T Nation

Mental Approach


I was not sure where to put this but I suppose the beginner's section is as good as any since I am in fact a beginner.

Too make a long story short I had a very bad day today. I have been having some money issues and today I had to try and reason with some rather stupid people. As you can imagine I was less than happy when I left work and headed to the gym.

I was having such a bad day I considered going home and pounding a few beers to drown my sorrow. Instead I decided I had to work off some of my anger at the gym...and wow did I!

First off I started with 50 pounds more than I have been doing for deadlifts. Normally I go warmup then two sets of 10. Today I did a warmup then a set of 6, it was easy. I went to do another set of 6 and I was powering through it I ended up doing 12 and felt like I could have done even more.

I decided to take on the toughest and my least favorite exercises. I hate to do pullups but today I blasted through them.

So whats my point? Well something in me today allowed me to perform so well, it certainly wasnt physical cause I didnt get much sleep and hadnt eaten well. I believe it was my mental approach. I came in mad and anger and attacked the bar from the get go. I was totally pumped. After awhile I wasnt mad anymore I was actually in a good mood but I was so jacked up my power continued.

The gym was my refuge today so I put away my problems and gave it all I had.

I am going to try to apply this strong mental approach to all my workouts. Obviously I wont be able to replicate this everytime but if I can even come out like this once a week it will make a huge difference.

So to all of you who made it this far, I implore you. Treat every workout like its your last, get angry, get excited whatever you have to do. Do not just go through the motions. You will be amazed at the difference it can make.


Hmmm I should have made this alot shorter. Basically the mind is a powerful thing and can have a huge effect on your workouts. I think people underestimate that.


Totally agree, I always try and visualize myself having an awesome workout and lifting the weight easily before I even get out of the car.

Another thing I have noticed and you touched on it with your comment about going home for as few cold ones, everytime I have some hesitation about going to the gym and then I force myself to go anyway I always have really intense workouts that feel even more productive than usual.


Yea I hear ya…I guess you figure “hey I dragged myself here might as well make the best of it.”


Yup, anger can be your best friend at the gym. For all big/heavy lifts I especially try to psyche myself up for it often by thinking of some thing which really pisses me off. It’s all about intensity, and if you can use anger to your advantage go for it!


I tell myself to stop being a pussy and just lift the fucking weights! Ha! I can imagine what the guy next to me thinks when he hears me whisper, “don’t be a pussy, just do it!” to myself…

I often tell myself it’s light weight too…