Many people who invest in weight training, either with or without a workout partner or a personal trainer, do not achieve the results they are capable of. Part of the problem often is that the exerciser is focusing on the wrong things: the people around him, personal issues, or talking to the teacher.
You should decide what’s most important for you. Maybe it’s the social scene, that’s ok, but if you seriously want to build bigger muscles, stronger bones, better balance, etc,, top trainers advise that you focus on the exact muscle that you are using for that particular exercise much more than on anything else.
Research has shown that, comparing weight-lifters who:
1) focus on moving the weight up and down; or
2) focus on what whatever come into their mind
…do not get nearly the same muscle-building benefit as the person who:
3) focuses solely on the particular muscle he is exercising.
When you discover and then use the power of your mind-body connection, and focus on your particular muscle you are trying to improve, that muscle gets significantly more stimulation than in conditions 1) and 2) above. This greater muscle electrical activity translates into stronger muscles.
If you don’t know what muscle or muscles a particular exercise is supposed to work, ask a knowledgeable teacher or a trainer. Then while doing the movement —preferably slowly to maximize muscle stress and new muscle growth— think, for example (or better, visualize if you can), your biceps contracting when you are making bicep curls.
Know that when you make most any movement with a weight, your body can use various combinations of muscles to obtain that same movement, and often by default, your body will use whichever muscles which are already your stronger ones. It’s easier for your body this way, but not nearly as effective.
Be conscious of the feedback from your muscles as you make your movements: am I using the right muscle? do I feel that muscle contracting and slowly relaxing? With this sort of continuous feedback—which requires focusing on the muscle rather than on anything else—your mind-body connection will strengthen, and you have a much better chance that the targeted muscles will as well.
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