your breaths, your movement, your muscle contractions and nothing else. Think about what you are lifting, in what plane of axis, what muscles are working and what the primary muscle group is, focus on the contraction of this muscle. This will improve your form, allow you to lift more and be more stable when doing so.
- Separate mind and body – the biggest difference between professional or elite athletes and everyone else is not their physical stature or capability, it is not the difference between their legs and yours, it is the difference between their mind and yours. If I tell you to run and not to stop, you will continue until you get tired or run out of energy, an athlete will run until their body no longer allows them to do so. It is this ability to separate mind and body that allows them to reach new heights in terms of performance ability. You will be surprised what your body is really capable of when pushed to the limit, most people’s problem, they don’t know their limit.
- Stop caring – these days we all care far too much about what other people think of us, the moment that you stop caring is the moment that you free yourself of so many negative thoughts. In the gym this gets translated into the common phrase “leave your ego at the door”, this is a rather simplistic view but however you want to look at it, caring what other people think can influence us greatly in the gym. We get self-conscious about what we are wearing, how much we are lifting, what exercises we are doing, stop it, you are there to work out and to better yourself, your garment or exercise of choice has no effect on your workout performance.
Now that you have every mind trick in the book go smash a workout!