There are a number of things you'll need to know before you can develop a successful lifting program. First and foremost, you'll need a Nike gym bag with matching head end wrist bands, a $198 pair of Air Jordans, and an Inzer T-shirt. Plus, a quart of ''ICY HOT", a crate of aspirin, and a case of creatine. Additionally, a copy of the Ageless Adonis e-book is a must. A long playing tape cassette of the six "Rocky" theme songs is also imposing, but not essential. Now that we have that out of the way here are some surefire suggestions for enhancing your lifting success. NO JOKEI
1. Set realistic goals.
I've said this so many times, it's starting to sound like a commandment. Still, goal setting is one of the most important keys for achieving athletic success. There is a wealth of research which indicates that people who are most successful and happiest are those who are goal oriented. In short, goals are essential to success, and without them, you will never reach an optimum level in your powerlifting career. Set goals that are realistic and flexible. Do not set goals so high that you ensure failure. For example, it might not be a good idea to set a goal of bench pressing 400 pounds by the end of the month if your present best bench press is 200 pounds. Your chance of reaching a goal like that is about as good as hitting the lottery. It's possible, but not probable. Set your goals just out of reach - not out of sight. Goals which are totally unrealistic will only lead to frustration and failure.
2. Plan each day.
Work out each day what you are going to do, when you are going to do it and how much energy you are going to allot to it. An advantage of such planning is that it allows you realistically to schedule not only your training, but your work and recreation time. It will also help you set your priorities. By planning your day, you can make sure you are devoting the bulk of your energy to things you really care about.
3. Use Visualization Before And After Lifting.
Another way to enhance your mental powers is to paint pictures in your mind. You don't have to belong to Shirley McClain's fan club to do this. It's not that metaphysical. Actually, what I'm talking about is simply mental imagery. Visualization is something you really need to learn, because it can significantly enhance your performance. Believe me, visualization works like r-e-a-l-l-y well. To be successful with this technique, you have to learn to visualize vividly. The more vividly you can visualize, the better you will perform physically and mentally. As with any skill, the ability to visualize will improve with practice. The more you practice, the better you will get at producing mental images. When you visualize something, try to see the image, its shape, color, and all of the sensations associated with it. If you don't visualize your performance vividly, the technique will be of little value to you. One way to improve your visualization skills is to become more observant. When you're training, take mental notes of your surroundings and your performance. Try to become more aware of all the sensations that are present - sights, sounds, and smells. Also, try to become more conscious of the feelings you are experiencing during your training. Focus on your strength though: feelings of power, confidence, and toughness are the types of feelings you want to mentally record. Once you have learned to visualize properly, incorporate the method into your training. Right before you make a lift, visualize it as vividly as possible. Also, its a good idea to mentally rehearse successful experiences right after they occur, if possible. Again though, make sure that you visualize your mental images as vividly as possible.
4. Think Positive
I've said this so many times it is a commandment. If you constantly entertain positive thoughts and feelings, you will eventually develop a positive outlook on life. Also of interest is the fact that experimental studies revealed that the number one denominator that seemed to separate elite athletes from ordinary athletes, is that elite athletes maintain a positive attitude. Don't take my word for it - try it. I promise, you'll like it. For the next seven days bombard your brain with positive affirmations. When you wake up in the moming, tell yourself that you are strong and powerful, whether you feel that way or not. Throughout the day, reinforce these feelings and thoughts. If, at times, negative thoughts enter your mind, stop yourself from dwelling on them: analyze why you are having those thoughts: and then manipulate them into positive affirmations. At first, you may find this practice phony or artificial: but the more you persist, the more natural the method will become. Eventually you will transform yourself into a positive person full of life and vigor. You will begin to believe, and when you believe in yourself nothing is impossible.
5. Learn to quiet your mind.
Twenty minutes of mental relaxation every day not only creates inner peace, but also restores flagging energy. Some individuals find that meditation is the answer to internal tranquillity. Others find that a regular program of yoga exercise creates the same type of inner peace. Still others swear by hypnosis or even just stretching out in bed for twenty minutes. It doesn't matter how you reach a state of mental relaxation just as long as you do.
6. Don't be a perfectionist.
One of the most debilitating irrational ideas an athlete can have is that he must perform near perfectly in everything he attempts. No one - not Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretsky, or Eddie Coan can consistently achieve perfection. Athletes who expect perfection put so much pressure on themselves to excel that their performance and enjoyment of the event is usually compromised. The need for perfection and the desire for inner control usually conflict with each other. When you are constantly zeroed in on what's wrong, it's difficult to see more appropriate strategies for success. There is nothing wrong with striving for perfection, but little is gained by demanding it. Remember, no one is perfect, except Bo Derek.
7. Focus on the moment.
One of the best ways to choke is to think about how important the contest is that you are competing in. Such thinking will typically generate additional physical and emotional stress that interferes with performance. When competing, focus on the task at hand. Don't worry about the outcome of the contest or what can be won or lost. For example, you might want to focus on some technical aspect of your lift or the muscles that you're using to make the lift. When the mind is totally focused, all doubt is pushed aside. In short, your body will cease to experience a body that is inhibited by the distractions of your mind. Over time you will learn that if you maintain this type of focus, the outcome of the event will take care of itself.
8. Be Patient.
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. How do you become a successful athlete? One day at a time. Be patient. Don't continually focus on your destination, but rather take it one step at a time. If you keep concentrating on improving little by little eventually your fears will dwindle and your confidence will soar. The quality of patience will go a long way in helping you achieve your goals. The more patient you are, the more accepting you will be when trials and tribulations occur. Without patience, life can be extremely frustrating. Patience adds a dimension of comfort and contentment to your life. It can give you inner peace. Buddha has said, "That which we persist in doing becomes easier. Not that the nature of the thing has changed, but our ability to do it has increased." Those are words to live by.
9. Put things in perspective.
Here is a news flash - there are more important things in life than pulling a big deadlift or winning a gold medal. Sports are fun, exciting and challenging, but they are just games, nothing more, nothing less. From the start, put sports into perspective and you' ll enjoy them more.
Work hard, compete hard, but don't worry about winning or losing. More importantly, concentrate on the experience of competing, and what you can learn from it. If you do your best, if you give the most you have to give, I promise you that you'll be satisfied and happy. The next time you're in competition and things are really nerve-racking, ask yourself the question "Will any of this really matter a year from now?" Most likely it won't.
10. Never Quit.
When things get tough or disaster strikes you have a choice to either give up or go ahead. The real champions of life go forward despite being afraid or blocked by obstacles. They do what has to be done no matter how hopeless things look or how over whelming the odds. They are aware that fighting back may not always restore things to normal, but trying always makes things better and provides immense self-satisfaction They are disciples of the classic slogan, "When the going gets tough the tough get going. When things really look hopeless that's when you really have to suck it up. You have to think positive. You have to believe that you can still achieve your objective provided you persist You have to rid yourself of negatives. Nothing is hopeless, nothing is impossible. Never say never!
Yours in strength,