By Terry Grant
I have learned over the years that building muscle is NOT as easy as baking a cake. Actually I do not even know how to bake a cake, but hey, it’s just a figure of speech!
I have come to realize that it’s not the physical aspect of lifting weights that is the hard part, it’s all the rest of my life leading up to the actual lifting that seems to hinder my motivation to train. Ever felt that way?
The fact is, I do enjoy lifting weights and getting stronger, but when faced with the juggling of your life, such as your job, chores, cooking, relationships and all the other daily tasks, it can put a damper on your motivation levels when it comes time to actually work out.
These day to day tasks that you find yourself confronted with can lead you feeling drained. Sometimes I just want to relax and not have to focus on being on the go.
So, how does one go about motivating themselves to succeed at building muscle? That is a good question and I don’t know the answer… lol… but I’m learning!
One thing I do know is that Self Discipline is going to be a stepping stone for motivating yourself along the way, so this is an important thing to conquer first. Yet self-discipline and motivation seem to walk hand in hand. Let’s take a look at how you can use visualization to light a fire under your ass and get moving down the pathway to your goals!
Ignite the Fire Within You
What do you think of when you hear the words “ignite the fire within you”?
What I think of when I hear those words is a BURNING DESIRE consuming my soul and propelling me into action!
Start by taking all of the reasons that you want to build muscle and focusing on those things like a laser to create an inner passion to succeed at your goal; no matter what stands in your way.
When I say all of the reasons that you want to build the muscle, I am talking about ALL of them. Whether you are tired of people calling you skinny, or you want to get massive amounts of chicks, maybe you want to be healthier, or would like to be more confident in yourself, and basically whatever else made you even think about building muscle in the first place.
Now, thinking about some of these reasons may cause some anger to grow inside of you. If you are tired of hearing people call you skinny and they are saying that you can’t gain weight, then take that fire burning within you and use it to your advantage. Take that anger and apply it to proving all of these people wrong.
On the other hand, maybe some of these reasons are speaking to your own doubts, fears or judgements about yourself. In this case, I say take that fire and prove yourself wrong. Make yourself feel foolish for ever doubting your ability to accomplish this muscle building goal. You can do this if you really put your mind to it, you just have to keep the end in mind…
Using Visualizations to Keep the End in Mind
Practicing visualizations can help you on the path to building the body you desire. In fact, there are many famous people, such as Albert Einstein, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tiger Woods, Oprah Winfrey, William Shakespeare and many more that have talked about the power that visualizations have had on their lives.
Therefore, my suggestion is to – yep you guessed it – spend some time visualizing.
The best two times to visualize are right before going to bed or first thing in the morning because your subconscious mind is in a more receptive state. Although, there is nothing wrong with doing it whenever you have some free time.
“Well what do I visualize?”
This question is a good one and could really be discussed in depth for quite a while. However, the short answer is that you basically visualize any goal that you would like to accomplish in your life.
Now please take note that what you are visualizing is the end result of your goal witnessed in the present reality. So make sure you are seeing and feeling the visualization in the present tense, as if you have already accomplished this goal, and preferable in the first person. In other words, see yourself living it through your own eyes and not as an outsider looking in.
To get a clear picture of yourself accomplishing something that you have not yet achieved in this physical reality can take a little bit of practice. The more senses that you get involved in the visualization, the more influence it will have on your subconscious mind and your life. Another step that is important in a successful visualization is to evoke your emotions while you are visualizing.
Let us look at a sample visualization to bring a little more light to the picture.
Say your goal is to gain 30 pounds of solid, lean muscle and build a body that turns heads.
Your visualization can be about seeing yourself at the beach enjoying your ideal body. Visualize your muscles all pumped up and tons of hotties glancing your way and starving for your attention. See you’re muscular arm throw a football, while you’re tossing it around on the beach with some friends… or maybe you’re playing volley ball… Use whatever activity you like to do at the beach!
You can smell the salt from the ocean, some food cooking on the grill and/or perfume body sprays from all the girls surrounding you.
You can hear the crashing of the waves on the shore in the distance, the giggles of beautiful women nearby you and some awesome music in the background as you throw a long pass to your bro.
You can feel the sweat slowly dripping down your massive muscles and ripped abs, maybe it even tickles a little bit!?!? haha
You’re also tasting the great flavor of the best homemade protein bar that you have ever made as you take a break to refuel… or maybe you’re biting into a nice juicy steak!!! As you witness all this, a huge sense of happiness flows through every single cell of your body. It brings you great joy to see all your hard work has finally paid off and you’re now living your dream life.
This could be a great visualization for you to use or it may not be. This all depends on what your end goal is and what you want to experience. You can modify it in whatever ways suit you or change it all together. The point I’m trying to make is to keep the visualization as real as possible when you are doing it.
Why Visualization Works
Did you notice how I included all five senses into the visualization? What that does is make your brain think this is actually happening right now. Your brain can’t distinguish between real and imagined experiences.
If you doubt this, close your eyes and imagine yourself biting into a sour, juicy lemon. Give it a try and pay close attention mentally and physically as you visualize the tart juice squirting onto your tongue!
The brain can not tell the difference between what is really happening in front of you and what you are consciously visualizing.
This is even more true when you combine all five senses, because that is what the brain uses for stimuli when it is observing what is going on in reality. It simply takes data from all of these senses and then processes it so it can build a picture of what is happening to you at the present moment. This is extremely powerful!
Notice how I also called forth the emotions of being happy and full of joy. This puts power behind all that you are visualizing and is important to do while you practice this.
The limit is endless on the things and situations you could visualize. For example you could actually visualize the success of your workout session that you are about to do later in the day or maybe breaking a personal record in the deadlift. Just go through all the steps and see yourself hitting all of the reps and amount of weight that is your goal for the day. This will give you somewhat of a practice run in your mind of lifting those weights and reps. Then when you physically go out and do it, your mind will think, “Well, I have already done this before, so it’s no big deal”.
Many famous athletes use visualizations to help them become better at their sport. Tiger Woods uses it to visualize making the shot before he even swings his clubs. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger has said he has practiced the use of visualizing to accomplish his goals and you can see all the massive achievements he has made. Here is a quote straight from Arnold talking about his use of visualizations.
“When I was very young, I visualized myself being and having what it was I wanted. Mentally I never had any doubts about it. The mind is really so incredible. Before I won my first Mr. Universe, I walked around the tournament like I owned it. The title was already mine. I had won it so many times in my mind that there was no doubt I would win it. Then, when I moved on to the movies, the same thing. I visualized myself being a successful actor and earning big money. I could feel and taste success. I just knew it would all happen.”
Witnessing the Results of Your Hard Labor
Of course the biggest form of motivation is seeing all your hard work paying off. When you see your muscles growing, see your weight going up and feel yourself becoming stronger, then this can be your greatest form of motivation.
When you look at an old picture of yourself from a year ago, and compare it to your most recent picture, it can be very motivational. Sometimes seeing yourself daily in the mirror can diminish the effects of your progress. I mean very little change happens from day to day concerning muscle growth. However, when you can see how much better your body looks now versus a year ago… now those are results you can notice.
This is a good reason to take regular progress pictures ever so often, at least once a month. You might not look that different from month to month but with a year of consistent training you will look quite different as long as your consistent and never give up. This will bring a fresh wave of motivation to you so that you can keep up with all the hard work that goes into packing on those pounds.
Success is Right Around the Corner
Motivating yourself to do something is a challenge that many people have a hard time with. This is why so many people just sit around and watch T.V. all day; it is so much easier than doing anything else… lol.
However, you are not one of those people, you are a person that can motivate yourself to accomplish whatever it is that you desire. There is nothing standing in your way, you know this and will soon witness this in your own life now that you have these helpful tools to succeed.
All of your goals are within your grasp. Ignite the fire within you, visualize already having your desire and then just witness your success. Spend some time with these areas and you may be pleasantly surprised with all the results that you keep achieving in your life.
See yourself NOW, as you want to be…. and take consistent action towards the achievement of your desires.
Until next time,
PS: If you have any questions, doubts or experiences with visualizations please feel free to share them below in the comment section.
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