Following in the footsteps of those that have succeeded before you is the fastest way to succeed. These three critical bodybuilding and fitness tips will skyrocket your gains!
When it comes to fitness and bodybuilding, there is no need to reinvent the wheel. Tens of thousands of dedicated athletes have already paved the whey for you (pun intended). We’ve spent the last year researching what the top pros are doing and the insider tips they have shared and have narrowed it down to the following three bodybuilding and fitness tips as the ones that will catapult your success to an entirely new level.
Fitness and Bodybuilding Tips #1:The mind-muscle connection
One thing that has taken me years to finally get in tune with is the mind-muscle connection. Let me know if this sounds familiar to you:
- Go to the gym.
- Do workout you found on the internet or in a magazine.
- Muscle through the exercises for the prescribed amount of weight and reps.
- Go home.
For the first 15 years of my weight lifting and fitness career this is exactly what I did. I literally just powered through the workouts lifting as hard and as heavy as I could, never once attempting the mind-muscle connection.
What is the mind-muscle connection? It’s the ability to literally dive deep inside your brain and visualize your muscles doing the exercise. It’s about focusing on that specific muscle group during an exercise and concentrating on those muscle fibers and telling your brain to tell those fibers to work…and to work hard.
CT Fletcher may have said it best in his “I command you to grow Part 2” video. He says that each champion has the ability to look past the skin, into the muscle fibers and striations. It’s almost clairvoyant. He says he doesn’t ask anything of his muscles and that he is in control of them. This is why he “commands them to grow”. I fully agree with this.
One of the visualization exercises I created to reach deep inside and pull out the mind muscle connection goes like this:
Picture a white ball of energy in the middle of your chest. This is all of your hidden strength and power. It’s all of your focus and all of your drive and motivation. Now, visualize that white ball of energy spreading to your shoulders and your upper arms. Push that energy down through your forearms until it reaches your fingertips. Keep pushing that energy towards your fingertips until you feel as though you are a fully charged, high voltage battery ready to burst.
Then, as you grab the weights, the bar, or whatever machine you are using, feel that energy pass from your fingertips into the bar and feel the connection between you and the weights. Now open your eyes and PUSH! Push all that energy through the bar to the weights and become connected with them as a single unit.
YOU are in control. You tell your muscles what to do. You control how many reps you will do and when your muscles will quit.
As crazy and as “hippy” as this may sound at first. It works and it works like nothing I’ve come across before. This fitness tip of seeking out and mastering the mind-muscle connection could be the most important one ever.
Fitness and Bodybuilding Tips #2:Training partners
Training partner, accountability partner, motivation partner – whatever you call it, make sure you have one. I trained for years without a spotter or a training partner and made plenty of gains. It was only recently, when Team Body Spartan was formed, that I realized I wasn’t meeting my full potential.
Beyond the physical fact that without a training partner or team you will never achieve true muscle failure on certain exercises and never partake in critical training methods like forced reps, you will also miss out on the motivational factor. If there is a second critical bodybuilding and fitness tip that will unlock your potential, this is it. Having someone standing along side of you during your workout and pushing you beyond what you could do alone is key to breaking through plateaus. There is just something about having another person there who shares a similar goal and mindset that will make you do more than you usually would.
That being said, you will find that the right training partner will go beyond just simply “being there” and will find ways to motivate you. When I train with guys from Team Body Spartan, especially with Brandon Griffith, I will find ways to motivate him verbally. While he is doing his set I’ll walk around him and say something like this,
“What is your goal? Remember your goal Brandon. Do you want to be average or do you want to be something more? Something inspirational? YOU are in control of your muscles. Tell them to cross that finish line. Dig deep and fuel your own fire. What do YOU want to be? WHO do you want to be?”
By creating a direct connection with emotional and the physical, I find that people realize their motivation and they will push themselves far beyond the standard “10 reps”. In fact, with similar verbiage, I watched Brandon blast through a triple drop set on the Hammer Strength dip machine to the point where he should have physically failed and he somehow found his inner drive. Something in his eyes changed and I could see it during the set. His last set in the drop set I told him to get 15 reps. He pushed through to 20, then 25, and finally to 30 reps on his own.
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Fitness and Bodybuilding Tips #3:The power of the mind is a force to be reckoned with.
If scientists are required to do a placebo test on all drug studies because the mind has been PROVEN to be able to heal the body simply when thinking you are taking a medicine that will cure you, imagine the potential that you could unlock in the gym.
Take this study for example:
ATHENS, Ohio, Dec. 24 (UPI) — New research (ed. the refenced study was recently published in the Journal of Neurophysiology) suggests muscles respond to simple thoughts of exercise; simply imagining exercise can trick the muscles into delaying atrophy and even getting stronger.
To demonstrate the power of the brain, researchers at Ohio University wrapped a single wrist of two sets of study participants in a cast — immobilizing their muscles for four weeks. One set was instructed to sit still and intensely imagine exercising for 11 minutes, five days a week. More than just casually daydream about going to the gym, participants were instructed to devote all of their mental energy towards imagining flexing their arm muscles.
The other set of study participants weren’t given any specific instructions. At the end of the four weeks, the mental-exercisers were two times stronger than the others. Participants that imagine exercise not only had stronger arms but also a stronger brain; their mental exercises created stronger neuromuscular pathways
“What our study suggests is that imagery exercises could be a valuable tool to prevent or slow muscles from becoming weaker when a health problem limits or restricts a person’s mobility,” study author Brian Clark, a professor of physiology and neuroscience at Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, said in a press release.
This study literally proves that you can WILL your muscles to grow. If we all approached our workouts with visualization and a solid training partner, imagine the success we would all find.
I’ll leave you with this. Sean Huot, Team Body Spartan, weighs in at just over 190lbs. In the this photo, he is about to deadlift just shy of 500 lbs. Based on this article, what do you think is going through his mind right now?