Arnold Schwarzenegger (bodybuilder), known for having the best physique in his days as professional competitor, Roger Federer (Tennis player) and Usain Bolt (Sprinter) have acknowledged that mind-body connection, focus, and concentration during training and competitions are essential to achieving the best possible performance and results, both physically and in life.
Probably you will wonder, what does this have to do with me? Should I care about having an athlete’s mind-body connection even if I am an average person who does not go to sports competitions? You do not need to be an athlete to achieve connection. Anyone in the world can accomplish it if you truly want to.
It all begins with engagement, so put yourself out there and make it happen. How do you begin with? Simple, try being more aware of each step you take during your daily routine. This will, undoubtedly, help you out begin the great transformation. You will see, once you become more aware of simplest thing you do and how your body and mind react to it during your regular activities, it will be easier to achieve the same level of consciousness when exercising. But yes, you must keep in mind that it is a process that requires time and patience. In the end, your effort will be worthwhile.
How are my physical results related to this connection?
Has it ever happened to you or have you ever seen people who have been going to the gym for months/years and have no physical progress over time? Can you relate these people with distractions such as spending 1 hour on the Treadmill every day watching TV or talking to the person next door? Well, just to be clear, I’m not saying that this mind-body connection is totally responsible for that, but it could be one of the most influential factors. There are, indeed, many other factors that affect results fairly in the same way. For example, not following a balanced diet, not following a type of focused training or some unknown health problem related to metabolism.
The most important factor is your mind, which has a very strong influence on you. When you excessively think about something, you make that thought be part of you and. As time goes by, it slowly becomes true due to you have been creating your own reality, unconsciously or consciously. If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to feed your positive thought and follow them until they become your own reality.
When you are training, be aware both of the movements you are performing and the muscles involved. If you want to lose weight, every time you are exercising, fantasize about how you want to see yourself in the short/long run. Also, think about the reason which motivated you to take the plunge and repeat to yourself that you are going to succeed, no matter what. So keep working on it, get obsessed with it. In the same way, when you see yourself in the mirror, see your improvements (no matter how small or big they are) and pat yourself on the back instead of blaming yourself for the pounds you still have to lose.
If your desire is to gain muscle, each time you train, focus on the muscle you are moving and visualize it growing. Imagine how the muscle fibers work and expand. Also, visualize how you will look like in a few weeks/months thanks to the effort and dedication you are putting into it.
In a very short time, you will realize that you have discovered things about yourself that you did not know. Likewise, you might notice that your mind-body connection has jumped onto the next level, and for that reason, you now know how your body reacts to certain types of exercises and food. Once that level consciousness has been achieved, you will be able to make amazing lifestyle changes.
We sabotage ourselves most of the times. Fear, rigidity, self-hatred, and comfort are some examples of self-sabotage. How can we overcome our best excuses for not exercising, for instance? We can just stop blaming circumstances such as, I have no time to workout or I am exhausted because I work too much. Let me tell you something, we all have the capacity to achieve anything we want, so let’s do it!
This technique is not only effective to achieve goals related to weight loss or muscle gain. You can, also, use it for personal growth and improvement in other aspects of life, such as sports or any sort of entrepreneurship. If your goal is to run a 10K race that will be held in your city within 10 months, it will not be enough to start training just a few weeks before the race. The mindset is also essential in this process. I suggest you can, somehow, have a positive self-talk just before you start your training. This little tip might help you out boost your motivation levels to avoid feeling overwhelmed, even though you are aware that the process will require a lot of physical, mental and focus strength. For instance, you can start running 2Ks once a week and then increase both the mileage and the training days, gradually.
Remember something: your mind is the captain of your ship (your body), so what you think will be reflected in your performance and results. If you are not achieving results as expected, check thoroughly the process. Probably you are missing out something or there is something specific you need to identify and focus on.
Here are some tips that will help you begin to establish that mind-body connection
Tips to connect your body and mind while training or exercising, both in private and in the gym:
- Listen to music that motivates you to exercise
- Avoid watching TV, videos on your phone or other devices
- Determine the duration of your workout routine
- Avoid answering calls or messages on your phone (Come on, you will be off for only 30 min or 1-hour maximum). Stay focused.
- When training, take that time for yourself and avoid engaging in lengthy conversations.
- Take an agenda or notebook with you where you can write down the exercises, repetitions, and duration of your routines.
- Leave your work, studies, and obligations at the door. Do not allow distractions while exercising
- Look at yourself in the mirror between sets and exercises. This will help you focus on your workout and body. It is essential to develop that much desired body-mind connection
Give yourself a chance to get to know yourself better!
Some consulted sources:
Maria is a qualified personal trainer, fitness instructor, nutrition coach, Chef and athlete. Her philosophy is, basically, based on transforming body and mindset simultaneously to achieve the best results from inside out. Boosting energy levels and improving overall health are her main keys to help you out have the body you have always dreamed of. Her methods are 100% natural and healthy.