T Nation



Is meditation useful to athletes?

P.S. A very open question but sometimes they are the most useful ones, because generally you get plenty of interesting answers.

I understand meditation has some interesting physiological effects and I was wondering if these could be applied to 'bodybuilding' or as TC offered a better word biomechanics.


Yes. Ironmind has a really good book all about mental training called Stronger Minds Stronger Bodies. They talk all about deep relaxation and mental rehersal...Meditation alone might not be very helpful but combined with training you cant lose. You should check the book out.


This is not meditation...kinda a precursor. PM me if you'd like more info. This is a relaxation exercise. Look at it this way, being tense is a good way to be less effective at anything (I'm not talking about the arousal you want e.g. pre lift or pre-fight, but a bad kind of arousal).

Relaxation Exercise

Ive given this exercise to many people so I know it is very effective. You may not notice anything the first time you try it, but I promise if you try this once or twice a day for a mere 3-5 minutes by the end of the week you will notice a significant change.

--Find a place where you will not be disturbed (office bathroom if you have to) and ideally which is relatively quiet

--Sit with both feet flat on the floor, sitting upright.

--Set a timer that does not tick to go off in 3-5 minutes. You can buy a small kitchen timer at radio shack (dont buy anything else there). Once you get the hang of this you can just do it for however long you feel like it without the timer, but in the beginning without a timer you will be tempted to open your eyes after 30-60 seconds and will not get the full benefit.

--Close your eyes and keep them closed for the duration of the exercise.

--Focus your full attention on the physical sensations of your breath i.e. notice the air coming in and out, your chest rising and falling. That is all you need to do.

--Dont worry about how well you are doing. Putting in the effort to the best of your ability is all that matters.

--When you notice yourself thinking about somethinganything other then focusing on your breath (which is inevitable) gently nudge your attention back to your breath.

--When the timer goes off sit quietly for a few seconds. Then slowly open your eyes and notice how you feel.

If you do this every day, or better, twice a say e.g. mid-morning and mid-afternoon, you will slowly notice a difference in how the day goes. If you only do it when you are stressed if will be harder to get into it. But if you do it regularly, then when you really need it, it will make a huge difference.

Feel free to write for questions:

Related topics: ways to ensure you are very stressed:

--get 5 hours sleep a night
--drink lots of caffeine
--watch lots of TV
--spend lots of time with relatives that drive you nuts
--spend lots of time on the net...especially arguing politics with people of the opposite&persuasion


i do something called transcendental meditmation or TM for short. it's helped in me in various aspects of life... more specifically, you know the type of soreness you get after a good workout? you usually only develop that after a nights rest. i meditate for 20 minutes after my workout and i feel it then... just sort of trying to give some examples that one can relate to.