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Old 03-02-2012, 10:34 AM   #1
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Found here: Combinatory Training

Mental Engagement

I find that one of the most overlooked factors by strength coaches is the mental engagement of the trainee. There could be nothing more boring in the world than following a linear periodization model in which you know what you’re doing well in advance.

An example of how I use this at my gym is with the Prowler®. How else and what else can we use the Prowler® for? Can it only be used for pushing and pulling? How about doing some Prowler® rollouts for anti-extension (core)? How about the flex bands? Can we only use them for accommodating resistance on the big three? Can we use them for arms? Can we use them to create an unstable environment for the muscular system?

I once had a strength coach, who I questioned on this very matter, tell me that he wasn’t there to entertain his athletes. That was why they had X-Box. I think he didn’t get ‘it.’ Yes, as strength coaches, we aren’t there to entertain like a clown at a three-ring circus, but it’s your duty to make sure that every last one of your clients or athletes is mentally engaged and excited about the workout program. Try going to a job that you have no passion for day after day. How much will you actually put into it and more importantly how much will you actually get out of it?
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:40 AM   #2
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I do this often, especially when training my son. If he [or I] are having fun then we are more likely to pour ourselves into our workouts. I mostly do this by throwing in different stuff to go along with my basic outline that includes the setady progression on the main lifts.

An example of this is the way I use the sled. We've used it for rows, pull-throughs, sprints, pulls forward and backwards, bear crawls, curls, presses, and anything else I can think of. It's just a fun challenge and keeps things interesting. Lately we've been throwing in sled rows before our dumbbell rows and it's worked great. The Db Row is the main strength builder, but adding the sled to it has brought a lot of fun, extra strength work, and even an element of conditioning. By including it, my son had increased his Db Row by 4 total reps in just a matter of a couple of weeks. Keep it fun!
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:05 AM   #3
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Not directly related to strength, but to programming in general. This is one of the reasons I leave wiggle room in workout recommendations for fun lifts and variations.
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:36 AM   #4
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One of the biggest transformations I have made personally is the sheer enjoyment of my training. I look forward to every session now and even when I am feeling beat down, I know a few warm up sets will take care of the sluggishness.
Before that, it sometimes felt like a chore and because of that, excuses were made, sessions were missed and the opportunity to progress was missed. I'll also add that I never think about the volume of the sessions when I am feeling beatdown!
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