Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Mind game

A really big made guy in a gym once said something to me : lifting weights is a mind game. I never quite understood what he meant until now.

After a lousy routine about three weeks ago went on a light but focused routine two weeks back and concentrated on 'thinking' the weights up.

Last week it paid off 185 x 6 x 3 on the bench, with no support. Not a record by any means, but by my own abysmal standards, not bad. Yesterday, on a different schedule did 175x5x3 with relative ease.

The only issue is I need to keep my mind clear and not get engrossed in conversations or think of anything else. It takes a bit of effort to constantly keep in focus, I think it probably comes naturally to sportsmen after years of practice.

Something else my trainer said made me think: he said the concentration and the focus that one needs to put into competitive sport will increase the capacity to handle stress. That seems to be happening to me, has anyone else experienced this?


Cadence said...

Resistance training!! oh how I loathe thee!! lol

I guess what ur trainer said makes sense. My workouts keep my energy levels on high and puts a spring in my step. Haven't really focused on the co-relation between that and stress though. Hmmm food for thought.

Delilah said...

i do. although my routine is so much lighter with more reps, i find the challenge of training with weights far more invigorating and very similar to the rush you get from competitive sports. a definite stress buster also. usually i cant wait to finish my cardio to get started on weights:)

Dee said...

You're in training? (yumm!) ;)

I'm in training too. Lifting donoughts up from the counter to my mouth. Whew!

T said...

i always listen to music when im running or lifting. helps me focus better. and i find that thinking about what you're lifting makes the weight seem heavier but also the movement is smoother and i feel like im using the muscle im supposed to and not just using the momentum of the movement.

Scrumpulicious said...

All these peolpe in training and talking of weights and stuff!

I'm with Dee on this! :S

Jack Point said...

Hey glad to see so many bloggers spend time in the gym.

Cadence - keep that spring in your step, that whats needed to get through a bad week at work.

Delilah: I go through mixed routines, no two workouts are ever the same but we alternate every two weeks or so between high weight/low reps and low weight/high reps and the really painful ones are the low/weight high reps routines. I think these are idea for girls, by the way.

Dee - what happened to that expedition to the gym???

T- yes good music helps. I can never carry a player around, the wires get in the way, so I'm dependent on what is played over the loudspeakers and sometimes that is lousy. I think what the music does it takes away other distractions. What meant about thinking was to focus on the muscles being used and keeping form. Thinking about the weight is a problem.

Scrump :)

TheWhacksteR said...

yeah, its a mind game alright. iv read that and heard that quite a lot too.

theres a famous experiment that was conducted with a school basketball team that stresses the importance of visualization.

totally with the stress buster comment btw. nothing like a hard day at the gym to expell the toxins.

where do you workout btw? i need a new routine as well. maybe you can hook me up with ur instructor? :D

Jack Point said...

I've been around the block, Power World, Fitness Kingdom, Bodybykris now at Royal.

A Virile Nagalingam said...

hey man, never returned the comment so here's a belated:

one thing I would caution is to monitor the flexibility of your shoulders and the state of the connective tissues therein. If they are not naturally strong, and especially if you have the fucked-up Thilan Thushara-shaped, outward-bending arm, the torque you are putting on tendons and ligaments within the shoulder can be tremendous.

I gained about 40 pounds in a semester at uni because I did tons of high-weight, low-rep workouts with lots of straight-bar work (military, bench and curl) as well as squats and deads. My shoulders, meniscus (knees) and elbows are telling the tale today.

Please be careful. It's no fun to provide percussion for parties by raising your arms above your head repeatedly.

Jack Point said...

Hey thanks a lot for that comment. I have a should that dislocates so I need to be doubly careful, do you have a diagram of the "Thilan Thushara-shaped, outward-bending arm" - don't watch cricket, or television to be honest.

Jack Point said...

by the way, 40lbs is a hell of a lot, you probably live up to your pseudonym.

A Virile Nagalingam said...


the 40 lb figure is kind of lowball--i went from 130 lbs at 5'7" (16% bodyfat) the summer before senior year at uni to 190 at 19% bodyfat after the first semester was done. The extra weight is really difficult to shed.

as for his arm, just stand in front of a full-lenth mirror with your palms facing it. if your forearms point away from your body, it's a good sight that you have thushara arms and straight-bars of all kinds are not a good idea.

i'm still trying to find a good picture example.

Jack Point said...

damn, just looked in the mirror, arms point away.

let me have a word with my trainer.