Break your limits in the gym. How this lifting psychology gets you into autopilot mode to smash your personal records.
April 28th 2018
Fear, anxiety and confusion
Three of the biggest detriments of strength training. Once these feelings enter the body, you will feel paralyzed. Stuck in a way, afraid of the future and change.
Yet, it is because of these detriments that enable us to unlock our unlimited potential. There cannot be change without initial stress. And what do I mean by unlocking our potential?
The human body is capable of many great feats. We, as a race, are constantly shattering records each year and proving how we can continue to evolve. Yet, we limit ourselves by being lazy, getting fat and conforming with society's low standards. A story for another time?
We are here to explain a three step process of how to go into autopilot when lifting weights. Before I share these methods, let me put out this disclaimer - I am not a doctor or a psychologist. However, I am a lover of strength and having been strength training for almost 6 years. I am always curious about strength feats and news and constantly researching about any interesting topics that I come across. Take my advice as a grain of salt and may you make the strongest decision for your life.
With these guidelines, we can begin to limit and severely reduce the amount of detriments that will impede our progression of strength. Rather, we will stay in the moment and achieve great results. One workout at a time. One set at a time. One rep at a time.
Summarized, the three step process to go into auto-pilot mode is as follows:
- Empty the mind
- Let your instincts take over
- Just do it
You may notice that the three steps to going into autopilot are instinctual. They should be. You will not have time to think through every lift- you will need to execute every lift.
So, let us explain how this is possible.
1) Empty the mind
The first step is to empty your mind. Start to not think. Think less and less about the world, yourself and others. Do not let other nuisances bog you down and make you worry.
These are the list of feelings that will be your fuel. All the stress from work that worried you. That failed exam and the grim future you have from university. The family pressures you get from relatives to urge you to make a decision. The financial obligations and constraints that make you grow white hairs. The personal ambitions you have to continue living your life and loving the world.
One by one, just stop. Stop thinking about everything. Stop allowing your mind to process these situations. Stop allowing your body to react by stopping your mind. Exhibit control and determination by allowing your mind to only think about what you want it to think about.
Only by freeing your mind can you begin to tap into your unlimited potential. No more will random thoughts and nuisances distract you from achieving maximum strength gains. Maybe for the first time in your life, you will get to experience the untamed strength inside yourself. An inner calling and an uncalled beast is approaching.
And this is by no means the only approach to clear your mind. A neutral approach is to think about nothing; this works the best for me. Some people may feel comfortable thinking about all the things that make them excited or fired up. Some might even want to allow negativity in their thoughts to get them pumped up.
2) Let your instincts take over
Once you broke free from the chains of thoughts, the process can begin. Only now can your body begin to tap into its power. No longer will thoughts and emotions distract you. As a result, you will feel nothingness.
And through this nothingness, the lifter no longer worries. They will be completely focused in the moment. Hatred, love, happiness and fear should not be able to penetrate the lifter's thoughts. The lift, the environment, the situation - everything feels in sync.
Your well of energy begins to fire up. You begin to breathe harder, faster and deeper. Your heart begins to race. You feel neither excited nor afraid. Drawn into a trance of the present moment, it is one of your most natural feelings that you never felt before.
So, step 2 focuses on the continuation of your focus. You would feel possessed in a way; no emotions, no thoughts. Almost like active meditation, you will rely on instinctual movements that you practiced. Thus, guided by years of practice, shutting of the brain allows your body to rely on the practiced reps to guide it through the present task.
3) Just do it
Focused on the present moment, the final step is execution. No longer hindered by fear and powered by instinct, the lifter has almost finished the entire process. The only thing left to do is to finish the lift.
Often, many lifters forget many technical ques while being completely in the zone. Thus, it is important and critical for lifters to practice good form on all the lifts. This will help strengthen your instincts while providing the best form of protection for the body.
Years of practice and technique crafting is the only way for your body to maximize its efficiency of executing the lift. Why is it that all the elite level athletes practice some kid of ritual before execution?
These rituals are training our body. They allow us to tap into our instinctual power. And what do I mean by that? For example, imagine a professional basketball athlete in the NBA shooting a pair of free throws late in the game. Pressure is on and the game is on the line.
The player has two decisions: make or miss. How would he miss? If he feels anxious, if you starts thinking and doubts his own capabilities. How will he make them both? By relying on his instincts and trusting the decades of work he put into training. There is no thought, no emotion. Just pure instinct and a determination to the task at hand.
And how does the player tap into this subconscious stage? He has a ritual, an auto pilot go-to method. For the player, he will either take some dribbles, spin the ball, touch his forehead, whatever the motion. However, the player will perform the same movements before shooting his pair of free throws every time. Every single motion repeated. Year after year, free throw after free throw. Why? Because this will help the body trigger the instinctual motor patterns to maximize performance when thoughts are no longer present.
This is exactly the same situation in lifting weights, except in a different realm. For the lifter, they will approach the bar the same way, grip the bar in the same fashion, follow the same breathing patterns everytime. By imitating the same patterns year after year, the body will begin to execute the ques and maximize performance of the lift.
Finally, the only thing left to do is execute the lift. Without the hindrance of emotions and thought, the lifter will rely on his instincts to perform the exercise. And, as a result, a whole realm of power, precision, skill and control will be shown when executing the lift. By allowing the body to tap into this well of energy and unstoppable power, everything will be automatic. No worries about failure or injury. Just confidence, persistence and being present in the moment.
Although the auto pilot process is outlined, everything will be done instinctually. With the absence of thoughts and the increased awareness of the present moment, a powerful instinctual phase will kick in and help you dominate the lift. To prepare yourself for this moment, outlined below are the three steps:
1) Clear the mind
2) Let instincts take over
In combination with this instinct, practice and repetition is the only way to train your body to be ready for this moment. It is through years of solid training alone that can enable the body to perform at a high level.