T Nation

The Power of Visualization


I just want to say that those calling for "visualization" of doing an exercise before doing are 100% correct. I had one of those dreams where you are exercising and you can do a million reps. Don't ask me why I dreamed about pullups, I don't know, lol. The next day I did pullups, I increased my max from 19 to 23. I have been slowly increasing about 1 rep every few weeks, so to jump 4 reps since my last pullup workout two days before blew my mind. The only thing I can attribute it to is that dream.

Has anyone else experienced this?


Visualizing is very important to me, I study it as a Sport and Exercise Psychology major and use it in training and in everday life. The other day I was feeling off and hit only 1 rep of what should have been a 3 rep PR on the SSB box squat. I took a minute to collect myself and visualized myself doing it perfectly probably a dozen times. Three minutes later I hit it for 3 and went on to add another 20 lbs.


Whenever I want to raise or perfect a lift I use visualization and focus. concentration. Whenever I'm going for a big three maximum lift, I spend the whole day focusing on it and preparing myself for it, then before the lift I visualize myself performing it, then do it. This is no joke. It is reccomended in other areas as well be it school, work or everyday life.


I've done this before too. In high school track, I competed in several jumps and sprints. I really loved triple jump, but didn't have time to practice it regularly. My triple jump PR had been pretty consistent for a while, slowly improving by about 2 feet over my junior and senior year.

The week before my last District track meet as a senior, I was worried about my triple jump because I hadn't gotten a chance to practice it for several weeks. I thought about it all week long, even had a dream about what it would feel like jumping. At the meet that week, I hit a new PR by three feet! That beat all the progress of the previous 2+ years in one meet. I just hit all the technique of each phase better than I ever had. It felt exactly like I'd thought about it.

I've been a firm believer in visualization since then. OK, back to work and visualizing myself sleeping. I'm going to sleep like a champion tonight.


visualization is a very powerful tool in the gym. visualize the completion of a rep and it will flow easier, and cause less mental drain.


When I think about myself lifting so much during the day, I usually have a dream about me lifting (last one was deadlifts) and I had an awesome deadlift session last week. It's definaetly something to look at..I don't even think that you have to sit down, close your eyes, have lights down low and all that stuff. Just day dream about it..

While I'm in my classroom my mind drifts quite a bit and I just see myself doing the lifts and all and that smy visualization...its all day dreaming...its sweet.


I think the dream had more effect than simply day dreaming, because unlike daydreaming I actually "felt" like I was doing them, just without the fatigue.