A long-time customer wrote in with his intensive mental drill that is working wonders for him.
I thought this was worth sharing with everyone.
As the title says, it is INTENSIVE. There’s a lot going on.
While I would encourage you to give the whole thing a go…it might be overwhelming, especially for people new to mental training. If that’s the case just a borrowed element or two from this might make a different for you.
I’d like to share with you my way of mental drill that really boost my progress in training or anything else, more then anything else.
Of course I learnt a lot from Mental Muscle and since then I practice all sort of different mental drills, but after I got used to doing mental training, I started experimenting and eventually, I found a drill that works really really well and absolutely every time, for me and for my clients as well. The idea is to use human nature for getting better results. Maybe this mail ends up being a bit long but hope you don’t mind it.
I use all sort of different techniques from your book while doing this drill, brightening up the picture (mostly with sunlight), anchoring etc.
I’ll take one-arm chin-up as an example, I’m currently able to do it only with assistance of my other arm, if I’m doing one-arm chin-up with left arm, I’ll grab the left arm wrist with right hand, that’s the assistance I’m talking about. 20 days ago I was able to do only 1 rep on both sides. Currently, I’m doing 5 reps on both sides which is absolutely impressive for me and my bodyweight of 90 kilos. I used this drill for other exercises and it worked really well, but after so much progress for one-arm chin-up which is really hard exercise at least for me, and in such short time, I decided to share it, and as you’re guy who helped me a lot especially on field of mental training, I knew there’s no better person then you. Let me go to the drill now.
I always start mental training with brightening the picture in my head and I always visualize it as sunlight around me, getting everything brighter. This helps me incredibly from two reasons. I’m now fully blind man without sight at all, but I had eye-sight until I was 14, so I know really well how sunny day looks and feels like, so all of this sharpening my mind by remembering something which I won’t see again, and helps me to focus better, but at the same time, puts me in a mental position where I don’t have any dissability, so from my point of view, there’s no a single excuse not to perform something. Of course, I’m not telling that my current disability made me ever to excuse of not doing something, I’m just talking about mental state where you’re a superman, not only without disabilities then someone who possesses super powers.
While doing this visualisation, I do a breathing exercise, around 40 – 50 breaths in and out, after which I exhale all air from my lungs and get into position of ab vacuum and stay in that position until I really need to breathe in again.
As I’m hyperventilating here, ab vacuum without any air in my lungs for 3 – 4 minutes warms me up so I feel like I did a 5 – 10 minutes warmup. Wim Hoff method which I did for years gave me this idea. While staying in ab vacuum, I imagine that here and there a cold breeze comes from different directions. Cold breeze will usually send some goosebumps down along the spine to anybody, I believe with this addition in my visualisation helps to fire up nerves further, and I can really feel goosebumps along my whole body.
When I’m near to finish up this ab vacuum, I visualize as one or more my family members or friends comes into my visualisation. They always ask me what I’m doing and why I look so silly hehe. Until this point, I visualized myself from inside out, but when they start approaching me, I switch that visualization to their perspective so I see myself from their eyes.
After their questions, I (they) see myself finish up ab vacuum and standing up in relaxed, but confident and powerful manly posture while doing same obviously. Then I answer to their questions, I say that this was preparation for my strength practicing. Which exercise you’ll do? – they ask. As I start explaining the exercise, I visualize myself doing that exercise over and over again with perfect form, with both arms as one-arm chin-up is my current strength practice. Naturally, they’ll be curious to see me doing that and they start gambling with me. If I do it for few reps I’ll get something, if I don’t they’ll start making fun of me. Obviously, nobody likes to be object of jokes so, as last thing before I start doing exercise, I quickly assure that I feel confident and strong to do it, and start laughing slightly as I imagine myself finish up the last rep of the exercise, looking and their surprised faces and teasing them because of their failed bet.
I always visualize myself doing exercises in the nature. So for one-arm chin-ups, I obviously see myself doing them on the tree branch. Now, I visualize myself approaching tree (in real approaching my pull-up bar), see my friends or family members taking their breaths and looking at me with excitement but with their subconscious respect. I even hear that birds stopped tweeting. After all this attention, even from nature I really can’t dare to fail, the only possible option is to do an exercise. I just keep focus on my feeling that I can do really anything, and I finally start doing the exercise.
All of this maybe sounds like too much, but it takes me 7 to mostly 10 minutes. First time I did this for one-arm chin-up, I went from 1 rep to 3 reps.
After I do an exercise, I look at them and start laughing and start teasing them as I said above. At this moment, birds start tweeting again (that’s usually the most beautiful sound for me), and my friends yell in excitement, telling that I’m superman, incredible and all sort of different things that make anybody feel happy and proud. Obviously, they’ll ask me to repeat it which I’ll gladly do as I know that’s not big deal for me.
And for other sets, I’ll keep focusing on my feeling that I can do it, and my excited friends and family members. On last set, where strength will naturally decrease something, I won’t think of failure or anything like that.
I just visualize them telling me: Ok ok, we know now that you’re superman, stop or you’ll make us feel worthless. From my point of view, this is really important, because I’m not stopping because I feel that I can’t do it any more, I stop doing the exercise because I don’t want to make my friends or family members sad or feel worthless.
As you could notice, I’m visualizing more the less the whole training session. I do it almost always when I train alone, but when I’m not alone, I’ll do just intro part visualization and first set of exercise after which I stop visualizing because of my friends with me and we like to talk in between sets.
In this case, I stop visualizing in a way, where I see my friends or family members from visualisation telling me, ok man, we should go now but you made our day just better, you are incredible.
There’s more to this, but I’ll stop here because don’t want to write a book, just sharing something that helped me incredibly well. Yeah, this part where guys from visualization telling me how incredible I am, it’s just there for purpose to help me realise and feel that I’m really strong and capable of doing what I want, nothing else.
I realise this is sort of advance. I came up with this after I did mental training for years. This is just an example of how we all can make little stories and situations like this in our heads, to make mental training never boring, but always useful. I do this way of mental training for quite some time. Do it even when not training physically.
I mentioned my clients. I’m physical therapist and when doing rehabilitation with my clients I always include some form of mental drills into the rehabilitation and it really boost the progress for everybody. Clients who practice mental drills for longer (some of them even grabbed your mind muscle book), tried this drill I just explained with really great success.
As they and myself had lots of success with this, I’m sharing it with you and if you think this can help others, feel free to share this with your clients.
There’s some great stuff in here that I hadn’t even thought of. So I’m experimenting myself with it too.
Again, if this sounds over the top, I’d recommend you start with some of the basics.
Here’s the guide to a quickstart visualization drill, the brightening discussed here.
And here’s Mental Muscle, now sitting at 4.5 stars with 50 reviews on Amazon.