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fitmomma3
03-28-2008, 01:37 PM
A convo on the mental aspect of training sparked in the twins journal ;)
I too AM A HUGE believer on thinking positive, visualizing, and mentally conquering...

How big of a factor does the mental aspect play in you training?
What changes/improvements have you made that may seem to help?
Can you tell a difference when you are mentally on and not?


Interesting article from a Peak Sporting Excellence Performance:

At the top level it is not your physical or technical expertise which separates you from the competition but your mental toughness. To be outstanding you have to hold your nerve, perform under the most intense pressure, and consistently turn it on even when you don't feel at your best. Mental toughness is what makes Michael Jordan and Pete Sampras so special. These athletes know their real battle is not so much on the court, but inside their heads. You absolutely must manage your mental side if you want to be the best.

Given that mental strength is so vital, I find it truly amazing that it is so neglected in training routines. If you are one of those athletes who spends all your training time on technique and fitness while paying no attention to your mental side, you are doing yourself a serious disservice. We know from countless studies that mental skills are acquirable and you can, with practice, learn to perform mentally. You can improve your confidence, concentration, motivation and anxiety levels if you chose to.



THOUGHTS....

KP DIVA
03-28-2008, 02:17 PM
I believe this to be 100% true! If you are not mentally sound it will show in your performance. For me personally, if I'm focused mentally I always seem to perform better in the gym or at work, even if physically, I'm not 100%.

I do a lot of self talk/self affirmations...I do alot of chanting in my head...for example, the other day while on the Stepmill...W/ each step I would say, Train hard, win-win, train hard, win-win. Sounds corny, I know...but it helped me get through my hour of cardio. And at the end of the day that's all that matters.

I'm always telling myself someone who didn't want to train today, trained today. That's such an incentive to get up and go to the gym. I still listen to my body....but I'm to a point now that I know when I really need to rest and recover or if I'm just feeling lazy.

Shelly
03-28-2008, 02:36 PM
This is what Steph is referring to...

Hello ladies, it's Nick, Shelly wanted me to post. I feel like I know everyone here lol.

Shreds- agreed on the seated calves, I am switching them out. I am going to switching her to a very abbreviated version of the calf routine I am utilizing now (Flex Lewis' hybrid routine) which is all stand up stuff. The very high rep ranges have been working well.

IG- I will try to get more videos but will try to mute them so you don't hear me bitching at her lol. Hacks kill my knees too so I am going to switch them out after her cruise week

Bree- honestly her improvements since I have started training her have been great. Both mentally and physically. I think it takes alot of "gym time" to develop the mindset of what failure training really is. Shell has made great strides in that department. Everytime she thinks she is there mentally, I always try to push her 1 step further. Eventually you get out of the "no way I can do that" mindset to the "fucking bring it" mindset. You will eventually fail to reach a goal, but the trick is to fail physically and not mentally. That's what separates winners from the rest of the lineup IMO.

When you look back on her training log it's quite funny to see the differences in weights and reps since September. It's enjoyable for me to see her grow mentally and physically and its also fun for me to see the tremendous gains b/c as you go further in this sport they slow down to a crawl and you fight for every lb on the scale and every extra rep in the gym.

My plan for her was to go back to the roots the 1st 3 months and use heavy compound movements, old school style. This provided her with a base to work with and to also get comfortable training this way. After that we switched over to DC to continue to build on her gains but more on a "failure" mentality instead of a volume mentality. This will end in July when Mr. Davies does his thing with her and she whittles down. My feeling is she will look like a different person.

So all in all I am proud of her so far and her gains IMO have been excellent. The real goal for her is 2009 national level shows so everything is building to that point. I of course won't let her forget it for a second, but that's why she loves and hates me at the same time lol. I am referred to as the Nazi, but that's ok :-)

Steph great thread. I have learned this year that the MENTAL side of it is HUGE! Your mind is more powerful than you think. if you Say NO I CANT- you WONT. and vice versa.

I have been able to UP my intesnity and strength by mentally getting there.... and nick has helped me understand this.

fitmomma3
03-28-2008, 02:36 PM
So true! I will at some points when I'm lifting close my eyes and picture myself on stage (ESPECIALLY LEG WORKOUTS - because its such a weakness) even picture people I have lost to. Not in a vindictive way, but to help me visualize PUSHING every rep and transfer that energy to flexing and tightening that muscle up on stage. Cable pullover when you pull down are very similar to the relaxed back pose...people must think I am crazy when I do these because it is LIKE I AM ON STAGE! LOL... The biggest mental issue I've noticed I've had is no rest... without rest I tend to become MORE EMOTIONAL and make bad decisions. I look back at my old journals and whenever I was overly tired if the boys didn't sleep or something I was Debbie Downer...so my focus this offseason and this prep has been adequate SLEEP and what a difference I have noticed it makes on not only your mental state but your immune system!

fitmomma3
03-28-2008, 02:42 PM
Thanks Shell:kiss:... but it wasn't that part only... the mental aspect in the gym is only a small piece to the puzzle... people can be animals and train like gladiators in the gym but a lil bump in the road in regular life can throw off their diet or their confidence... I'm talking 100% WHOLE BODY, MIND, and spirit... this was the part that Nick posted that stuck out to me...

Fitmomma- Good idea maybe I should start charging her lol. Thanks for the kind words. I'm an atheist so I am very deep into believing the power and strength of the mind and positive thinking. I think if you truly believe in yourself and visualize good, positive things and set goals, anything is possible.

Everyone calls me crunchy Granola when I get into this stuff LMAO! But everyone on here can relate and know what we mean.

A-G
03-28-2008, 04:18 PM
My dissertation for my Master's degree was on mental toughness in physique competitors (I had about 100 participants ranging from regional-level to pros), so this subject is near and dear to me. :)

I can post up some questionnaires and evaluate your mental toughness if you wish. lol :D

Ondrea
03-28-2008, 04:25 PM
OH MY GOSH...YES! you all know I go balls out in the gym and doing cardio but as all know from my journal my binges can really throw me off. I'm am all about 100% mental confidence and strength.

Javagirl from MD pm'ed me and showed these treasure maps her business partner makes. They are visual inspirational tools that she customizes for people. They really help people stay on track and reach their goals. It would be a good thing for me to hang up on my wall. I tried to paste a pic of an exampel of the map but it didn't upload.

www.formerfatgirlfitnessboard.com.

Ondrea
03-28-2008, 04:29 PM
The orignal site is just formerfatgirl.com. I think u need to email them to get info on the maps. Or PM javagirl on MD, she can give u the lowdown or send u a pic of it. THEY ARE REALLY COOL! She doesn't post much but find her avi on my thread and pm her.

Shelly
03-28-2008, 04:29 PM
Thanks Shell:kiss:... but it wasn't that part only... the mental aspect in the gym is only a small piece to the puzzle... people can be animals and train like gladiators in the gym but a lil bump in the road in regular life can throw off their diet or their confidence... I'm talking 100% WHOLE BODY, MIND, and spirit... this was the part that Nick posted that stuck out to me...

Fitmomma- Good idea maybe I should start charging her lol. Thanks for the kind words. I'm an atheist so I am very deep into believing the power and strength of the mind and positive thinking. I think if you truly believe in yourself and visualize good, positive things and set goals, anything is possible.

Everyone calls me crunchy Granola when I get into this stuff LMAO! But everyone on here can relate and know what we mean.

oh stephy i forgot that part

well I honestly agree that your fate is in YOUR OWN hands... those who get stuck in a mental rut need to get themselves out of it...

Ive been at points in my life where I felt like one bad thing was happening afer another. but instead of dwelling on it I took control over aspects that I COULD control...and everything turned around for the better.

Isnt this kinda like that book, THE SECRET. have anyone read it??

Shelly
03-28-2008, 04:35 PM
The orignal site is just formerfatgirl.com. I think u need to email them to get info on the maps. Or PM javagirl on MD, she can give u the lowdown or send u a pic of it. THEY ARE REALLY COOL! She doesn't post much but find her avi on my thread and pm her.

thats a cool idea!! I have to check it out!

fitmomma3
03-28-2008, 05:19 PM
OH MY GOSH...YES! you all know I go balls out in the gym and doing cardio but as all know from my journal my binges can really throw me off. I'm am all about 100% mental confidence and strength.

Javagirl from MD pm'ed me and showed these treasure maps her business partner makes. They are visual inspirational tools that she customizes for people. They really help people stay on track and reach their goals. It would be a good thing for me to hang up on my wall. I tried to paste a pic of an exampel of the map but it didn't upload.

www.formerfatgirlfitnessboard.com.

This sound slike a great IDEA I am all about PICTURES! I will have mine out from last prep and I'm thinking our printing out Noel's LOL Cause I freakin LOVE HER PHYSIQUE!

Have you found what IT IS that throws you off... like me I wake up some days and feel like SUPER WOMAN and others days like a FLY lol... I think my main triggers is being over tired... but I learned that from journaling... we track our BF, our measurements, our food, workouts, but I think mood and mental state is the most interesting and important. When I use to PT I would make all clients journal and if they slipped even ONE COOKIE they had to write mood and surrounding activities events some would blow it off and I would INSIST (they all thought I was crazy) but its a good way to find triggers.

fitmomma3
03-28-2008, 05:20 PM
My dissertation for my Master's degree was on mental toughness in physique competitors (I had about 100 participants ranging from regional-level to pros), so this subject is near and dear to me. :)

I can post up some questionnaires and evaluate your mental toughness if you wish. lol :DThat's so cool!! DO IT I don't know how many would openly participate but it would be cool to see even if we only do it for ourselves.

JenFerFigure
03-28-2008, 05:48 PM
Hi everyone! Great thread.

I believe that training/prepping to compete is one of the hardest things I've had to do in life. We all know why -- the discipline, the perseverance, the emotional ups and lows, fatigue, etc. Oddly, it's also one of the most rewarding of experiences for me. That being said, I feel I have to remain in a very positive environment in and out of the gym. The strength of our minds is far greater than the strength of our bodies...so if you don't keep mentally strong I believe it can adversely curtail or affect your quest for success. This is true at work, in social settings, at the gym --- everywhere!
You control that -- you pick and choose what you want your atmosphere to be and if you allow negativity then so it will be. If you don't, walk away --- and remain strong.


I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that I also have a great faith in God and all my strength I ask and get from Him. Not one thing I have ever asked has gone unanswered, so I have multiple reasons to continue strong in that faith always and forever -- even after the day I decide to no longer do contest preps.

jenscats5
03-29-2008, 01:27 AM
My dissertation for my Master's degree was on mental toughness in physique competitors (I had about 100 participants ranging from regional-level to pros), so this subject is near and dear to me. :)

I can post up some questionnaires and evaluate your mental toughness if you wish. lol :D

That would be very cool!!

A-G
03-31-2008, 02:23 PM
That's so cool!! DO IT I don't know how many would openly participate but it would be cool to see even if we only do it for ourselves.
Sorry, Fitmomma, I was totally kidding about "evaluating" your mental toughness! Unfortunately comedic intent sometimes doesn't translate well over the internet. :o

I am more than happy to post the questionnaire! And it won't reveal, by the way, that you are or aren't mentally tough, or even that you are just kind of mentally tough, so don't worry about failing or acing the exam! lol Mental toughness, as measured by this inventory, is actually comprised of twelve specific attributes. So this can just be a tool that lets you know where your strengths lie. To those who are interested, I can either just PM you the instructions for scoring it after you've written down your answers or I can wait and post it here after those who want to take it have had a chance to do so.

I'll just give you the general instructions I gave to my research participants before they completed it (and by the way, this is an instrument designed by researchers that has been shown to be valid and reliable, so you don't have to worry that I'm just making up some crap! :D). And you will notice that there is some repetition, but these instruments are rigorously tested to ensure that they actually measure what they are supposed to and that the results are the same when repeated using the same factors, so don't worry about that!

INSTRUCTIONS
Please indicate the degree to which you feel the statement applies to you. There are no right or wrong answers, so please answer each question as honestly as you can. It is important to give YOUR own views about yourself, reporting how YOU feel about each question NOW, and focusing on YOUR sport as you answer these questions. Please make sure you answer every question.

Use the eight-point scale to indicate how true (like you) or how false (unlike you) each statement is as a description of you.

1=False, not like me
2
3
4
5
6
7
8=True, like me

**I can't get this to format correctly in this post, but obviously there are degrees to which these statements are unlike you or like you, which are represented by numbers 2-7 on the scale above. If this doesn't make sense, then please ask and I'd be happy to try to clarify! :)

1. I am fully committed to achieving the goals I have set myself.
2. Trying to do the best that I can is what is important to me.
3. I am good at keeping stress in perspective.
4. My belief in myself gets me through the difficulties.
5. I focus on the task without getting distracted.
6. I feel that I will make some major achievements in this area in the future.
7. When faced with difficulty I keep working at it and won't accept defeat.
8. I often gain confidence when I see signs that the opposition is not coping well.
9. Performing well in this area is one of the most valuable things for me.
10. I perform well at this level because of my experience.
11. I turn negatives into positives.
12. Overall I am mentally tough.
13. My commitment to my goals is strong.
14. Doing my very best is what it is all about.
15. I minimize the impact that stress and pressure has on me.
16. When things are difficult I still believe in myself.
17. I get absolutely focused on the task; nothing distracts me.
18. I have great potential in this area and I will fulfill it.
19. I keep working at things until I overcome them.
20. Seeing the opposition feeling the pressure builds my confidence.
21. I value this as one of the most important things in my life.
22. My experience makes me stronger when performing.
23. I excel because of my mental strength.
25. No matter what, I remain committed to my goals.
26. To have done my best is the most important thing to me.
27. I am good at minimizing the effects of stress.
28. No matter what the pressure, I still believe in myself.
29. I don't get distracted. I keep focused on the task.
30. I feel that my future in this area will be good.
31. I keep on persisting until the job is done.
32. Seeing the opposition not coping as well increases my confidence.
33. This activity is one of the most valuable parts of my life.
34. My experience is of great use to me.
35. I can see positives when things are difficult.
36. I know I have great mental strength.

Alli
03-31-2008, 05:24 PM
OH MY GOSH...YES! you all know I go balls out in the gym and doing cardio but as all know from my journal my binges can really throw me off. I'm am all about 100% mental confidence and strength.

Javagirl from MD pm'ed me and showed these treasure maps her business partner makes. They are visual inspirational tools that she customizes for people. They really help people stay on track and reach their goals. It would be a good thing for me to hang up on my wall. I tried to paste a pic of an exampel of the map but it didn't upload.

www.formerfatgirlfitnessboard.com.

They did a segment on Oprah about this kind of stuff....and about focusing and putting forth daily thought to the things you want and the life you want to have. They said that if you find ways to focus daily on what you want and put it at the forefront of your thoughts, chances are you work harder to acheive those things. Most of us know where we want to be or what we want to do, but we don't focus on it daily the way we need to. The segment maintained that if you focus daily on it- it becomes a reality. They also mentioned something similar to what Andrea mentioned- they called it a visualization board and you put pictures or photos that motivate you up...pictures of things you want, or that represent the life you want etc. Looking at it daily is supposed to help you focus.

joelster
03-31-2008, 05:35 PM
Eventually you get out of the "no way I can do that" mindset to the "fucking bring it" mindset.

That is the best statement I've heard in a long time, lol!

joelster
03-31-2008, 05:39 PM
OH MY GOSH...YES! you all know I go balls out in the gym and doing cardio but as all know from my journal my binges can really throw me off. I'm am all about 100% mental confidence and strength.



www.formerfatgirlfitnessboard.com.

Remember this for the binges......"NOTHINGtastes as good as stepping onstage feels" in other words, coming into a show with low b/f is better than how good a big mac tastes, lol.

Alli
03-31-2008, 05:45 PM
Remember this for the binges......"NOTHINGtastes as good as stepping onstage feels" in other words, coming into a show with low b/f is better than how good a big mac tastes, lol.

EXACTLY! you have to keep the big picture in mind- live for the longrun, not just the moment.

kitty kat
03-31-2008, 06:04 PM
While on cardio machine, I picked up on a havit... Learn something new by reading on my cardio sessions. My pick was investing on stocks and funds. I just finished reading rich dad poor dad in 4 days.. It' really helped me through the rough 3 hour cardio sessions I had to do every day.I am also reading Sakyong Mipham, turning the mind into an ally. it tells you how our mind is our worse enemy, and how we can turn that around by the practice of meditating.

SBT
03-31-2008, 06:42 PM
Just saw this, that was a great read :)

Shelly
03-31-2008, 07:10 PM
While on cardio machine, I picked up on a havit... Learn something new by reading on my cardio sessions. My pick was investing on stocks and funds. I just finished reading rich dad poor dad in 4 days.. It' really helped me through the rough 3 hour cardio sessions I had to do every day.I am also reading Sakyong Mipham, turning the mind into an ally. it tells you how our mind is our worse enemy, and how we can turn that around by the practice of meditating.

3 hour cardio sessions????

fitmomma3
04-14-2008, 05:54 PM
:bump: Cause I like reading it LOL

Shelly
04-14-2008, 06:01 PM
Hi everyone! Great thread.

I believe that training/prepping to compete is one of the hardest things I've had to do in life. We all know why -- the discipline, the perseverance, the emotional ups and lows, fatigue, etc. Oddly, it's also one of the most rewarding of experiences for me. That being said, I feel I have to remain in a very positive environment in and out of the gym. The strength of our minds is far greater than the strength of our bodies...so if you don't keep mentally strong I believe it can adversely curtail or affect your quest for success. This is true at work, in social settings, at the gym --- everywhere!
You control that -- you pick and choose what you want your atmosphere to be and if you allow negativity then so it will be. If you don't, walk away --- and remain strong.


I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that I also have a great faith in God and all my strength I ask and get from Him. Not one thing I have ever asked has gone unanswered, so I have multiple reasons to continue strong in that faith always and forever -- even after the day I decide to no longer do contest preps.


Jen great post.... mental strentgth is of KEY importance during prep.

I truly believe it can make or break you.