In this day and age, people are living the “fast paced” lifestyle. We all go through our moments worrying and it is normal to think about stuff that we have no control off and are ahead of time. We worry all the time – the deadline, the boss, the project, and the list goes on and on and on.
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The thing is nobody told us that this is really not the right way to live. And for people who lift weights it is also not uncommon that we also get trapped into this type of mentality (I know because I am no exemption).
Yes we might be iron-heads but we are no airheads and we know that mental stress causes a burden in our immune system, it can cause cancer and other degenerative diseases, etc, etc, we know RIGHT?! However what you might not be aware of is that this unhealthy way of thinking is also one of the best ways to sabotage your efforts in the gym? Holy Sh¡t!
You see, your brain in an idle day consumes around 20% of your caloric surplus. That’s huge considering that your brain only consists of 2% your body weight. Furthermore all those stressful worrying you do not only consumes more calories it also stimulates your brain to stimulate your glands to produce stress hormones like cortisol. This is what makes you feel like trash whenever you stress yourself out.
Now I don’t know about you, but common sense tells me that all those unnecessary hormones pumped up in my body in all those unnecessary energy expenditures doesn’t exactly make for an anabolic environment for my muscles to grow and for strength to develop.Follow @AboutLifting
Furthermore those calories could have been better used for RECOVERY instead.Follow @AboutLifting
So let’s say you’re a firm believer of overtraining therefore you take a day or two off between your lifting days, but you spend your rest days worrying about what’s going to happen an hour from then EVERY FREAKIN’ MINUTE! I tell you right now that you are NOT going to make a progress at all or if you do, then you will make only a bare minimum of what you are supposed to.
Focus on the NOW
To be honest I have just been starting to practice this again just now. I tend to find myself thinking about the things I need to do for the rest of the day on times when I cannot do anything about them yet. For example I sit on my way home on the train, I am there but my mind is not there – it is 5-12 hours in the future.
I just told myself “enough” and I began “erasing” everything else that is not on the now. I first focused on my breathing for a few seconds, I felt better. Then I started focusing my attention on the scenery and to everything, even to the little things that I see on the moment. The scenery, the cars “oh that is a strange looking yellow car”, the people “that girl wears a funny looking skirt”, even to the sounds “those bus honks are really loud that I can hear them albeit minimally even though I am inside this sealed monorail train”.
At that time I really felt 200% more relaxed than only 2 minutes earlier. The difference was really substantial. My invitation to you is that you do likewise and eliminate unnecessary thinking about things that are not happening NOW. I mean you should off course plan things out but once you did and you basically know what you are going to do later, then until then let it go for God sakes and just focus on the present. This will induce “feel good” hormones and will surely do magic to your recovery and growth and will help you set up a perfect environment for growth and muscle hypertrophy.
Keep in mind that the body will minimize muscle growth mechanism if it senses the presence of mental “stress” since this signals that it has to conserve its resources for more important things that have more bearing for the survival of the organism (you). And since your muscles are very expensive metabolically it will naturally thwart developing more of them. That is the reason why we have a special section called “Mind over weights” since the body will only go as far as the mind will and that is a scientific fact. Remember to meditate and eat your eggs, people!