This Article is About
power of positive thinking
placebo effect
physical manifestation
workout routine
physical attributes
gaining muscle
extreme amounts
personal thoughts
Using Your Mind To Gain Muscle
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Using Your Mind To Gain Muscle

A study back in 1997 conducted at a university in the United States of America took a sample of 40 students. Maximum strength tests were conducted for all of these students. 15 of these students were put on a workout routine and performed the workouts on a weekly basis. 10 did nothing at all.

The other 15 simply engaged in visualization exercises of themselves going through the workouts in their mind.

The visual 15 were instructed to both “see” and “feel” the workouts. One month later the 15 students that physically performed the workouts increased 30% in strength. The other 15 that simply visualized increased 16% in strength. All that they did was use their mind to gain muscle

Do I have your attention? In this article I am going to share with you how the power that you possess between your ears can help you build extreme amounts of muscle. It’s not a secret that your brain is the most powerful instrument in the human body. But how much can it really affect our physical attributes? I think the truth will shock you.

I’m sure that you’ve heard about the power of “positive thinking.” We’ve all seen the cheesy documentary called “The Secret.” This documentary states that our thoughts can have a physical manifestation when it comes to our personal lives. There might be strains of truth to this, but what about when it comes to our bodies?

Given every scientific study, there is always a control group. The reason this control group exists is usually because of the “placebo effect.” In case you don’t know what this is, the placebo effect is when a result takes place simply because the person thinks that it will. For example, Joe takes a magical health pill that will cure his cold by tomorrow. Joe believes this to be true, he wakes up and is cured! Little does he know, that he just consumed a little kids Tylenol.

Clearly there is something to this placebo effect. Personal thoughts can alter an outcome. So how can we harness this power for gaining muscle? The answer to this is a 3 step process. Some will argue and say that all you need is to believe and use visualization, but there is more to it than simply that. The power of thought combined with accelerated focus, visualization, and bi-lateral stimulation can have dramatic effects on the body. Let’s start with accelerated focus.

1) Accelerated Focus

This takes place when one is forced to focus in a high stress situation. For example, let’s say that you have a term paper due and you absolutely MUST finish it in one hour. This term paper counts for 45% of your final grade. At this point, as long as you don’t just panic, you are automatically going to enter into a state of accelerated focus and have extreme efficiency. The best workout routine to gain muscle forces you to focus.

So how does this relate to weight lifting? Simple, the more focused you are, the better your muscles will perform. Have you ever performed flawlessly for a short period of time during a sport and feel like you’re barely trying? This autopilot like state is referred to as flow. Accelerated focus is the first step to achieving flow.

Let’s get back to applying this at the gym. What you need to do is prioritize at this point. There are going to be other goals that you need to accomplish throughout the rest of the day. Do not try and clear these from your mind. If you try to do so you will only be forcing a thought and it will be counterproductive. You simply need to move your workout goal to the front of the line. This is the focus. You need to think about what weights you will be using, number of sets, reps, basically exactly what you need to achieve.

The point of this is to stimulate the left side of the brain. The left side of the brain is responsible for logical thinking. The overall goal here is to achieve whole brain thinking. Starting with the left side is a good way to start.

Boiled down, you need to think about your numbers. What exercises do you need to do? How many reps and sets? Make this your current number one priority. A great workout routine to gain muscle will always prepare you before you being lifting weights.

2) Visualization

As you probably know, the right side of the brain is responsible for the visual creativity. So to help achieve whole brain thinking we need to activate this side of the brain as well. However, unlike other sports, you will not be simply visualizing a short term external result; you will be visualizing an internal long term end result.

For example, as you are working out your chest, you need to communicate with your mind why you are working out in the first place. Since the human body best adapts for survival purposes, it’s a good idea to include a survival element in the communication. The goal here is to develop a more powerful larger chest if you’re looking to gain muscle. So the thought would look like this.

I will develop a larger stronger chest, my survival depends on it.

This thought must take place while you are actually performing the workout. This gives your mind a reason behind the action. The stronger the reason is, the better the result will be. The best workout routines to gain muscle always enforce visualization.

3) Bi-lateral Stimulation

This is the final stage that you need to master. And really, it’s not that difficult to achieve once you have the first two stages down. The majority of the 3rd and final stage takes place between sets and exercises. The goal here is to switch from logical thinking to creative thinking in the matter of seconds. Here’s what you need to do to achieve this.

Before each set, you need to first think about exactly how many reps you need to achieve to beat your previous best. Once you have this number in your mind, you then need to visualize yourself going through the movements. See yourself lifting this weight with ease. Feel the movement as a fluid smooth motion. Then take 3 deep breaths, initiate the first lift and visualize your targeted muscle becoming larger and stronger.

Once this state of flow is achieved, your output of theta waves is greatly increased. This is what every athlete wants. The brain consists of Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Theta waves. Alpha is our normal conscious state brain wave. Beta is the wave which results in anxiety and state of arousal. Delta waves are what result during our REM deep sleep mode. Finally Theta waves are a result of a meditative state. This helps with memory retention, sleep patterns, immune system, and overall performance.

The overall goal here to is increase the output of theta waves. This combined with powerful efficient workouts and effective visualization will increase your gains tenfold. The best workout routine to gain muscle will include the mental aspect to working out. If physical results can take place simply by someone thinking about them, imagine how powerful it can be to combine the best workout routine to gain muscle and the power of thought?

Many people accomplish their goals simply because they believe that they will. There’s nothing spectacular about what they physically do, they just believe that the end result will be obtained. Everyone needs to adopt this kind of thinking.

Street Talk

Interesting article. The subject defies logic but the argument is well presented.

  about 1 decade ago

I believe in everything you wrote, hit the nail on the head.

  about 1 decade ago

Thanks Jenny, I appreciate the feedback!

  about 1 decade ago
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