In bodybuilding, possessing the right genetics for gaining muscle, losing body fat, responding to chemicals, and shape/structure are often the keys to who succeeds and who fails in the sport. However, none of these tools matter much if the athlete doesn’t possess the mental fortitude, focus, and discipline to spend the years engaged in consistent training and dieting which are required to maximize potential. The truly successful bodybuilders are the ones with the correct physical tools, who have the mental ability to train with the intensity and focus required to fulfill the potential for which these tools allow. Bodybuilding mentality in the gym should be simple – train hard and train smart. There are some additional strategies, which should be employed to further separate the focused bodybuilder from the lackadaisical bodybuilder.
Don’t talk to others in the gym any more than absolutely required. Don’t answer your cell phone. Look at the floor or the mirror, not at others. Don’t smile at people or even engage them in any way, outside of securing a bench and not bumping into them between sets. Your goal is to lift the most weight in order to move the most blood into the muscle group region – and your mental resources should be reserved for this purpose.
Training with insane focus and drive requires tunnel vision – and that can be dangerous. You could injure yourself by not noticing the little things or taking a weight that is too heavy for one too many reps. Remove the worry and likelihood of this happening by using a training partner who is just as focused as you are. And remember the first rule – you and he should complete the small talk over warm-up cardio and stretching. Once the workout begins, the only communication should be grunts, orders, motions, and motivation.
Training is like most things in life- you get out of it what you put into it. Just as you do everything you can to preserve training and recovery resources, you should conserve mental resources in order to possess the best possible focus when it’s just you and the weight. When you’re in the gym, employ every one of your resources – physical and mental – into training. The results will do all the talking for you.