No less an authority than Arnold Schwarzenegger has repeatedly said that bodybuilding is a matter of training the mind as well as the body. Since the mind leads the body, beginners especially need to learn how to develop their mental abilities to the max. Concentration is one of those critical mental skills for the bodybuilder, and Arnold says that with practice you can eventually learn to concentrate so well that you will be able to send blood to a particular muscle just by thinking about it. (Incidentally, this isn’t just gym hocus-pocus: Well-trained subjects can demonstrate this ability under the strictest laboratory conditions.)
So firm is Arnold’s belief in this need to focus on the muscle you’re training that he has suggested you note the exact site of muscle soreness when you begin a new exercise so you know just where to concentrate each time you do the movement.
Whether you’re a weightlifter who wants to produce increasingly powerful explosions of muscular force or a bodybuilder who wants your muscles to grow, concentration is a key to your continued progress.
‘Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D.
IronMind: Stronger Minds, Stronger Bodies
Editor’s note: For an elaboration on the above, plus many more mental strategies to help you attain more size and strength, see IronMind: Stronger Minds, Stronger Bodies, available from Home Gym Warehouse, 1-800-447-0008, or visit www.home-gym.com.