Mind – Muscle Connection

man with a barbell

Now, lifting weights is only part of the job. Yes, results will come if you do it regularly and are disciplined with the foods you take to follow up your routine. But if you don’t care about the move itself, then you’ll be experiencing only half of the story…

Our mind is the general in this story. As with anything else people encounter when following a certain path to really make their dreams come true, there has to be thought on the backend. Ok, the body (muscles) get stimulated, but the brain also and is one of the important pieces of the puzzle. When you have a no-brainer at the gym the moves he performs usually drive people around to be astonished by it, even to laugh. Seriously, some of these moves can be rather hilarious to look at. 

On the other hand, when you see some serious lifter doing badass exercises, like squats or deadlifts, you can notice the look on his face, the drive, the struggle, willpower exploding when the things get tough… And somehow the moves look firm, as he was born to do them. Exercise goes in perfect form, the body behaves like a machine capable to lift the mountain.

The difference is the experience. Countless hours of performing the exercises, over and over, and learning something new from every repetition. The body follows what the mind envisions, exercising is no different.

This is particularly true when talking about the four major exercises – squats, deadlifts, bench press, and the overhead press. That’s why we don’t recommend them right from the start. You need time for your brain to catch the move, to become aware of your strong and weak spots. Otherwise, the move will not be entirely in your control, your body will try to overcome the flaws by lifting mechanically, soon you’ll compensate the form with your stronger body parts. And you won’t be learning the game right.

There are two paths to take when going for the big four.

First one is the constant repetition of the same move, with an experienced eye always on your performance, to correct all that’s wrong. This approach is something normal in weightlifting and Olympic disciplines, where an athlete usually goes for one perfect lift…

The second one is for regular people who just want to build form and muscles in the gym. As we stated before, do not jump onto the big four until you have confidence and some strength to build upon. Start with dumbells, rather than bars, concentrate on the way your muscles work, how your body behaves, how your brain takes the pressure. Go with lighter weights, envision your every move to get it to perfection. Time is an asset here, so you’ll be ready to go for the big game faster if you learn the move and really understand how your body behaves. Do some bodyweight squats, just to see what works for your body composition best. Do some dumbbell deadlifts, with a wide stance and the dumbbell going between the legs all the way down to the floor and up again to start with. Use dumbbells for the shoulder overhead press and the chest presses. Try to maintain the right form and frequency, pay attention to your breath. As you can see here, the brain is really needed to get a hold of it all.

Experience is based on time and effort and is the crown of the mind-muscle connection. When you build it enough going for the big four will definitely push you forward to greater gains and well-developed body. 

plate on the floor