Fitness beyond the body: Unlocking the mind

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“The mind always fails first, not the body. The secret is to make your mind work for you and not against you.”

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Often times I am presented with questions pertaining to my diet, exercise, and training schedule. While all of these elements are critical to physical development, the key to success in your training does not lie solely within these aspects. The key to strength does not lie within the limits of the body, but in the mind.

The most important part of this is patience. Waiting to see results can be extremely frustrating and even defeating at times. The key to patience is setting realistic goals for yourself, and finding the best way to accomplish them. You can’t expect to lose thirty pounds in two weeks just in the same way you can’t expect to have twenty-inch arms within a year. It all takes time.

Another important key to success is learning how to suppress your ego. The moment you walk into gym should be the moment you leave the ego behind. Feeding into your ego and insecurities will not only hinder your progress, but it can lead to serious injury and only cause setbacks. For instance, you can’t walk into the gym your first day ever training and expect to bench three hundred pounds or squat as much as the monster in the squat rack next to you. Training isn’t about impressing others. It’s about self improvement, and you won’t improve if you’re trying to do things far outside of your strength or endurance level.

The next and my personal favorite aspect of fitness is focus. Focus is paramount in the gym and at home. Your focus is your discipline, without focus there is nothing else. Whether you’re squeezing out the final rep in a painful set, or struggling with a strict diet focus is key! When you’re training your focus should be firmly set on getting the most out of every exercise, every set, and every rep. The key is to block out the negative voice in the back of your head saying you can’t do it and assure yourself that you not only can, but that you will! When you’re at home your focus should be aimed at doing every possible thing to help your body recover and grow. This includes eating right, getting enough sleep, and staying positive.

Following these three principles of mental development will bring you amazing results not only in the gym but in your personal and professional life. Everybody has to start somewhere. Just make sure you start with the right foot forward

Josh Monson

About Josh Monson

Josh Monson has been very active throughout his life and planned on a promising career in BMX biking until he suddenly came down with a mysterious sickness that quickly deteriorated his strength. He has spent the last 2.5 years rebuilding his strength from 130 pounds and bound to a wheelchair to a 205 pound athlete and trainer. Josh currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada.