W T F !
No, I’m not talking about the four letter word that I know you were thinking. I’m talking about What The…. Focus!
How much mental effort do you put into your training? Some of you might say, “none” and at first this seems rational since strength training is intended to be physical not mental. However, did you know that studies have proven that just thinking about and visualizing a muscle doing work can actually improve muscle strength?! In one study participants improved their finger strength by 35% and all they did was visualize finger muscle contraction! They did not even lift a weight! This is mind-blowing! Pair actually lifting weights with mental focus and you’ll have an extremely effective strength training session! However, just go in without that focus, without really putting your best efforts forth and you are not going to have as effective of workout. So get your head in the game! In addition torching more calories and better strength gains you’ll also be improving your cognitive function considerably!
Exercise not only has the ability to improve your looks but it also is proven to improve your brain. This is especially beneficial for those of you in the years where cognitive decline is thought to be inevitable. In a recent study, women who had strength trained or performed endurance training both scored significantly higher on cognitive tests! The women who only worked on only stretching actually scored lower on the same tests. So strength training and endurance exercise is strengthening your brain as well as your body! If you have a more focused workout and a more efficient brain then chances of injury should be lower too.
Think about the sports that have the highest injury rates; Soccer, Football, Tennis, Hockey. These sports not only require a high level of athleticism but also an extreme focus on where the ball is and where the other players are. This often leads to a lack of focus on where the knee is in relation to the ankle, or if the core is braced. “But Sarah, I don’t play football!” I know, but I want you to see that when you are strength training you have a wonderful advantage of not having a 300lb dude rushing at you at top speed! You can focus completely on what you are doing and what muscles should be working. This is where your mental focus and attention comes into play! Stay focused to reduce chances of injury and improve your workout! All of this focus and I bet your brain is getting tired!
If none of this motivation to start moving and moving with awareness than I don’t know what is!
The question is; How do you I get focused?
Here are Fifteen Mental Focus Tips I found from some amazing coaches, trainers, brain experts, rappers, and writers! Yeah, that’s right some rappers know what’s up.
- “If something`s worth doing, it`s worth doing properly.”
- “The body cannot achieve what the mind cannot conceive.”
- “Mental will is a muscle that needs exercise, just like the muscles of the body.” -Lynn Jenning
- “Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed.” Paulo Coelho, The Devil and Miss Prym
- “Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.”Zig Ziglar
- “In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.” Deepak Chopra
- “I didn’t pay attention to times or distance, instead focusing on how it felt just to be in motion, knowing it wasn’t about the finish line but how I got there that mattered.” Sarah Dessen, The Truth About Forever
- “Sometimes we focus so much on what we don’t have that we fail to see, appreciate, and use what we do have!” Jeff Dixon
- “You really gotta focus with all of your fiber, with all of your heart, with all of your creativity…” Will Smith
- “You’ve got to stay focused without being boring – because all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Skinny, but dull. LL Cool J
- “Always do your best. What you plant now you will harvest later.” - Og. Mandino
- “Some people train knowing they’re not working as hard as other people. I can’t fathom how they think.” -Alberto Salazar
- “…you don’t try to build a wall…you say I’m going to lay this brick as perfectly as a brick can be laid and you do that everyday….and soon you will have a wall. Will Smith
- “Until you focus on a singular muscle or a specific group of muscles, you are often unaware of how they’re working.” Amy Powell
- “My only advice is to stay aware, listen carefully, and yell for help if you need it.” Judy Blume
The foods you eat also effect your brain! Guess what the most healthy food for your brain is….
Fish! So check out my recipe for Fish Curry. It’s so satisfying, easy, and different then the usual.