Posts Tagged ‘Mindset’

It’s amazing what we can accomplish just by putting some serious thought into something.  This applies to just about anything, but in this blog I am going to relate it to fitness.  Recently, I just got back from a family vacation and I am now full-swing into my contest prep for my fall show.  During my vacation, I trained a couple of times and stuck to my normal eating plan for the most part, but I did give myself a little bit of a break (both physical and mental).  Anyone who has been on a diet, prepared for a fitness/physique contest, or just trained for a race or other sport knows how much is required to fully prepare for these events.  There is a meal plan to stick to, a training schedule, food prep, and many other variables that must be considered.  One of the most overlooked components (in my opinion) is getting the mind prepared.  If that element is not in order, the rest is going to be a huge struggle.  How do I know this?  Well, I’ve prepared for several competitions now and some preps have been easy and some have been tough.  A lot of it had to do with my mindset.  There was one contest that I trained for “just to do it” and I struggled A LOT!  You see, since my mental focus was not 100%, it made everything else a lot more difficult;  I still trained hard but had trouble sticking to my diet on a few occasions.

This contest is a completely different story.  I chose not to compete in the Spring this year because I didn’t feel that I was ready.  I did a few short cutting and maintenance/gaining cycles to work on some lagging bodyparts but now, I’m feeling more than ready!  The huge thing that I noticed is that my mental focus is 110%.  I have become aware of some great things this week because of this.  I realized I had much greater control over my hunger and fatigue.  I made it a point to analyze what was going on when I felt “hungry” even though I had just eaten.  When you’re dieting, it is so easy for food to become the focus of your day; even to the point of becoming obsessive about it.  What am I going to eat today?  When can I have my next meal?  Etc. Etc.  After analyzing why I thought I was hungry (and often coming up with a variety of reasons other than hunger) I realized I wasn’t hungry at all.  Even if I was truly hungry, distracting my thoughts away from hunger and food always works great to pass the time (and it can make for quite the productive day!)  My adherence to my meal plan this week was 100% and I can say that there wasn’t any particular time where I felt deprived, starving, etc.

Another area where the power of the mind is huge is during training.  Training is hard if you do it right.  It hurts and it can make you tired.  Maybe you don’t feel like going to the gym because you had a long day at work, the kids exhausted you, or you didn’t get a good night’s sleep.  There are many legitimate reasons to skip the gym (i.e. you need a rest day, you’re injured, or you’re sick), but these other “excuses” just won’t do!  Getting psyched up for the gym starts in the mind.  Think about what you want to accomplish during your next workout; do you want to add more weight/reps to an exercise, do you want to be able to sprint faster/longer?  Use these goals as a starting point.  Most of you know, once you actually get to the gym and start working out, you realize you’re really not that tired or unmotivated.

Don’t underestimate the power of your mind:  everything starts with a thought, is planned and put through a process, and eventually becomes your new reality…so, train your brain people! 🙂

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