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Mind In The Muscle?


You've all probably heard about this from Arnold* (said he imagined his biceps as mountains, good for control, blabla...), but does anybody actually do this in the gym? Has any coach around here mentioned this? What are the benefits?

I could see it being useful for cosmetic exercises like some type of high rep calf/bicep/tricep movement or maybe right before posing.

However, I can't see this being useful for any kind of compound exercise. A recent article from CW showed how even counting can lower output, let alone concentrating on being "swole."

Personally, I just focus on a tight core and accelerating the weight up. If I tried this while under a few hundred pounds I'd probably fold up like an accordion!

  • The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding, pg. 232-3.


sorry to go off topic, but doesnt arnold's neck look rather skinny in relation to his over physique in this pic?


If I am doing something like pushups, then I try to do this. Otherwise I don't have the wherewithall to try and concentrate on muscles, tempo, etc. I just concentrate on moving the weight that I have to move.


Yeah. It almost looks photoshopped.


Everyone's neck looks smaller in that pose. EVERYONE'S.

As far as the mind muscle connection, yes, visualization does aid in size gains. Your mind is what will dictate whether you even believe you can reach a certain point. If you don't believe it, it damn sure won't happen.


He looks like a kid in that picture, a really big kid!

I'm with Prof X on this one, all the greats believe the mind is what controls everything(Bruce lee, Arnold, Lance Armstrong) I could go on and on.



That's not a neck pose for one, and from that angle you can't see traps.

And like ProfX said, the mind muscle is very important, for me anyway. Everyone is different in their mental preparation, but lifting is as much mental as it is physical, if you're not concentrating, you're just going through the motions.


Thanks for the replies guys. I don't really get a chance to "talk shop" too often, my thoughts...

I totally agree with "visualization" of any kind in any endeavor. I do this subconsciously every day in a general sense (see myself as being big, seeing results along these lines also helps to reinforce it!).

I totally agree with Professor X and others. Maybe most people not getting anywhere with their efforts would do well with throwing out all of body type/fiber type/genetics minutia for awhile and just kick ass in and out of the gym.

This is what a typical squat set looks like for me, note I don't focus on the specific target muscles, just on getting the weight the hell up...

1) Psyche myself up for the lift (not thinking about quads or hams at all, just some strong picture).

2) Grab bar, take deep breath/get core tight, unrack, and step back...

3) Descend and think "UP!" on each rep until done.

Visualization is a great tool BUT do you guys think that visualizing, specifically during the work sets would aid in hypertrophy, even with heavy compound lifts around the 3-5 rep range?

Is there a trade off between visualizing the working muscles and using more weight?

Do any of you guys actually do this?

Maybe I'll give it a shot today. If anybody hears of a new mountain range being discovered in Florida today on the news, just know that it was me visualizing my biceps as "mountainous." :smiley:


hey.. im just saying it "looked" skinny in the pic