The mind and the goal.

Everything we have ever done, doing or will do has been started in the same place…. our mind. That's right everything. It all started with a thought. The most important aspect in all our endeavours is the power of our minds. I am going to look at this in the context of bodybuilding. Remember the first time you decided to start lifting weights? Maybe it was an image on a magazine, a movie or a reaction to an insult…. we all started because of a thought in our head…. Personally as a boy I always wished to be big muscular like the heroes of the day…. Arnie, Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate warrior…He-Man even cartoons back then were jacked! But where am I going with all this?? My point is this…. bodybuilding is about setting goals… the first goal we set we didn't really notice that we had not only set a goal but take the necessary steps to reach… we wanted to build some muscle so we went to the gym.

Now with that in mind. Our next goal more than likely became to enter and/or win a bodybuilding competition. That's the goal...the steps necessary to get there the abbreviated version: train gard to build enough muscle diet properly to get lean and display said muscle on stage. Now as I have stated this is very much abbreviated. What goes into this goal, the steps necessary require some of the toughest metal powers of our mind.

We will start with training to build muscle. To achieve any appreciable amount of muscle mass you must provide the muscle with stress of which it is not accustomed in order to create the growth response in the tissue. This requires massive mental strength… you must become comfortable with pain. You must convince your mind to take you beyond the capabilities of your normal threshold for pain… into the hurt. You must learn to embrace the pain and realise that every rep beyond your previous best no matter how hard it gets takes you closer to your goal (more mass)

This ability for me comes from visualisation of you end goal, connecting the work with the result in your mind and doing what is required. If you want it bad enough, you WILL give everything.

Next up is the mental strength required to diet… to diet hard and get in REAL contest condition. This in my mind sorts the men from the boys. The dedicated from the merely interested. Lying awake night after night literally in agony with the hunger. Your body is begging you to eat, every fiber of you is screaming out for food and you've got to have the willpower the strength of mind to say “no i'm not going to eat!”. Anyone who has never been there will never understand the level of mental toughness this endeavour takes. But again what is it that keeps us from breaking and eating and ruining our diet?? The visual in our mind of the end goal.

As you can see in EVERY aspect of our sport it is a mental toughness that sees us through and this is developed through the mindful visualization of an end goal.

Keith Farrell “Lone wolf”