When lifting yesterday morning I had a set of 3 x 12 incline presses I wanted to crush. That is a good amount of reps, but at 5 am it can seem like a daunting task. I ended up getting every rep but I realized I did something different before I even put my hands on the bar. I envisioned me doing the reps with ease. Today, I’ll go over how your mindset going into any task can set you up for success, and how to realign if you’re not focused enough to emerge victorious.
The Iron Carryover
I won’t take full credit for this, as friend of the site and commenter Hipponax and I were talking about high volume training. He said to me “rep ranges are in your head” and it struck me for its simple yet highly insightful approach to lifting.
I remembered our conversation yesterday, and when I approached the bar, I not only told myself that it would be easy, but that I was gonna kill it. I also got myself hyped up and in the zone to get every single rep in. The week prior, I was tired and my head wasn’t “in the game” and I failed only getting 7 reps. The only change I made was how I approached it and how I got myself prepared to do something I had failed at before.
This may not be revolutionary for some, but after my workout it got me thinking on how I could employ this simple technique in other areas of my life. The gym can be a good metaphor for life because lifting and life are both:
There to test you all the time
Unforgiving (doesn’t care about how you feel)
Beneficial if you work hard and never stop
I realize I’m going down a bit of philosophical route, but I’ll give a nod to my old website Becoming the Monolith, where I penned the article “The Iron is My Church” which explains my point of view when it comes to lifting.
Back to the topic at hand, applying this trick to other situations in my life has helped me improve and excel in most any task I take on.
Setting yourself up mentally before going into any interaction, task, or challenge can be the difference between closing the deal, getting shit on by higher ups (metaphorically speaking), or reaching some goal that you’ve been striving for.
For example, I was going into a meeting with my CEO, CFO and manager to go over some paperwork that was left to me by the person who had my job prior to me. This paperwork was an absolute fucking mess and to be honest, I didn’t do much with it as it wasn’t a good resource for relevant data. It was an inventory sheet for the IT dept which was not up to date. All three of these people seemed kind of pissed that I hadn’t updated it, but I knew better.
I had been keeping tabs on everything I had been doing all along, and collecting data as I went along. To get to the point, I knew they were pissed off prior to the meeting, but I took my data, walked in like I owned the place, and basically ran the show. They asked why I didn’t do the updates, I told them “Instead of updating that incomplete, useless list, I created a whole knew one” They were shocked, and you could see them squirming because they had NOTHING on me at that point.
I remember prior to the meeting, just like on the bench yesterday, thinking “I got this. I’m going in here, and I’m going to come out victorious” I got a few questions that, to me tried to get me to slip up, but I held my ground. Ended up benefiting me because now I got my budget approved faster. I could have just let them get to me or tried to push the blame but I told myself “own up to anything you’re responsible for, and kill them with facts. You got this” and I honestly feel that my mood going into this was the reason why I performed so well.
The main take away today is prepping for your task before you even think about doing it. Sure some things require immediate action, but I’m telling you that envisioning myself at the finish line has helped me all around.
Also, remember to keep those thoughts positive. Doubting yourself never leads to anything positive in my opinion. Make a decision that you’re going to kill whatever you set out to do, and make that happen. Its almost like a way to trick yourself into performing with 100% of your ability. Give it a shot and drop a comment below with anything that may help or support the idea.