Here’s the final 3 hacks in the Muscle Mind Hack series:
#4 – Always THINK 1 Rep Ahead
#5 – The Pretense of 1 Set Only
#6 – There’s a Crowd Watching You!
#4 Thinking 1 Rep Ahead
You already know that I highly recommend keeping workout logs. The reason is that you NEED to know before every single set what your target rep number is in order to ensure progression.
So here’s what you do…
- Bring your logs with you to the gym
- Before EVERY set, look at how many reps you got for that set last week
- Add 1 (or 2) to this and start mentally repeating this number over and over again in your head before your next set
- The exception being that if you got 12 reps last time, you’ll want to increase the weight lifted rather than go for 13 reps
Just like I stated in ‘The Arnold Secret‘, what we’re doing is giving our subconscious instructions on what we want it to bring about. See yourself completing this extra rep in your mind’s eye while you rest between sets. Now step up to the bar and watch yourself succeed!
#5 The Pretense Of 1 Set Only
NEVER think about your whole workout; it can get overwhelming! Only focus on the set ahead.
What I actually do is trick myself into thinking that the next set is the ONLY set that I’ll be doing. This allows for much more energy and intensity on that set. When the set is over I forget about it and once again tell myself that I’m only there to perform 1 set – the NEXT ONE!
So, forget the past, forget the future. When in the gym, focus on the present moment ONLY!
#6 There’s A Crowd Watching You!
I’m not 100% sure why this helps but it works wonders for me. It’s probably my favorite hack and the one I employ most often. Here’s how it goes….
Vividly imagine a crowd watching you while you perform each set. There are 2 ways to implement this:
- They’re cheering you on, encouraging you to complete your target reps
- They DOUBT you! They doubt you’ll hit that extra rep – it’s your job as the underdog to PROVE THEM WRONG!
I use both. Whichever one feels more motivating at the time, that’s what I go with. Whether they are strangers or people you know is up to you. Remember guys, it’s YOUR mind. You have complete control over it.
Use your imagination in any way that empowers you. The body is the servant of the mind – take advantage of this fact right now!
Mind Hack #1 – The Mindset Of ‘1 More Rep’
Mind Hack #2 – Use Music For More Muscle & Strength!
Mind Hack #3 – The ARNOLD Secret!
Can I give you my free muscle-building workout?
Join thousands over the world who are packing on slabs of new muscle for free with Targeted Hypertrophy Training (THT)
Great article. I used your “visualization” secret this morning, and it really worked. I focused, and visualized each rep, and muscle I was using, and it felt great.
I had a question for you, and it might actually be better addressed by an article. I worked out this morning today, but normally work out around 6pm in the evening, when I get home from work. Does it really matter what time of day you work out for better results? I read somewhere that 6p, is optimin time, because your muscles are “awake”, and something to do with hormones. I know working out any time is better than missing a day, but is there really a time of day that is better than another?
@iRobot. We actually had a discussion about this in the forum.
I workout in the evenings because I perform MUCH better then. I’m weak as a kitten in the mornings.
I advised some of the morning lifters to switch for a few days and they had the same results – evening workouts are much better!
I haven’t fully researched the reasons why but generally speaking I feel that people are stronger later in the day.
I may write an article on it in future.
Thanks for the response. I’m the same. I normally hate to workout in the mornings and feel weak as well. I will have to join the forum and read some of the discussion.
I’d guess that you’re usually stronger later in the day because 1) you’ve eaten and 2) you’re been drinking water. For me, morning usually correlates with less-than-optimal hydration for a few hours.
Also, for anybody doubting what Mark says about visualization: the Soviets did a bit of scientific experimentation with visualization in conjunction with weightlifting, and concluded it boosts your power significantly.
I really like and use tip #4.Good stuff Mark!
Unless it’s like 100 degrees at 6 p.m. in your garage where your weight set is. Then you get much better performance in the morning when it’s only 75-80!
well, i work out at home now, so it’s only my dog watching – does that count?
sorry for posting this here (forgot my forum id) but I came across this very interesting article which describes why some people might become a little depressive when following a low-carb diet.
Maybe you could check it out.
kinda going off the crowd watching tip.
i think geting that adrenaline surge before mainly the first set is a must.
i run through any memory’s of adrenaline surging moments to get any chemical trigger from my neural nets i can get.
with out that head to toe flutter of adrenaline as if you were about to walk into tha belly of tha beast of no return. for me at least have been wasting my time.