I was 13 years old when I got my first gym membership. My parents would drop me off at the community center after school on days I didn’t have after school sports. I would go in, do what I felt like doing, and leave with no real thought behind it. As I got more familiar and after reading some articles on lifting, I became more comfortable being in a weight room. I “thought” I knew what I was doing. I also may have thought I was going to be the next Mr. Olympia.
As the years went by, my training turned into baseball focus lifts, especially in college. I had the privilege to play at the collegiate level my freshman and sophomore years. I absolutely hated lifting as a team because no one took it as serious as I did. When I was done with baseball, I needed something else to do, and I loved training and eating healthy, so I began my journey to the stage. From then, I had a different mentality going into the gym. It was as if it were my job. There was nothing that was going to stop me. From the very beginning, I had that mindset that I was going to do everything in my power to be better than I was the previous day. But to be honest, I still had no idea what the hell I was doing. Yes, I would go in and train, but that was it. Lift things up, put them down. There was no planning or mind to muscle connection.
While that helped me gain a lot of mass my first few years, that was it. When I really started focusing on the mind to muscle connection, truly understanding how to use the muscles, and training smarter, that is when I really started to see my body changing. I see so many people in the gym that are training half ass, not paying attention to their lifts, and looking around. Not to be too blunt, but this is why most people never see changes.
What does mind to muscle connection mean to me? It starts at the beginning of your day. Whether you go to the gym first thing or later on, a good workout starts from the moment you wake up. For me, I am always planning my day out in my head in the morning. It starts with breakfast, the rest of my nutrition throughout the day, what I need to get done at my actual job, and then what am I training today? Believe it or not, a positive mindset on all aspects of life will make or break your workouts.
When I get to the gym, I have a completely different mindset. The gym is the only thing I am thinking about when I am there. When I am warming up, I am visualizing my lifts and visualizing posing on stage. Once I get my mind where it needs to be, I know I will have a good workout. But it doesn’t stop there, every rep, every set, focus on activating the muscle. Actually using the muscle and not just lifting for strength.
This is just a piece, but a very big piece in having that great workout. Focus on yourself, focus on your lifts, and that mind to muscle connection, and I can assure you, your workouts will be taken to a whole new level.+ Share