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Old 04-22-2013, 10:35 AM   #1
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Default Mental preperation

I know that the mentality you have when you grab the bar is very important. How does everyone get into the right state of mind for
1) Big lifts
2) Your regular workout

From what I gather there are a couple different methods. I like to do the visualization for the first part and then emotion for the last part of it (trying for PR)
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:44 AM   #2
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I get in beast mode
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Old 04-22-2013, 11:03 AM   #3
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Well just because I am a nerd about psychology I have been researching different methods of stimulating the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight). That constant googling is what brought about the question. Apparently it is stimulated equally by visualization as the actual act of lifting. Discomfort also cause the same reaction as pain or fear.
Apparently each has there own use. Olympic lifts are better paired with visualization, because of how technical it is the emotional path would get in the way of perfect form.
I just find this all amazing in a complex sort of way.
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Old 04-22-2013, 11:20 AM   #4
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To me - look at your biggest squatters raw, look at anyone willing to take 800+ on their back, go downa nd come back up. The kind of anger and emotions going through their head, might scare you.. I personally have a 804lbs squat in competition. And my thought process is anger. I let things fuel me as i think of it. I also visualize it, but that is because its a confidence booster to me, most of my energy persay comes from anger.
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:39 PM   #5
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Before i hit my top set, i spend 10 minutes visualizing. When i get up, i fill my mind with hate.
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Old 04-23-2013, 11:39 AM   #6
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I either look at the weights on the bar and get this little spark of anger, get under it and go for it. It's controlled, nothing outrageous, just a bit of oomph. That or stare at the squares littering my gym isolating forearms for the 4th time this week and get this "I will never be that" mentality, and perform the lift.

When it comes to workouts, I'm generally ready to do stuff. I'm at the point now where off days kill me and I'm very tempted to go all chaos and pain on that ass. So, I'm always motivated to go to the gym. I do listen to a good dose of heavy, positive, straight edge hardcore. Or really hateful hardcore before I head out. Gets me in a good "Overcome" type mindset. That Dave Tate "Death Squat" video has got me pumped in the past. As well as CT Fletcher's "Snap City" video. But, I'm not a huge fan of having to watch motivational shit to get ready, you should be ready.
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:50 PM   #7
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I have "go to" songs I use, primarily "Spirit In Black" by Slayer. For the big lifts I work myself into a frenzy, focus on form, and enter the drop zone and go to war.

I have developed a rage mode over the years that helps me set aside everything but the bar.
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Old 04-23-2013, 01:29 PM   #8
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I have a different approach than everyone else, it seems. I don't get angry, I don't use hate (hate is a negative thing. I like to keep things positive), and even my heavy music is just stuff I listen to all the time (Maiden, Metallica, Megadeth, Priest). I take a bit of a zen approach for both regular workout and heavy lifting. I clear my mind of all else go to the bar, and focus on form. I really don't ever feel the weight, if that makes sense. On heavy lifts, I have become a fan of getting jacked up with ammonia. Bench it doesn't seem to have as big of an effect, but that's probably because my setup is longer. I'm a pretty peaceful lifter, as I treat my time in the gym as a mini vacation from the real world. I'm always intense, but smiling as I go to work.
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Old 04-23-2013, 02:20 PM   #9
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When lifting, I have no music on, it distracts me...I just enjoy the serenity when lifting; I reserve music for cardio, mainly for the beat/tempo.

I internally go through the cues, always double-check the plates.

Do a mini-psyche, only when attempting a new PB though, never with any other lift even if it's only 1kg below the PB.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:26 PM   #10
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This is a very interesting subject and a favorite of mine. My research has led me to believe much like you mentioned that tapping into emotion and sparking the fight or flight response spikes your adrenaline levels which is proven to increase performance. That and I am naturally calm, collected and friendly, so my normal state doesn't leave me ready to attack lifts like I always need to to succeed with them. In the gym for normal work sets, I listen to music, favourite songs to get me ready are the game by motorhead, walk alone by saliva and can't be touched by roy jones jr. I visualise the lift and how it will feel and generally psych up and get a little angry. I talk to myself and generally say things to convince myself I will nail the lift. In comp for heavier lifts in front of a crowd, I do all the same things but like to completely zone out, turn my back on the platform, work myself into a frenzy, to the point where I am ready to destroy then by the time I turn around I don't even notice the crowd and am ready to throw the weight around. Then once the lift is done I am back to normal and chilled out until my next lift. There is a big parallel between this type of psych up and the viking beserkergang, whereby viking warriors worked themselves into a frenzy to allow them to win in battle and is a technique famously used by one of my personal heroes, Jon Pall Sigmarsson. It helps me, may not work for everyone, but personally I could fail much lighter lifts if I approach them in a calm manner. If nothing else it gives the crowd something different to watch, love it or hate it, as lets face it with the best will in the world by the end of a 10 hour meet the crowd is going to be bored out of their tree no matter how much they like the sport really.I also like to wave to the crowd after lifting and even take a bow at the end. If people take time out of their lives to support the sport I think it is only right to acknowledge them and thank them for the encouragement. These things are not seen much in Irish lifting as we as a nation have an odd tendency to react as if we are embarrassed that people are looking at us. Just as a generalisation I think we take ourselves too seriously. Plus if you worried too much about what people think you would never have any fun in life. Sorry for the long post but lifting psychology or psychopathy as the case may be is hugely interesting to me and sociology was my favorite part of my degree so I spend a lot of time analysing things like this. In short, I get angry. :-)
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