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What Are You Thinking While Doing Your Reps?

www.ironmanmagazine.comQ: Love your column. Thanks for the knowledge and inspiration. This may be an odd question, but what do you think about while doing your reps? Are you thinking about the muscle? The weight? Something that makes you mad?

A: Wow, I don’t think that I have ever been asked that question. It’s pretty interesting, actually. The truth is that what I think about now is different from what I did in years past.

One thing I have always been good at is concentrating on the task at hand while training. I would always be very conscious of my form and executing the movement carefully and correctly. Later on, when I was developing my P/RR/S training system, I also became very aware of rep tempos and began to focus on hitting the correct number of seconds on the negative, midpoint and positive portions of the movement while still thinking about correct form and execution.

In the last few years, however, training has become more of a meditative experience for me. I find that when I begin a set, my mind shuts out the world around me—even the music I’m listening to in my headphones—and I drop into what I could only describe as a Zen-like state. In a sense I almost become the muscle itself and feel every inch of the range  of motion in that way. It’s as if my conscious mind goes on autopilot and takes care of all the basics, like dealing with form, resistance and tempo, while I’m able to connect with my subconscious and truly experience the movement on a different level.

It’s similar to the way one might feel about a dream—a pseudo-reality. I actually think that the state I’m able to reach now while training is a key reason I am still able to add muscle as a natural bodybuilder at this point in my career.

You may not have been expecting such a deep answer, but I must admit that I’m very happy you gave me the opportunity to ponder this topic.


Editor’s note: Eric Broser’s new DVD “Power/Rep Range/Shock Max-Mass Training System” is available at His e-books, Power/Rep Range/Shock Workout and The FD/FS Mass-Shock Workout, which include complete printable workout templates and Q&A sections, are available at

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