Muscle and Brawn Forums
 

Go Back   Muscle and Brawn Forums > Training > Training Resources > Appreciation Threads
Mark Forums Read
Register Articles Members List Search Today's Posts

Notices

Appreciation Threads Lifter Appreciation Threads. Contains resources, pictures, workouts, videos and articles on specific lifters.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 02-01-2012, 01:44 PM   #21
miked96
Senior Member
Max Brawn
Points: 13,418, Level: 75 Points: 13,418, Level: 75 Points: 13,418, Level: 75
Activity: 12% Activity: 12% Activity: 12%
 
miked96's Avatar
 

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Greenville,SC
Posts: 1,786
Reputation: 143623
miked96 is a master membermiked96 is a master membermiked96 is a master membermiked96 is a master membermiked96 is a master membermiked96 is a master membermiked96 is a master membermiked96 is a master membermiked96 is a master membermiked96 is a master membermiked96 is a master member
Default

One more:

First Things First

Recently I have spent much of my time writing about matters that I felt advanced and World Class athletes would find of use. I suppose after almost a decade of competition, I have taken much for granted. I possibly felt that the more rudimentary stuff wouldn’t be as interesting. Or that “everyone already knows that”. But after looking at some of my work, I find that all of it is heavily steeped in the basics. And after going to some real big meets and seeing some of the “rookie mistakes” I’ve seen, I realize we can all still learn a thing or two. Even some very accomplished lifters will pull a knucklehead move leaving you asking yourself why they didn’t know better.

Really, the most advanced and “fancy” stuff still has its’ roots in the elemental aspects. And that is exactly how it should be! In fact, if you read about some super-duper new method or technique and can’t identify the basic physiological principle behind it fairly easily, I would venture to say it probably won’t work. (I’m being kind-there’s no way in hell it’ll work-there is no such thing as magic in the gym). Stick with the basics and you’ll go far!

I realized that I’ve spent a lot of my energy encouraging intermediate and advanced lifters to “get back to basics” and simplify their training programs. But I haven’t addressed the beginning lifter ( You would think that would be a natural). So this article is targeted to the novice lifter in hopes that they continue in the ways of the sometimes- boring but always- effective basics!

Advice I Wish I’d got as a Beginner

By far the best single piece of advice I can give a beginning bencher is to stop benching so much! Let me explain: while it is true that when you are learning a new exercise it is wise to have a high volume program (lots of sets and plenty of reps)which will afford you greater learning of the new movement. For example, if a new trainee were to embark on a bench program of 3 sets of 3 reps he is limited to only 9 lifts per workout in which to learn and master the exercise. By contrast if a trainee does 5sets of 10 reps he has 50 reps to work on his form and get accustomed to the lift. This is to say that a high volume program is better for “practicing” technique by virtue of chances to learn.

But it is a very rare occasion that I come across someone who has never done bench presses before! And this kind of absolute beginner is not what we’re talking about here. I have in mind a trainee who has been lifting for about a year or two and really has “caught the bug”. This trainee really loves the gym and loves what the workouts do to their body. They love looking and feeling better and they love getting stronger. Of course, like most of us, they have seen some great progress in the bench right off the bat and have fallen in love with it (so to speak). They are so enamored with the bench that they begin to train it more often. I have met some over- zealous benchers who train bench press 4 times a week! And I can’t blame them. It’s a big movement that lets them use big weight and produces big results. So it is easy to see why they would think “more is better”.

But although this will work for a brief time, their strength soon climbs and the workloads get heavier. Before long they are not showing as much progress. But this usually triggers an even greater amount of bench work with the trainee mistakenly thinking they are not working hard enough. Great heart-bad idea. This added workload usually brings them to a plateau where no progress is being made. At this point their body is just barely able to recover from the previous workout but has not been able to produce adaptive growth. They can go for months or years going to the gym, exhausting themselves, going home and recovering just enough to hold their status quo, and then it’s off to the gym to drain it out once again in a vicious cycle. Even worse, sometimes the truly determined trainee will see this as the Law of Diminishing Returns and decide that to break this plateau what they need to do is even more work! This is disastrous and leads to classic overtraining. The body is now not even afforded enough recovery to maintain it’s strength and performance drops. In a worst-case scenario, an injury finally ends the madness and the trainee is forced to rest.

While I heartily applaud the determination and drive of such individuals, I can recognize the folly (and this is by experience, folks). I have trained myself into the ground ,too. Well, let’s see what I’ve learned from it, shall we?

Beginners Rules

Rule No. 1

More is not better, only better is better.

Instead of increasing the amount of bench work you do, increase the quality of it. This is intensity. Do less, better! Don’t allow yourself to perform mindless rep after rep thinking that all you have to do is get to a certain number and you’ll improve. One of the most classic failures of beginning trainees is their non-attention to quality. You’ve seen it: the trainee pretends to progress and adds a bit of weight each week or two but instead of performing the exercise in proper form, just cheats more and uses momentum more and more to accommodate the added weight. Soon the exercise is hardly recognizable. The trainee is really no stronger- they just got better at cheating the more weight was on the bar.

Always pressure yourself for true gains! Quality must be maintained! Otherwise your training will become a joke. To get better, perform your reps better. You will find that this in itself will lessen how much work you can do each workout. You simply can’t maintain high quality work for long periods of time. Not only does the body fatigue, but the mind cannot hold quality concentration for too long. The answer is to do less, better. Use all of your energies on a very few focused movements. Don’t do more exercises! Do one or two exercises with all you’ve got! That is a key to real progress. DO LESS, BETTER!

Rule No. Two

There is no substitute for progress.

You need a training journal. Period. If you don’t have one, you’re just guessing! Any progressive resistance program is built on the tenet of progression-it’s in the name, even! This means that you cannot lift the same weights workout after workout and expect to change! You must progress ! When six is too light you must then progress to seven! You can not stay at six.

Amazingly , I see far too few log books in the gym. The journal is a tool to progress just as the barbell or dumbbells are tools. Without it you are losing information and I will be hard pressed to believe that you have a plan at all! How do you know if you are on schedule? Are you meeting your goals for each workout? Do you know your goals for each workout? (if you don’t you need a new coach or mentor).

What the training log can do for you:

First it shows the effectiveness of your training cycle. Are you getting stronger or not? If you have accurate records, you’ll know. Remember: there is no substitute for progress! What this means is that getting stronger is what it’s all about. I know trainees that push themselves hard, have exhausting workouts, get tremendously sore for days, leave the gym covered in sweat, keep all this up for a year and get absolutely nowhere! They come in to the gym, get tired, and go home. Come in, get tired ,go home. They forget that it’s not about getting tired or getting sore or how long they spent in the gym! It’s about getting better! It should be: come in, get better, go home! They try to substitute out for progress! But there is no substitute for progress! And the training diary will tell you that. If your numbers aren’t going up it alerts you that something is wrong. It can also give clues as to what to do about it to someone who understands training philosophy.

The training diary can also help prevent overtraining. I remember watching my numbers climbing steadily for about 8 months when all of a sudden they began to trail off very quickly. I was benching every four days and decided to keep the exact same program but to wait an extra day for recovery and bench every 5 days. My numbers began to ascend in regular meter again. This was my own personal break through with doing less better instead of just more and more of the same quality. I was able to maintain a every-5-day schedule for quite a long time. But eventually my workloads got heavier and I needed more recovery. I went to a 7 day program, benching only once a week. This lasted several years and now I find that in my heaviest cycles nearing my peak, I do best if I bench every 10 days! I learned this by watching my journal! It tells me when I need more recovery and I always listen.

If your numbers aren’t moving, try the simplest answer first: give yourself more recovery between workouts. Keep accurate records and consult them often. And for Christmas’ sake have a plan!! Have goals for every workout! Don’t just go in and pump hoping to get stronger. We live in the new millennium and training is a science. Get a program. Write it down and demand progress. There is no substitute.

I guess what all this means is that I see far too many trainees benching far too much. The quality of their work is sacrificed in the vain hope that more work will assure results. They feel that if they spend so many hours at the gym or doing bench presses they will have to get stronger. They act as if progress was waged out on a pay scale of an hourly rate. They punch the clock and sit back and wait. Then frustration hits when they don’t get the results they feel they’ve earned. They do hours of half-effort work and never really go all out because they can’t finish the rest of their workout if they do. Pity.

Do less work but do it far better. Don’t waste your time. When you’re in the gym you should be busting it. Pick a few things and attack them (I suggest no more than 2 exercises per body part) full go. If you can do more than two exercises per body part, I would question your intensity on them. If you want to go do dips after doing flat bench and closegrips, you probably didn’t work too hard! Reconsider your effort and concentrate your energy on just two exercises. Spend it all on these, and you’ll have nada left for those dips!

Keep an eye on your records and lookout for overtraining. Your numbers should always go up. If they don’t something’s wrong. Try more recovery. If that does not help (often it will), re-work the program. The body does not get stronger during exercise… it gets stronger during recovery from exercise! Give yourself a chance!

If you’ve forgotten everything else I’ve ranted about, just keep two things I’ve said in mind… more is not better, only better is better…and … there is no substitute for progress! You’ll never go wrong with these!

Good luck and good lifting,

J.M. Blakley
miked96 is online now   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old 02-01-2012, 01:47 PM   #22
miked96
Senior Member
Max Brawn
Points: 13,418, Level: 75 Points: 13,418, Level: 75 Points: 13,418, Level: 75
Activity: 12% Activity: 12% Activity: 12%
 
miked96's Avatar
 

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Greenville,SC
Posts: 1,786
Reputation: 143623
miked96 is a master membermiked96 is a master membermiked96 is a master membermiked96 is a master membermiked96 is a master membermiked96 is a master membermiked96 is a master membermiked96 is a master membermiked96 is a master membermiked96 is a master membermiked96 is a master member
Default

I will stop after this one but I asked JM what other exercises he did other than the bench and lockout day. Here is his answer:

The truth is, I didn’t do much other than bench on Sunday and triceps on wed. at the Westside. I would catch an occasional back workout consisting of wide and very narrow pulldowns, as well as some biceps from time to time. Other bodyparts were catch-as-catch-can and although I probably did average hitting every bodypart every two weeks, I never did any CONSISTENT TRAINING on them …but rather a brief but intense workout as time and my body would allow. But whats funny is they grew anyway! I really think people can overtrain, and by that I mean they do too much working out and not enough WORKING!! I would hit it hard but might miss ten or twelve days between getting back to that bodypart and still remained balanced in my physique. That’s another lesson for quality over quantity! I think recovery is the untapped secret of training. If the intensity is high enough, its really the recovery phase of training that is the magic. But only if the loads and efforts are above a certain (very high ) level. Hope this helps, jm
miked96 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2012, 01:55 PM   #23
Disciple X
Senior Member
Max Brawn
Points: 6,017, Level: 50 Points: 6,017, Level: 50 Points: 6,017, Level: 50
Activity: 5% Activity: 5% Activity: 5%
 
Disciple X's Avatar
 

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Hartsville, SC
Posts: 1,707
Training Type: Powerlifting
Reputation: 42429
Disciple X is a lifting machineDisciple X is a lifting machineDisciple X is a lifting machineDisciple X is a lifting machineDisciple X is a lifting machineDisciple X is a lifting machineDisciple X is a lifting machineDisciple X is a lifting machineDisciple X is a lifting machineDisciple X is a lifting machineDisciple X is a lifting machine
Default

Good stuff mike! I can vouch for his stuff being effective
Disciple X is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2012, 01:56 PM   #24
BendtheBar
Bearded Beast of Duloc
Max Brawn
Points: 1,554,481, Level: 100 Points: 1,554,481, Level: 100 Points: 1,554,481, Level: 100
Activity: 49% Activity: 49% Activity: 49%
 
BendtheBar's Avatar
 

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 79,944
Training Exp: 20+ years
Training Type: Powerbuilding
Fav Exercise: Deadlift
Fav Supp: Butter
Reputation: 2584002
BendtheBar is one with Crom!BendtheBar is one with Crom!BendtheBar is one with Crom!BendtheBar is one with Crom!BendtheBar is one with Crom!BendtheBar is one with Crom!BendtheBar is one with Crom!BendtheBar is one with Crom!BendtheBar is one with Crom!BendtheBar is one with Crom!BendtheBar is one with Crom!
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by miked96 View Post
I will stop after this one but I asked JM what other exercises he did other than the bench and lockout day. Here is his answer:
No need to stop. Open the flood gates...
__________________
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Destroy That Which Destroys You

"Let bravery be thy choice, but not bravado."


BendtheBar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2012, 02:24 PM   #25
BendtheBar
Bearded Beast of Duloc
Max Brawn
Points: 1,554,481, Level: 100 Points: 1,554,481, Level: 100 Points: 1,554,481, Level: 100
Activity: 49% Activity: 49% Activity: 49%
 
BendtheBar's Avatar
 

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 79,944
Training Exp: 20+ years
Training Type: Powerbuilding
Fav Exercise: Deadlift
Fav Supp: Butter
Reputation: 2584002
BendtheBar is one with Crom!BendtheBar is one with Crom!BendtheBar is one with Crom!BendtheBar is one with Crom!BendtheBar is one with Crom!BendtheBar is one with Crom!BendtheBar is one with Crom!BendtheBar is one with Crom!BendtheBar is one with Crom!BendtheBar is one with Crom!BendtheBar is one with Crom!
Default

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	jm-blakely.jpg
Views:	450
Size:	114.1 KB
ID:	3929  
__________________
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Destroy That Which Destroys You

"Let bravery be thy choice, but not bravado."


BendtheBar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2012, 02:32 PM   #26
miked96
Senior Member
Max Brawn
Points: 13,418, Level: 75 Points: 13,418, Level: 75 Points: 13,418, Level: 75
Activity: 12% Activity: 12% Activity: 12%
 
miked96's Avatar
 

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Greenville,SC
Posts: 1,786
Reputation: 143623
miked96 is a master membermiked96 is a master membermiked96 is a master membermiked96 is a master membermiked96 is a master membermiked96 is a master membermiked96 is a master membermiked96 is a master membermiked96 is a master membermiked96 is a master membermiked96 is a master member
Default

Visualization technique for beginners

Sports psychology has come a long way. It is now well accepted that peak performance states can be induced or trained or, to put it simpler, practiced. Getting into “the zone” is common talk these days. Every sport and every coach gives this aspect of competition it’s due. But still little of what we all accept as “important stuff” is really filtering down into everyday practice. This ,I feel, is a shame. I won’t belabor the reasons why I feel this gap exists but just to illustrate it let me ask you: when was your last visit to your sports psychologist? Or the last book you read on focusing your mental abilities for competition?` Or even the last intelligent discussion you had with your peer training group about psyching for sport? Well, if it wasn’t last week, I think its too long!

There is a vast arsenal of knowledge and power at our fingertips that is largely going un-used. Most powerlifters simply think that rage and adrenalin are what psyching up is all about. “What else do you need to know? Just git mad an’ pull ‘er up!” Too bad. There’s so much more.

In an effort to make some of the techniques more “real-world” for us powerlifters, I have chosen a very basic and widely acclaimed method of mental training to aid performance : visualization. It is well agreed that this method has rapid tangible effect so dramatic that it may spark your interest in other forms of “headwork”. My hope is that it does.

Visualization

Basically this is closing your eyes and seeing yourself performing your sport.

Visualization can be thought of as mental dress- rehearsal. Jack Nickalaus used to say he would “go to the movies” before a shot and see the performance of the shot perfectly in his mind before he took his swing. That’s visualization ;creating an image of the correct outcome of the skill in the mind’s eye. Thus, not only is this a form of practice, it is perfect practice! I’ll bet Jack never hit one into a bunker in his mind!

This is quite a bit more than daydreaming although the principle is similar. In visualization, every detail is imagined not just the rough gist. The research shows that the more detailed the image, the more successful the technique is. All the senses are involved,not simply “seeing”. Sounds are imagined, bodily sensations of pressure and touch, even smells are called up to fortify the experience. Subjects who could visualize running clearly and extremely detailed were shown to have elevated heart rates, faster respiration and amazingly, EMG (electromyograph- measuring nerve signals to the muscle) activity mimicking running in their leg muscles! They were lying still yet their bodies were responding as if they were actually running! It seems the mind cannot totally distinguish between a vividly imagined event and an actual event. It responds to what is in the imagination as well as reality. If you imagine yourself running strongly enough, your body thinks it’s actually happening!

Knowing this , visualization is an excellent way to practice max lifts many, many times without all the wear and tear! Think of the implications! If you master this technique you can lift 500 lbs. perfectly over and over in your mind weeks prior to the competition. When the meet finally does roll around you lay under the bar and only have to bench it once. But you’ve done it already a hundred times in your mind. What’s one more time to you? You feel like this is old hat. You’re used to this. There are no surprises, you feel comfortable and like this is where you belong. You are familiar. Hell, you’ve done this ten times in your head already this morning! It’s nothing to you now! You’ve built experience up.

The benefits of visualization are well documented. But if you’re still not sold let me describe the results of a famous experiment with a basketball team.

The team was interested in improving free-throw performance. Four groups were established. One group did no specific free-throw practice at all. This was the control group. The next group did only mental free-throw practice. They were taught to visualize themselves shooting free-throws and did no actual real-life free-throw shooting during the experiment. This was the visualization group. The next group was the actual practice group. They shot real free-throws for the experiment. The last group was the 50/50 group which spent ½ of their practice time actually shooting free-throws and ½ their time mentally imaging shooting the free-throws. Which group do you suppose improved the most during the course of the experiment? Well, of course the group that did no practice at all did the poorest: they actually got worse. No surprise. The actual practice group was next and showed some marked improvement. The 50/50 group outperformed the practice only group indicating the benefit of adding mental drills to regular practice. But most shocking is that in this experiment, the visualization group improved the most and they never took a single shot! How do you take that? What does that say to you?

The researchers proposed that the virtue of perfect mental practice (this group never missed a single mental shot the whole training period ) was so reinforcing that it set up a condition of “expectation of success” and the kids in this group never got to “see” or feel anything but the ball hitting nothing but the net. Even the 50/50 group missed some shots that they actually took. But the visualization group was perfect all the time. Their bodies and minds became conditioned to the swish of success and they were able to make the most improvement of all the groups on the post-test.

Amazing? Not really. But it should jar you a little. What these kids were practicing was success. And before long it became natural to them. This “ expectation of success” proved to be more valuable than hours of real-life good old fashioned hard work and repetition. Why? Because it wasn’t just practice…it was perfect practice. That made all the difference. If you would have asked me which group I thought was going to improve the most before the experiment began I would have guessed the 50/50 group. They got the best of both worlds. They could use the images and they could use the real-life trial and error to correct their mistakes ( I’m a trial and error guy, myself). But the value of feeling success over and over without ever missing seemed to outweigh what I would have called practical learning. These kids learned to expect success more than they learned to shoot a basketball. But still they shot truer than their counterparts who did actual practice. If that doesn’t excite you about mental training then you can probably skip the rest of this article and read another one about sets and reps. You won’t get it. But if you find yourself thinking, ”Hey…hmmm.” Then read on!

Basic Visualization

You can simply picture the perfect lift over and over in your mind and on some level get some results. But not much. You see, the state of your mind when you perform the visualization is crucial to making it work. If you’re not in the right frame of mind, your results will be paltry. If you want this to work you’ve got to get the brain into what is known as Alpha-wave state. This is absolutely necessary to influence the sub-conscious.

The sub-conscious accepts ideas very readily when the mind is in Alpha state. To seed the sub-conscious we must get the conscious mind out of the way. Don’t let me lose you here! Yes, this is like setting up a meditation state or undergoing self-hypnosis. Both of these methods rely on Alpha state for success also. But don’t flake out on me here! This is much simpler and much easier and much more “normal” than going into a Zen trance! It’s more like when you are going to sleep and you are in between. You’re not asleep yet and you’re still aware of what’s going on around you, but you’re not fully alert either. You are relaxed, calm, peaceful, and guess what? If you looked at your brainwaves you would see that you are in Alpha wave state.

This is the most creative time for the mind. The conscious mind is still and quiet but not turned off yet as in sleep (Delta wave). You can still think clearly yet you are not encumbered by all the normal noise of the fully alert mind (Beta wave). The time is ripe for suggesting to your sub-conscious that you expect success and that you always perform your skill flawlessly and consistently. It is in this state that you have the best chance to influence your sub-conscious to believe that you are actually practicing. It will never know the difference. It is very accepting when you are in Alpha. And you are a better artist painting the picture of success in Alpha, too, as this is the most creative wave state. You can try to shove these ides down your sub-conscious’ throat when you are awake, but it can be resistive. “You’re not really practicing are you?” It seems to be on to you. But in Alpha, it will take whatever you tell it as gospel and BOOM you’ve got it. It just goes along for the ride.

Getting Into Alpha

So to make this whole thing work, you need to be able to induce an Alpha brain wave state. Otherwise it’s like repeating a lie over and over louder and louder thinking that if you keep it up long enough you’ll begin to believe it yourself. But you really never do because you know the truth. But the sub-conscious doesn’t have the restrictions of judgment like the conscious mind does. And when in Alpha you tell it something it never asks for proof. It just acts on it. This is the door. This can condition your mind to expect success on a sub-conscious level!

Now, if you think that getting to Alpha must require hours of meditation and strict discipline and yadda,yadda, yadda…you’re wrong! I think that this is where people fall away. They get turned off by the “trance-like state” or think that this thing requires some special skills only Tibetan monks and Yogis know. Well, that’s bull! Anyone, and I mean everyone can do this. Yes, some people have a knack for creating visual images and for some it’s a bit slower, but we all can do it . The first step is to relax the body. The mind will follow.

Visualization Made Easy : The Technique

The rest of this article will guide you through the actual technique of Alpha state generation and visualization. This is the simplest distillation of the method I know that still packs the punch.

The first step is to relax the body. The mind will follow.

Body relaxation

To begin to access Alpha you need to relax the body. Find a quiet room or calm space outdoors free of noise and distraction or interruption (this is probably the toughest part!). Sit comfortably or lay down. I find it best to lay down. Close your eyes. Some authors suggest soft music but I much prefer silence. In fact I recommend that you wear ear plugs to further shut off the outside distractions. This has a very strong centering effect for me. I feel like I’m inside myself just by cutting off the outside chatter. I feel I can hear myself better this way. Try it both ways. The goal is to feel calm.

Begin by telling yourself that it’s time to relax. Set up the expectation. Now, the simplest method is known as the Benson technique and was devised for stress –reduction. What you do is to contrast tension with relaxation to better feel what relaxation is. Start with your feet. Clench the muscles of the toes isometrically for several seconds. Sense the tension that develops. Then abruptly let go of the contraction. Sense the relaxation of the feet. Really feel the difference between tension and relaxation. Some experts advise up to three contraction/relaxation bouts before moving to another body part but I find that once is sufficient. Do as many as you need to feel the release.

Next do the same with your calf muscles. Clench them tightly for a few seconds and then let them go limp. Feel what limp is . Do this with your quads. Also with your butt and hamstrings. Then your lower back, then your stomach (this can cause a problem because it changes the breathing . If it makes you feel tense , skip the stomach and move on). Then clench your fists and release them, then your arms, chest , lats and your neck.

Finally, squeeze the muscles of your face tightly and then let them soften. It is amazing how much tension wants to remain in your face! At this point about 15 or so minutes will have passed and you should assess your whole body looking for any left over tension. If you feel any, give that area a squeeze and let go of the muscles giving in to gravity and relaxation. You should be calm, and fairly tension free.

Now concentrate on your breathing. Take deep slow breaths and follow the air into and out of your body. Say to yourself “ relax” each time you exhale. After about ten or so breaths you are ready to begin visualization and most people will be in or near Alpha state: calm, relaxed, and quiet but not drowsy or lethargic.

The Images

Now it is time to feed the sub-conscious the images of success. It is at this point that the conscious and sub-conscious are closest together. It is at this point that you have the most influence over your deep mind. It is absolutely imperative that you feed it the correct images. Remember !: it will not judge what you give it. It will accept the wrong information as easily as the right information!! Some authors advise playing a pre-recorded tape of yourself or someone in authority talking you through the steps of a perfect performance. This way, the message that is given is exactly the same and is free of error because it was recorded in a fully conscious state. I personally prefer to talk myself through each time as this tends to keep me “in control” and prevents me from drifting off to sleep as can happen with pre-recorded tapes. Some say that even in sleep the message gets through, but brain wave patterns change and the subliminal tape methods have never shown the degree of success that the visualization methods can offer. Besides can you really be sure what’s on those tapes anyway? Even with my own voice and my own guided imagery I find I get so relaxed that I fall asleep too often. But try it both ways yourself.

Begin to imagine yourself doing your skill. Remember the more detailed your picture and the more tiny items you can include the more real this will seem to your sub-conscious. Imagine the room. Imagine the people. Imagine the smell of the linament! Hear the weights clanging. Hear yourself exhaling upon exertion. Get very, very specific and imagine every minute detail. This can be very time consuming the first several times you do it because you remember one more thing at a time. But with practice, your mind works with blinding speed and hundreds of things can be gone over in seconds as you accustom yourself to the technique. The mind will “Cluster” several ideas together and you will think of only one but thirty images will flash that are connected with that single idea. With practice, what took a half an hour to go through originally can be gone over several times in a minute! Just keep at it and don’t ever try to speed it up. Let the mind go at it’s own pace. You’re not going for speed but your speed will develop with familiarity and without you trying.

But I can’t state this enough…be detailed. And connect emotions and sensations to the images. Emotions connected with images are the most powerful. Visualize what the weight feels like . Sense the pressures and the effort. Feel the weight give in to your muscles and sense the bar moving up. Feel the emotion of overcoming the weight. Even feel the butterflies in your stomach before the lift. Get every thing. Be accurate and cover all the bases. Sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste if there are any. ( I drink the same beverage in my workouts and at meets and I can visualize what it tastes like in mental rehearsal).

Finally , make certain that you do your skill flawlessly. Even if you don’t have perfect form, see yourself doing the lift with textbook precision. This is a key point. Don’t see yourself as you really do the lift… see yourself doing it better than you actually do it! You can actually begin to retrain your motor patterns and improve your form.

Never miss a lift and never make a mistake. This is like the golfer who steps up to the tee of a water hole and in his mind all he can see is his ball going into the lake. He tees up takes a practice swing and says loudly “ I’m not putting this one in the water!” with conviction. But in his mind is the image of the splash. What happens? His sub-conscious follows the image! Splash! The same for the next ball! His sub-conscious does not judge but simply holds true to the image. “I can’t believe that” he rants and storms off the tee. But it is all too believable and it happens all the time. So be very careful what images you feed your sub-conscious. Make certain they are what you want. If you happen to flash a negative image or a slip-up during your visualization STOP! Go back and begin again from the beginning and DO IT RIGHT. Never see a mistake. And if one pops in, erase it immediately do not move on. Move back and re-write the script.

In Practice

There are two aspects to proper visualization. One is alpha state or being relaxed and receptive. You can not expect good results by just daydreaming about success and through simple repetition. You must access the sub-conscious. And the second is creating the images. Even if you don’t consider yourself especially creative you can “make a movie” of yourself doing your skill and watch it in your mind. Some find best results if they imagine themselves seeing the skill done from another person’s view as if watching a video of themselves. Others do best if they imagine what it is like performing behind their own eyes looking out. Try it both ways. Remember to be detailed and practice perfectly.

In the early stages it will require about an hour of work to get relaxed and to meticulously imagine every little detail of your lifts. But rest assured the more you practice the quicker your body learns to relax and the faster the mind works to remember your images. You can easily go through many practice runs in a half hour including relaxation time.

At one point in my training when I was attacking the 700 pound barrier, I was spending 5 hours per week in physical training and 16-20 hours a week in mental training about 5 of which was devoted to visualization. I was spending more time thinking about training than actually training! (but remember, thinking about training in the right way IS training!). My current protocol is still 5 hours physical training per week but mental drills have diminished to only 3 hours of which only 40 minutes to an hour is spent in visualization. Believe me I know most of you don’t have lots of extra hours every week to do mental training. But you don’t have to. Just try the visualization drills for a month three times a week. That’s three hours a week. I’ll bet you can cut that down to 3 half hour sessions by the second month. If you still think that’s a lot of time, then go back to watching re-runs of Roseanne and Seinfeld every night and see if that helps your bench any!!

Mental training may not be for everyone. Some people just want to lift heavy and grunt and groan. Fine. But don’t ever expect to achieve your full potential without some kind of headwork.

I have tried to take one of the most effective mental techniques and make it un –intimidating and user –frendly. I hope it doesn’t sound mysterious or difficult or far-out. My hope is to make it make sense.

The competition is moving ahead and guys are looking outside the box and outside the gym for ways to improve. If you do this right, you can boost your numbers with mental training right from your sofa or bedroom floor. But before you decide its not for you give it three hours a week for a month. What do you have to lose except some excess stress and a few episodes of L.A. Law ?
miked96 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2012, 03:09 PM   #27
LtL
SHFW
Max Brawn
Points: 36,892, Level: 100 Points: 36,892, Level: 100 Points: 36,892, Level: 100
Activity: 17% Activity: 17% Activity: 17%
 
LtL's Avatar
 

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Reading, Berkshire, UK
Posts: 12,019
Training Exp: 5 years
Training Type: Powerlifting
Fav Exercise: Deadlifts
Fav Supp: Endurance BCAA
Reputation: 455740
LtL is one with Crom!LtL is one with Crom!LtL is one with Crom!LtL is one with Crom!LtL is one with Crom!LtL is one with Crom!LtL is one with Crom!LtL is one with Crom!LtL is one with Crom!LtL is one with Crom!LtL is one with Crom!
Default

Awesome posts. Thanks Mike.

LtL
LtL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2012, 04:25 PM   #28
miked96
Senior Member
Max Brawn
Points: 13,418, Level: 75 Points: 13,418, Level: 75 Points: 13,418, Level: 75
Activity: 12% Activity: 12% Activity: 12%
 
miked96's Avatar
 

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Greenville,SC
Posts: 1,786
Reputation: 143623
miked96 is a master membermiked96 is a master membermiked96 is a master membermiked96 is a master membermiked96 is a master membermiked96 is a master membermiked96 is a master membermiked96 is a master membermiked96 is a master membermiked96 is a master membermiked96 is a master member
Default

No problem. Thats why I like this board. Any place with a sticky dedicated to JM knows its stuff!
miked96 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2012, 04:31 PM   #29
LtL
SHFW
Max Brawn
Points: 36,892, Level: 100 Points: 36,892, Level: 100 Points: 36,892, Level: 100
Activity: 17% Activity: 17% Activity: 17%
 
LtL's Avatar
 

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Reading, Berkshire, UK
Posts: 12,019
Training Exp: 5 years
Training Type: Powerlifting
Fav Exercise: Deadlifts
Fav Supp: Endurance BCAA
Reputation: 455740
LtL is one with Crom!LtL is one with Crom!LtL is one with Crom!LtL is one with Crom!LtL is one with Crom!LtL is one with Crom!LtL is one with Crom!LtL is one with Crom!LtL is one with Crom!LtL is one with Crom!LtL is one with Crom!
Default

You should definitely start a log here. If for no other reason than I'd learn from it

LtL
LtL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2012, 05:24 PM   #30
big_swede
Senior Member
Max Brawn
Points: 34,215, Level: 100 Points: 34,215, Level: 100 Points: 34,215, Level: 100
Activity: 62% Activity: 62% Activity: 62%
 
big_swede's Avatar
 

Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: sweden
Posts: 12,009
Training Exp: 5
Training Type: Strongman
Fav Exercise: Cable flyes
Fav Supp: Celltech
Reputation: 480503
big_swede is one with Crom!big_swede is one with Crom!big_swede is one with Crom!big_swede is one with Crom!big_swede is one with Crom!big_swede is one with Crom!big_swede is one with Crom!big_swede is one with Crom!big_swede is one with Crom!big_swede is one with Crom!big_swede is one with Crom!
Default

Very good posts in here. Great thred.
__________________
big_swede is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
appreciation, blakely, blakley, thread


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ed Coan Appreciation Thread BendtheBar Appreciation Threads 27 09-03-2013 09:59 AM
Max Aita Appreciation Thread BendtheBar Appreciation Threads 20 03-27-2013 04:40 PM
Ron Partlow Appreciation Thread SeventySeven Appreciation Threads 1 09-10-2012 12:00 PM
Butter Appreciation Thread BendtheBar Nutrition, Diet and Supplements 10 08-30-2012 10:12 AM
Max Misch Appreciation Thread BendtheBar Powerlifting & Strength Training 30 03-28-2010 07:14 PM

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:22 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.