I was interviewed on a podcast recently in which most of the discussion was around mental training. (Of course, I’ll share that with you once it is live.)
But we happened on a concept I hadn’t quite thought about before.
The fact is…
You are ALWAYS mental training…whether you think you are or not!
Mental training includes things like visualization.
Now, most people don’t even perceive themselves to be visualizing. But it is happening all the time whether you think about it or not. Not just the visuals, but auditory and kinesthetic channels as well of course, for multi-sensory imagination though different people tend to rely on certain channels more so than others.
If you need help with visualization, check out this free article on Visualization 101.
Before you do any set of any exercise, you’re typically going to visualize it, even if you think you’re not. It may be super brief so that you’re not even aware of it. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening!
The quality of this brief visualization will impact your performance for good…or ill.
Visualization is just one thing that can happen consciously or unconsciously. Self-talk is another.
Are you saying words internally that help you to perform, or hinder you?
“I’ve got this!”
“I hope I don’t hurt myself”
“I hate this exercise”
“I’m feeling strong”
“This is soooooo hard”
What you say is important. And HOW you say it is equally so! This is true even inside your head, as in your thoughts rather than actually talking out loud to yourself. Here we see self-talk and visualization can begin to meld.
Again, you are thinking about exercise a lot. Some of the things may happen so quickly you may not consciously realize it.
Thus, one of the major steps in mental training is to take what is unconscious and make it conscious. From there you can consciously change things to enhance your mental training.
And this doesn’t even get to all the deeper levels of beliefs, motivations, values, frameworks, identities, etc. that undergird EVERYTHING you do, in the gym and elsewhere.
These aspects of mental training guide what you do all the time, whether you’re visualizing, self-talking or not.
So the truth is you are always mental training.
It’s just a matter of whether you are consciously directing that or allowing things to run on auto-pilot.
Most people run on auto-pilot.
And most people have poor mental training programs running on auto-pilot.
If you’d like to upgrade these programs, make sure to grab and read a copy of Mental Muscle.
My Fitness Maximizer Hypnotic audios are also a great way to reprogram your mind from the inside out.
More on this concept tomorrow…