The gym is an interesting place to work. It is a mix of fragile egos, arrogant people, nice people, intelligent ones and what some people may consider not so smart humans. I have learned so much about human behavior since I have been working at this wonderful place. One of those lessons is that so many people do not use their brains and pay attention to what is going on “in them” or around them. I have seen people walk right in front of swinging kettlebells, underneath people doing pull-ups and on top of members doing push-ups. (OK you got me that last one is made up!) So one of my biggest lessons that I teach people early on is to pay attention and be aware at all times for safety reasons and for performance as well.

 

Having said all of that, I also teach that there is a time to turn off their brain and “just get it.” Although it seems that both concepts are in diametric opposition to one another, I am going to show you that they are not and that there is a time and place for everything!

 

Thinking and focusing on what you are doing are important factors in fitness, especially when you are trying to improve your form and or learning something new. However, over-thinking and using your brain at the wrong time can lead to poor performance of a goal or of a personal best! Don’t get me wrong, we have to use our brains to plan and examine if we want true and lasting fitness results. It is just when we approach a p.r. of some kind our brain seems to be the thing that hinders our success more than anything.

 More often than not we miss a lift or something like that, because we simply let our brain “sike” us out of our “mojo.” Think about it have you ever approached a new thing that you trained for and all of a sudden, your mind says to you can’t do it!” It is at the point that you need to quiet down your mind, breathe and do the thing! You see if you have been training for this particular event or thing and you have done so wisely than you are ready and need to trust that fact more than your feelings of inadequacy and weakness. In other words, you need to shut off your brain and just do it!

This is especially true if you have religiously practiced the same thing over and over again. A good example is the back squat. You get psyched up, step towards the bar. Get under it and get tight while breathing in deeply. You step back three steps. Breathe in again and pull yourself down into the “hole. Finally you come up explosively with good form. Now when you go to set a record, just do the same thing. Use your brain to make sure that your test is reasonable, but use “brute force” to lift it!

So as you can see there is a balance when it comes to training and fitness. We need to plan and rationalize our training and programming and make sure that we are being as intelligent as possible. However, when it comes to going for a record, you’ll need to trust your training and just do everything that you have been doing the whole time. Remember training is synonymous with practice and repetition. So focus on your training and trust the process. So that when it comes to your test/personal record you will be able to shut your brain up and get it done!

 

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