Who doesn’t remember the super fit wrestler Gene of Z-Fannatical Fitness who has already provided us with 2 posts (here and here) about training like a wrestler? Well today he is here to talk about Mindset Training with us. You have probably heard the phrase, “Free your mind and the rest will follow” plenty of times before. But let’s be honest, this saying should really be altered to be “TRAIN Your Mind and the Rest Will Follow”. Often times it isn’t our physical abilities that hold us back, but rather it is not believing we are capable of achieving greatness. Whether you are intimidated about running a certain distance or squatting a certain amount, get your mind straight and you CAN and WILL get it done.
I vividly remember one afternoon in the weight room during my freshman year at the University of Wyoming. It was clean day for my team (the lift, not “clean” as in they made us wash the floors!) and all of the freshmen again found ourselves down on the lower racks with our green bumper plates. The bumper plates were color coded starting with black as the lightest, then green, yellow, blue, red. While the upperclassman were putting up yellows all of us in “weakling land” were going with the greens – again. All of a sudden one of our strength coaches tells my platform crew to go ahead and put yellows on. “We can’t lift yellows” we replied. “Fine,” he said, “add whites” (non bumper plates…I don’t remember what weight they were). So we did and surprise, surprise, we all got it up no problem. “Now add 5 s to each side”, he commanded. Again, we were all successful. “FYI – you all just did yellows + 5s,” we were informed. “WHAAAAT!! Yellows? Oh we are big time now!”. I tell this story because it is a classic instance of where our brain was telling us we couldn’t do something that we were clearly capable of. With that, I am handing it over to Gene so he can help you conquer your mind and see results!
The secret is now out! The missing link between you and the body of your dreams, we will call it the “Z-Factor,” is Mindset Training.
Imagine you are a racecar driver with the pedal to the floor during a race. You are falling behind on a race you know you can win. You see the speedometer goes up to 200mph but the car will not move faster than 130. What is wrong? You look down and see the emergency brake is on. Duhh! You release the brake and vrooooooooom- you accelerate easily to top speed and win the race.
Sounds funny? People do this to themselves all the time! We are not lacking any ability, we are only blocking ourselves. The difference between you and 50lbs of muscle or 50lbs off of fat is not found in a fad diet or trendy workout program. The body of your dreams is found by mastering the 5 inches between your ears- your mindset.
Mindset mastery sounds obvious. “Believe in yourself. Make smart choices. Mind over matter.” You’ve probably noticed by now that these catchy lines just don’t last. Why? Because this is not a deep change in your attitude, it’s a punch line.
To be successful you must Train Your Brain, like you train your body. Mindset training goes much deeper than lip service and rah-rah pep talks. We have all read inspiring books and stories then took on the world with a new outlook…for about an hour. Again, lasting change did not occur. Most people do not know exactly how to create lasting change. It is time to put the pen to paper to Train Your Brain so you can have the body you have always wanted.
Here are 10 mindset training exercises that everyone with a fitness goal will tremendously benefit from:
- Create and sign a written contract. Write your specific goal and when you would like to accomplish it by. Wear something on your wrist or finger that reminds you of this commitment you made to yourself.
- Post your goal in the 10 places you spend most of your time. Include the refrigerator.
- Make your goal public. Post it on Facebook, Twitter, etc. (and while you’re at it – share your goals with the Z-Fannatical Team). The person you are most likely to lie to is yourself. Go bold to increase the importance of the commitment.
- Find a buddy. Social support is key to success in anything. Find someone with a similar goal to you and speak with them on a regular basis about your progress and struggles. Alcoholics Anonymous has sponsors for the same reason.
- Get a calendar and specify on each day what time you will exercise at. Times should be specific and followed. Plan meals at certain times if you need to also.
- Make a long list of all the personal benefits eating healthy and regular exercise will bring to you. Read through this list at least once each day.
- Make a long list of all the personal pain eating unhealthy and not exercising will bring to you. Read through this list at least once each day.
- Make a long list of all people, movies, songs, quotes, stories, etc that motivate and inspire you. Surround yourself with these things on a regular basis. Make a playlist. Hang around these people more. Re-read the stories regularly. Watch the movies again and again. Post inspiring quotes all around your home and workplace.
- Make a list of as many people that you can think of (minimum 5) who have accomplished a similar goal to the one you have. Try to use people who are similar to you so you can relate easier. Speak with these people regularly if you can. Re-read this list at least once a day to remind yourself that success is very possible.
- Say thank you regularly, smile at people when you walk by them, and help other people every opportunity you get. And, make one final list of things you like/love about yourself. Include your strengths and character traits. On the back of this paper, write all the things you are thankful for. Review this list at least once per day. Unhappy people usually remain miserable even after they earned the body they thought would solve all their problems. Always aim high, and always feel good about yourself.
You can sleep well knowing each mindset exercise is supported by research and experts in Psychology and Exercise Science. Be sure to check off each mindset exercise as you complete them. Make sure all are complete. Hold on now as you release the emergency brake and finally hit your goal at top speed!
Have you ever psyched yourself out of completing a task that you were perfectly capable of? What strategy of mindset training works best for you?
Until next time!