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Mind Over Muscle – Visualization And Bodybuilding

mind over muscle

Visualization is a key training tool in a variety of performance-based sports, and now you can add bodybuilding to that list. A study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research examined two groups of novice weightlifters. Both groups did the bench press and leg press three times a week. One group was instructed to visualize their next set during each rest period. They imagined the sequence of the movement and the sensation they would feel, but they did not contract the muscle. At the end of four weeks, the visualization group grew stronger in a set of maximal strength in both lifts and they experienced slightly more hypertrophy (especially in the lower body) than the group who did not use their imagination between sets. While the effect was modest, any way of making gains that does not cause wear and tear on joints or undermine the intensity of future workouts must be considered a valuable training tool.

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