To reach your fitness goals, you need certain mental attributes. These qualities are the catalyst for you to fulfill your physical potential. Although weight lifting is perceived by many people to be strictly physical training, there are many important psychological aspects to it. Mental fitness is just as important as physical fitness, and shouldn’t be neglected. Like a muscle, your mind needs proper training, nutrition, and recovery to work at its highest potential. Here we're going to break down arguably the most important psychological aspect of bodybuilding.
The Importance of Mental Fitness
When you're in the middle of a workout, what's going through your mind? Are you simply trying to force out as many reps as you can, just to say you can? Too often, athletes and bodybuilders are driven by their ego. They obsess over how much weight they're pushing rather than how much work their muscles are actually doing. This can stem from poor mind-muscle connection and will only set you up for failure (and possible serious injury).
If you consistently train like this, your mind will never learn how to properly communicate and connect with your muscles. In order to maximize your gains, forget about how much weight you're moving up and down and concentrate instead on the quality of each repetition.
Discipline Over Motivation
Motivation can be simply described as a desire or willingness to achieve something. It’s a powerful yet tricky beast that can catapult your success or trap you into a death spiral of procrastination, depending on how motivated you feel that moment. Discipline, on the other hand, is defined as a practice of training a code of behavior or rules. It’s a learned skilled and mindset. In other words, discipline requires work while motivation only requires a desire. So while motivation may inspire you to workout, discipline will actually keep you in the gym, even after the motivation has worn off. Training your mind to be driven by discipline over motivation is key to not only achieving your fitness goals, but maintaining them for the long run as well.
Resilience is an ability to overcome tough situations or adjust easily to change and misfortune. Essentially, resiliency is a mindset. And in relation to fitness, resilience teaches athletes how to overcome adversity, both of the mind and physically. Just as the saying goes, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going.” Strong and resilient athletes, especially those with significant physical and mental strength, find ways to train around inconveniences, hardships, and even injuries instead of completely giving up.
The Bottom Line
Being a successful athlete or bodybuilder is not an easy sport. And, being successful is more than just about having the cleanest diet or lifting the heaviest weight. It also requires mental strength and conscious decision making to channel the proper mind-muscle connection, discipline, and resiliency required to achieve great things in and out of the gym.
Chris Hazen | Insta - @thechrishazen | Tier Operator 3/Alpha Team Member