Have you ever experienced working out and then you feel nothing? You start to question the effectiveness of the workout because it feels wrong, or worse, it doesn’t challenge you the right way and hurts other body parts. If this starts to happen more frequently, relax, it’s okay, this is normal. Whether you’re a fitness newbie or a veteran athlete, this happens all the time!
So, what makes a successful workout? How can you further improve your health and lifestyle?
Aside from eating mindfully, which is a given to achieve any body goal, you have to get the most out of every exercise.
“Successful weight training is achieving a strong mind/muscle connection during every rep of every set.” -- MuscleandFitness
This applies to any kind of physical activity.
When you have a good mind and muscle connection, you are able to work even the most stubborn of muscle groups that refuse to improve or develop. If you build on this, the higher the chances that you get the results you want.
Achieving MMC (Mind and Muscle Connection) is not easy. There will be days that going to the gym alone is so hard. There will also be days when you are so toxic that you are left with no energy to exercise. Hence, when you perform a set, it feels weird. Despite all these challenges, YOU CAN maximize your time at the gym.
Here are a few things that you might want to try:
1. Looking at the body part
Having a good MMC is being able to feel the contraction of the muscle group you’re working. It helps when you think about that body part and focusing your mind on it while performing each rep. Say you’re working out your arms, in your head you have to be like “arms, arms, arms, arms” and not let yourself be distracted. You have an option to look at your arms while performing the exercise, so that you are really mentally fixated on it.
But if it’s humanly impossible to look at a body part you’re working out, like your back, then just put your mind into it, tell your mind to feel the contraction on that body part. Tell yourself, “Baby I got back!”
2. Respect the resting time in between sets
I notice that in gyms nowadays, it has become a norm for people to check their mobile phones while working out. That’s okay, except for the times when it’s already past 5 minutes since your previous set and you’re still checking out your phone. Your mind is already somewhere else, your heart rate and adrenaline has gone down, and you lost the pump on your muscles. But if you become more diligent in maintaining the ample amount of rest in between workout sets, the better focus you’ll have, the faster your workout, the better the results and contraction you’ll get. Plus, you get to work on more muscle groups.
3. Good warm up = Better MMC
If you want to have a better mind and muscle connection, make sure that your muscles are warmed up. A good dynamic stretch before a workout gives you a better pump. It allows you to feel the contraction on each muscle group worked. It gives you a better workout. Period.
Remember, internalize and focus. Then you’ll get better results.
Sources: bodybuilding.com, muscleandfitness.com