Build Muscle

Tales From The Gym Floor: Change Your MIND To Get Results

See what I did there? This post is all about the power of the mind in achieving your goals? Sometimes you can really surprise yourself, which is exactly what happened to me in the gym the other day and it’s had a hugely positive impact on my training and my self belief, so I thought I’d share with you guys and hope it inspires you to harness the power of mindset across your goals. 

Last Monday morning I went to a gym that I’ve never used before as mine was closed due to a power cut. During my warm up I noticed that there was a running track; “Awesome I can do my favourite…SPRINTS!”. I smashed 12 sets of 60m sprints max effort. My legs were pretty tired but I was feeling good so hit the weight’s area. My triple set looked like this:

  • A1) Bench press 5 sets of 8
  • A2) Pull ups 5 sets of 8
  • A3) Walking lunges 5 sets of 8 each leg

I then moved on this triple set:

  • B1) Incline DB press 4 sets of 6
  • B2) Incline DB rows 4 sets of 6
  • B3) Squats 4 sets of 6

DSC_0018In my head I was thinking, “I’ve done sprints and walking lunges, my legs are a bit fatigued” BUT, by this point I was in the mood for some squats and figured I could just use lighter weights and slow things down a bit.

I figured 120kg would be a good weight and cranked out 4 sets of 6 reps, it felt good but I was cautious of overdoing it so called it a day.

Being the good boy I am I went to unload the bar, only to realize the 20kg plates were actually 25kg plates. They looked exactly the same as the 20kg ones at my own gym so I had no idea. Realisation kicked in that I had just squatted 140kg for 6 reps. I was over the moon!

My immediate thought however was, if I had set myself the goal of 140kg that day I probably wouldn’t have been able to do it as I had already convinced myself that I was too fatigued and it wouldn’t happen. I am not saying you need to go off and whack any old weight on the bar and hurt yourself but there is a powerful message here… We are often quick to place a low expectation on ourselves and attach a number to things, which can sometimes prevent us from excelling.

A good friend of mine and a fellow strength enthusiast, CJ Swaby, had a classic line he always used when we lifted together. It would normally go like this:

Me: What weight you going to work up to?

CJ: Not sure, let’s see what happens.


Me: Have you tried this weight before?

CJ: No but let’s see what happens.

DSC_0692I started to see this as something I really admired about him, as well as his arms, he has great arms 😉 There were no limits to his expectations, it was simply a case of “I’m going to give it all I’ve got and see what happens on the day.” You either make the lift or you don’t, you hit the reps or you don’t, simples.

So when you train this week ask yourself this; are you limiting yourself? Are you progressing and pushing as much as you could be? We all fall victim to just going through the motions but it’s down to us to take it up a gear and test our abilities. Failing that you could just blindfold yourself, put random weight on the bar and see what happens (I’m joking of course!).

The human body is amazing and if well trained, well fed and full of positive thoughts its capable of epic feats, but remember, your mind plays a role in this too. It influences our ability to stick to a plan, believe in ourselves and not just continue to do what we have always previously done. It controls how we approach our nutrition and how we feel when we walk into a gym. It’s the big boss that can make or break your day. You know how to squat, go a little heavier, even if its 1.5kg it’s progress right? So I expect to see some big changes from all of you from this week and beyond, no more limitations.

Join Fitter 365 TodayIf you’re looking for an new training plan check out Fitter 365, I’m adding new workouts and videos each week to the collection, including a new 28 Day Bodyweight Programme and a 6 Week Hypertrophy Training Plan. The 365 members are loving the new approach to training and the challenges it brings along the way. Check it out HERE.