T Nation

Training the Mind


Hi Jim,

What are some good ways to train the mind to become harder and more NOV?


I'm not Jim, but what you're asking is comes down to a few things. What do you do on a day to day basis, what do you believe in and what kind of success have you had. This will lead to doing things day in/day out, because you believe in what they are/do. It's forming habits and doing things that cut out the bullshit that can invade your life. Just my opinion


Hard conditioning sessions with the prowler or hill and ice baths.


Your mind will grow along with your physical strength. You'll learn something about yourself every week on the max sets (even if you fall short). Every time you get a rep PR or handle a new weight for a heavy single, it gives you confidence and more experience going into the next time you train. The mental conditioning is a part of the process of simply sticking to the program.

It's a really cool feeling when a year or two down the road, you are handing your old 1's week pr on your second set of your current 3's or 5's week. Weight that used to terrify or defeat you will be no big deal, and the lessons learned from those previous weights will shape your approach to new, heavier weights. It is true confidence knowing you can do something because you've earned the ability to do it. There is no substitute for training and experience when it comes to mental toughness.

Best of luck, and good training


In my opinion, it has very little to do with training. As far as that goes I think you might get more from training if you don't have an athletic background. But, I think it comes more from just not being a little bitch. In anything. Work. Family. School. Whatever. Just do what you need to do, and don't sweat the small stuff. Don't major in the minors.


Always move forward towards something and do so with integrity, passion and intensity.


There are a LOT of ways to do this: I do stupid shit everyday. But the bottom line is these two things:

  1. Take yourself out of your comfort zone and confront fear. This includes a lot of things not just lifting and trainjng. But also doing what you need to do, not what others expect of you.

  2. Compete. This gets harder as you get older but you gotta find physical, performance goals and conquer them. Men and women achieve through action. People have fought me tooth and nail about the importance of performance goals but few things helps shape a person than a physical competition - where you can objectively win and lose. And learn from both.

I realize 99% of people could give a shit about performance - it's a different time. But for those of you that have wrestled and boxed competitively - where you have gone one/one and fought - you know how much you thought you could give. And we're surprised at how much you actually gave. You push yourself and your coaches push. And you may win and you may lose - sometimes it sucks. But I'd rather lose every goddamn match/fight than be in the stands and nothing but a bitch and a critic.

Compete. Conquer your fear. Challenge yourself.


^This is truth


"Take yourself out of your comfort zone and confront fear."

Great comment. I tell people a version of that all the time. Nothing will give you a better perspective on life than doing just this.