Im panting, sweat dribbles down my face. My eyes, now blurry with sweat, slightly sting. The barbell i just racked still rings out loud, the clang echoing...I wipe my brow, before looking dead ahead. A young man, sleeveless T and and all, is "curling" Dbs, his arm raising with each rep, his back swaying with momentum, all the while, he's chatting with his buddy, who looks equally as "ripped."
What is the Moral of this story? Mind in muscle, Muscle in Mind. Some may simply say 'Mind in muscle,' but i dont think that's good enough, i think there's a level beyond.
So what is "Mind in muscle"? It is your connection. It is you BEING in your lift. It is taking a movement, Db curls for example, and making the COMPLETE entirety of the impact directed at your biceps and the muscles associated with this curl movement (which in a supinated position would mainly be the Biceps brachii and Brachialis). If you're raising your arm, you are in the wrong. if you are swaying, you are in the wrong. Now some may note here the use of Cheat movements. Yes, cheat movements can be effective IN THE HANDS OF ADVANCED lifters. But this is neither here nor there...
Back to "Mind in muscle," it is about a connection. It is you feeling the movement in your designated muscle. Its about feeling the flexion, feeling the contraction, FEELING the blood surge into that muscle. Its not simply about doing a curl. If your goal of bicep curls is to complete the bicep curl movement, you have the wrong focus. YOUR goal is to stimulate the muscle. The weight, the reps- Those are just Catalysts for you to Stimulate THAT muscle. When you begin lifting as a means to Stimulate, rather than simply to move weight from here to there, is when you begin to truly grow, both in muscle and expertise, which can only help you further.
Now to separate, how is "Muscle in Mind" different? You walk up to a new weight, something you havent moved before. You look at it...you doubt yourself. You think about the last set, not too much lighter than this one, but was relatively easy, easy in that it didnt push you to your limits; but, you look at this new weight...you dont know. You think it might be too much. You shake your head, and approach the weight. Your set lasts a whole couple seconds. You drop the weight, shaking your head, you were right, you couldnt do it.
Alternate Universe You walks up to that same weight. He is you, has your same build, your same strength...But he approaches it eagerly. "I had that last set no problem," he says aloud. Without thinking twice, he picks the weight up...8 reps later he drops the weight... his muscles burning, sweat dripping down in symbolic tears of joy. Joy that comes from overcoming, joy that comes from progressing...joy that comes from seeing your growth FIRST HAND. Your Muscle...rather, your strength is in YOUR mind. Your muscle is a product of your strength, and your strength is a product of your mental fortitude.
Mind in muscle, Muscle in mind. I have this written, along with many other quotes, on a large white board on my wall. I beg you, i IMPLORE you...Dont become a gym zombie. Put yourself into your work, feel your lifts, fuel your growth.
Mind IS muscle...Muscle IS mind.