Beyond the hype and high of shotgunning a dry scoop of Blood Rounds, smelling salts, jamming to loud music, and yelling “light weight baby” is a much more important key to your success. Mental preparation might possibly be the most overlooked and under talked about aspect of exercise. Sure, pre-workout is great for added motivation, essential amino acids will aide in muscle repair and recovery, thermogenic fat burners got you covered in assisted weight loss, but, what are you doing for your mind?
How do you pre-workout your brain? What mental exercises are you doing to optimize your physical potential?
If your pregame workout only involves a heaping scoop of caffeine and some rap music, listen up.
The brain is the body’s strongest and most important muscle. It’s literally a computer system safe guarded by a barrier of bone. Within this system you contain more knowledge, power, and information than any hard drive can compute. Your brain is the most powerful tool in the universe if utilized and treated as such. The mind has the ability to elevate your physical potential beyond what is often comprehendible. Knowing this, why would we often ignore this muscle when it comes to exercise?
The answer, most of us have never been taught or shown how to correctly use our brain as a tool for success. Maybe you have been on some sort of sports team and have had a coach preach about visualization, going through the activity through your mind, but just never understood the concept as most young athletes don’t. It’s time to change such understanding and allow you to access the full, unbound potential of your mind to connect to your body resulting in maximized output.
Since we are on the topic of pre-workout, let’s start there.
The first aspect of using your mind to increase exercise output is having a plan for when you exercise. When it comes to the most successful individuals, there is no such thing as “freestyling.” Having a written game plan for your workout before each training session is essential. Writing out your workout or having a program that is structured automatically allows the mind to subconsciously prepare for the task at hand. Reading over your workout and knowing what to expect is the the first step in mental preparation. The visual of seeing your plan allows the mind to map out a sequence of steps before you accomplish them.
Once you have a written plan and know what to expect when you exercise, the second step is to consciously visualize yourself accomplishing these workouts. In your mind, walk yourself through each exercise, completing the movement perfectly, seeing yourself lift the goal weight, speed, or intensity you want to manifest. Do this in a relaxed body, no need to overwhelm yourself with emotion or anxiety. Simply envision exactly how you want to exercise on that day, the attitude and effort you will have, and the relaxed intensity and flow you will embody while doing it.
You’re probably thinking to yourself this seems like a lot to do just to go workout. That’s your mind justifying reasons to hold you back, don’t listen. The visualization exercise mentioned is a major step in reprogramming your mind to operate on a higher frequency of vibration. In fact, visualization can happen while you’re driving to the gym and in the 15-30 minutes before you exercise.
As you pour your pre-workout powder and pump your jams, fire up your brain by using this simple mental practice. The time you allot weekly for exercise is a time to be present. The 1-2 hours is a time for you to be in the moment, at ease from anything else that is happening in your life at the time. Visualizing yourself before hand will allow for you to enter a vibrational state that is present and focused on the task.
Mental visualization can’t be bought, it’s developed over time by practice. Begin to incorporate this simple mental exercise in your pre-workout regiment and start to notice the difference it makes in your performance.
My name is Josh Morin and my mission here is solely to be the light to help you find your north star.