How To Gain Confidence in any Lift

How to gain confidence in any gym exercise.

One of the biggest keys to performing well in the weight room is confidence. When you’re confident you’re less likely to be affected by limiting beliefs.When it comes to gaining confidence when performing a lift, the best solution is to do that lift more frequently. If you don’t want to do the lift multiple times per week, you can try a high set, low rep workout. This is the closest thing to training frequently.

The key to making the high set, low rep approach work is by choosing a weight you’re comfortable doing. I’ve had good experience with this approach when using it for speed squats. You can use a normal tempo when doing this. The concept is simple. The more you do something, the more confident you are in doing it. The more confident you are in doing it, the more competent you’ll be. This is why many have gotten good results using Pavel Tsatsouline’s grease the groove technique.

I wanted to work these principles in a recent squat workout I had. I have decent competency with the squat but I wanted to take it to another level. Below is a simple squat workout I did which follows the high rep, low set training approach. The reps were at a regular tempo.

Squat Workout

  • Back Squat: 20 sets of 2 at 225 pounds. 1 minute of rest in between sets.

I chose 225 pounds because that’s a weight I can do easily. In context, my squat max is currently 385 pounds, beltless. You can adjust the weight to fit your strength levels.

  • Suitcase Carry: 4 sets of 30 second carries. 2 sets for each arm. Rest 1 minute in between each carry

I added the suitcase carry because it’s a great exercise to build core strength. It also teaches you how to brace your abs, which is crucial when squatting.

  • Extreme Supported Squat: In order to do this find something to hold onto. Once you do, you’ll sit yourself in a bodyweight squat slightly below parallel. Set a timer for 5 minutes and hold yourself up as much as possible. During the 5 minutes you will slowly lower yourself in the squat. You can drop once time runs out.

I learned about this through Sports Chiropractor Dr. Tommy John. The benefit of this is that it builds strength endurance, which will lower your risk of injuries. I notice that my knees feel great every time I finish the slow eccentric squats.

*Warning: The extreme supported squats feel miserable while doing them.

Closing Thoughts

The workout above is something I did for my squats but you can apply the same principle to any lift. Beyond lifting, you can apply it to any movement or life skill you want to gain confidence in.

Video link to Extreme Supported Squat demo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67hA3uLnYIM

Photo by Leon Ardho from Pexels

The Body is The Temple

( Short Read) This article is about the importance of taking care of your body.

The Body is the temple. You only have one body so you should treat it well.  We often take our bodies for granted If you care about your ultimate well being, you’ll take good care of your body. Taking care of your body is the ultimate act of self-love . You can take of your body without being obsessed. Don’t stress out about every tiny detail of your health and fitness routine. You still have to enjoy your life. The to anything is balance and moderation. Do things that make your boy feel good in the short and long-term. Your body follows you everywhere you go so you might as well have a good relationship with it.

To maximize the health of your body,  you must:

Lift weights so your body can handle external forces

Do yoga so your body can be mobile and less likely to get injured

Eat healthy and nutritious foods so you have the energy to do activities

Sleep well so your body can perform at it’s best

Do cardio so your most important muscle ( your heart ) gets worked

Meditate so you can conquer illness causing stress

Have fun so your body can produce health boosting hormones

Rest so your body doesn’t break down from all the activities you do

 

Closing Thoughts

When you have a strong and healthy body you’re ahead of the game. You have more energy, toughness, and confidence. You’re also happier because you just feel good. When you combine a strong, healthy body with a powerful midset, you can take over the world!

 

Photo by panther sohi from Pexels

The Power of The Mind is No Joke!

This post is about how powerful the mind is when it comes to achieving your fitness goals

Story Time

The other day I was reminded just how powerful the mind is. It was a deadlift day and I was getting ready to do my work sets. I usually do ten sets of one for these. As I try to lift the weight up, I struggle more than I normally do. I get so close to locking out but couldn’t make it all the way.

I figured maybe my setup was off. So I wait a minute and get ready to lift again. I usually rest a minute in between sets for this workout. The second set was worse than the first. I start thinking something is wrong with me. Maybe my body was fatigued and I wasn’t aware of it. I get frustrated and start taking weight off.

I took off two 45 plates and got ready for a new workout. As I got ready to do my set, something didn’t seem right when I looked at the weight. I then realized I was using the wrong weight all along. During my working set, I was trying to lift 50 more pounds then I intended. No wonder it felt heavy! I felt like a fool but was happy at the same time. I got a chance to see how that heavy weight felt. Aside from the importance of paying attention to what I’m doing, I learned some valuable lessons

Lesson 1

The first lesson I learned is you’re stronger than you think. I know I was unsuccessful when attempting those first two reps but the weight felt easier than I thought it would. Sometimes we get intimidated by large numbers. It’s not a surprise that confidence makes a huge difference when lifting heavy weights.

I’m not saying to blindly put weights and just lift. This is a reminder that you might be stronger than you think. Remember to enter the weight room with total confidence in your abilities. All great achievers in life have high levels of confidence in their abilities. Whether you’re creating a business or trying out a new weight in the gym, you have to see yourself succeeding.

Lesson 2

The second I learned is that writing down your goals is very powerful. I’ve heard many times that you’re more likely to achieve a goal if you write it down.

During my workout, I realized the weight I was trying to deadlift was the same weight I wrote down on my list of goals. It’s crazy because I’ve been reading this goal to myself everyday as if I already achieved it. It’s like when you set your mind to a specific goal , you automatically start moving in that direction.

Another benefit of writing down your goals and reading them every day is a boost in confidence. When you see yourself as already achieving a goal, you feel like it’s inevitable to achieve it. That’s what I’ve been doing every day when it comes to deadlifting this specific way. The saying the body follows where the mind goes applies to this situation.

In case you’re wondering, I got this goal setting idea from a book called It Works: The Famous Little Red Book that makes your dreams come true by RHJ. I recommend reading this book if you have an open mind and are trying to achieve a fitness or life goal. I’ll share my deadlift goal once it’s achieved.

Closing Thoughts

I can sum this all up with the human mind is very powerful. When you see yourself achieving a certain goal, your mind will think it’s true and will guide you to do what’s necessary to achieve it. If you have a fitness or life goal, write it down and read it every day. You’re more likely to achieve that goal when you a daily reminder of it.

 

Use Your Mind For Amazing Results

When it comes to achieving your health and fitness goals, your mindset can be your biggest asset. When you have belief in your abilities, you’d be surprised about what your body can do.

My First Experience With How The Mind Can Influence Performance

I remember one time I was doing squats. One of my friends who was an experienced lifter saw me. He noticed that I kept looking down when I was squatting and recommended I look up. I followed his advice and noticed that the squat felt a lot easier. I told him this and he insisted I add more weight to the bar. I was hesitant because in my mind I couldn’t see myself lifting significantly more than I was doing. With my friend spotting me, I added 20 pounds to what I was doing. After some successful reps, my friend convinced me to add another 10 pounds. Despite my hesitation, I added a total of 50 pounds to what I was originally doing. In my next squat session, I increased the weight of my working set by 20 pounds.

Mind Hacks I’ve used To Boost My Workouts

Over time I used various techniques to make sure I have the right mindset during my workouts. The most obvious one is listening to aggressive music to pump me up for my workouts. I’ve also had success by repeatedly saying ” I’m strong ” in between my sets when lifting heavy. Constantly telling myself how strong I am gives me the expectation of doing well in my next working set. It’s like having a cheerleader with you as you’re lifting. I recently stumbled upon a new way to mentally prep for my workouts.

Another mind hack I use sometimes is the power of my imagination. When I’m about to lift a challenging weight, I picture my self as a gorilla that’s about to lift the weight. By doing this I’m seeing myself as the one in charge of the situation. I’m the one imposing my will on the weight rather than the other way around. I use the gorilla but you can use any animal that represents strength for you.

The Mirror Technique And It’s Origin.

I recently learned about a different mind hack that helps with workout performance. It’ called The Mirror Technique and I became aware of it after reading Claude Bristol’s book The Magic of Believing. I’d recommend reading this book if you’re open minded to things. The background behind the mirror technique is one day the author was invited to a party in which the host got very intoxicated. The host was expected to give a speech that day but he was so drunk. The author witnessed the host stumble into one of the house bathroom. The host looked into the mirror and told himself that he was stone cold sober. The author was in shock when the host suddenly stood firm and behaved like a man that was completely sober. Clatude Bristol reccomends using this technique to get your mind to believe anything.

Applying The Mirror Technique To Health and Fitness

I recently used the mirror technique one night when I was about to bench press. I had to use the bathroom before I began my working set. Luckily it was a private bathroom so I decided to try the technique out. I stood in front of the mirror and looked at myself right in the eyes. As I stood in front of the mirror, I repeatedly told myself how great I was at bench pressing. I told myself things like  ” I have an amazing bench press ” and ” I’m so strong”. I added some expletives too so I could add emotion to it. After my little pep talk, I was so pumped. I had a new level of confidence as I approached the bench. It’s not a coincidence that the weight I was using felt lighter than normal. I also had the confidence to attempt a new PR. I used a spotter just to be on the safe side. I successfully completed the lift with a little assistance. I promise my spotter didn’t have to curl the weight for me. I used the momentum I had from my pressing session into the rest of my workout. I now use the mirror technique on most days. My go to line is ” My body is Strong, healthy, athletic, and attractive”. Saying this gives me a sense of confidence in my body. You can use the mirror technique for any fitness or life goal you have.

Going forward I plan on using the mirror technique and other techniques to make sure I’m mentally ready for my workouts. When you approach your workouts with the right mindset, you’ll be amazed at your results.

 

” As you think, so shall you become “- Bruce Lee

 

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