If you could gather the best bodybuilders of all time in one room and ask them what made them rise above the pack, they would tell you it was their understanding of the mind muscle connection.
There is one major difference that I notice when listening to and reading about bodybuilders from the past compared to bodybuilders today.
Bodybuilders of the past constantly talked about the importance of the mind muscle connection. The ability to connect with and focus on your muscles as you’re training them.
Perhaps it was because the time frame in which bodybuilding started and blossomed during the 1950s to the 1980s was also the time that personal development and the power of the mind became wildly popular.
These great bodybuilders knew that bodybuilding was much more than throwing heavy weights around. They treated it as an art that required great skill and focus.
It’s evident in both professional and amateur bodybuilding today that very few people are using and developing their mind muscle connection as they workout.
The bodies of most professional bodybuilders today have become ugly. During the 1970s and 1980s, they were seen as a thing of beauty. The average person does not want to look like todays bodybuilder.
The good news is that you don’t have to.
I’m going to tell you why the mind muscle connection changes everything when it comes to bodybuilding. If you love the classic physiques of yesteryear, you’re in for a treat.
What is the mind muscle connection?
The mind muscle connection refers to the ability of being able to concentrate on the muscle you are training. It’s similar to meditation.
When you meditate, you try to put 100 % of your focus and attention on one thing, such as the breath or specific part of your body. This has a powerful effect the mind.
The mind muscle connection is like meditation for bodybuilders. Instead of just throwing weights around while thinking of random things like most dummies do, you focus on your body.
You put every single fiber of your attention on the muscle you are training during the set. This completely changes your workout.
Research has proven that the mind muscle connection is very effective for increasing your muscle mass. This isn’t just some theory pulled out from space.
Arnold Schwarzenegger talked about it over and over. It’s difficult to find any video of him in his prime talking about bodybuilding without also talking about the power of the mind along with it.
To help you better understand this concept, I am going to use the almighty bicep curl as an example.
The mediocre bodybuilder goes in and does their curls with little to zero focus on the muscle. They just move the weight back and forth. They will usually try to go for the heaviest weight possible to appeal to their ego.
The exceptional bodybuilder knows that they must put all of their focus on each repetition. As they curl the weight, they are putting all of their focus on their bicep muscle. Feeling it flex and contract. They do not worry about the weight.
The weight does not matter with mind muscle connection.
When you learn to develop your mind muscle connection, you are going to find that the weight is not nearly as important as you thought it was.
What I mean by this is that the amount of weight is not important. Using weight to build and sculpt your muscle is still important.
When you learn to focus on each repetition and truly feel the exercise, you are going to find that you were lifting to appease your ego before.
You simply will not be able to use as much weight, as you will now be focusing on form and contraction as compared to just moving the weight back and forth.
If you are new to the mind muscle connection, this concept is likely going to put the art of weightlifting into a completely new light for you.
At first, it is going to be hard to use a lighter weight than you are used to. For some exercises, you will likely be using amounts you will be embarrassed by. Just let it go and get over it.
Once you will give it some time however, you will see that this is the way to build and sculpt quality muscle that will far exceed the quality you would have ever built without it.
The muscle needs to do the work.
You hear this over and over again from professional bodybuilders, but I think that this is entirely lost on this current generation of bodybuilders and weightlifters.
Go into any gym and you will see it yourself. The same people coming into the gym year after year. Lifting weights and putting the time in and getting zero results.
Why can someone come into the gym and pack on a ton of muscle quickly, while another person can’t put on an ounce despite lifting for years?
I know that the first answer that popped into your mind was genetics, but that isn’t the case. I’ve seen people who had shockingly terrible genetics put on muscle in a short amount of time.
The difference is that the person not seeing results doesn’t know what they’re doing. They think that bodybuilding is so basic that simply moving weights back and forth is what builds the muscle.
They never took the time to learn that form is everything. You need to make your muscles do the work. They need to be put under tension to grow. More tension means more growth.
Most people lift way too fast with horrible form and it shows. They build a slightly better than average body at best, despite pouring thousands of hours into the gym.
It’s sad and it doesn’t have to be that way.
How to use the mind muscle connection.
The mind muscle connection takes practice, but once you get it down you will never go back to your old ways of weight slinging.
Very simply put, you need to put all of your focus on the muscle you are training. If you are doing chest, every fiber of your attention needs to be on your chest.
Feel every single muscle twitch. Every centimeter of movement. Feel it working and stressing. Feel how it starts to shake.
You need to also visualize your muscle as you are training it. Think about what you want it to look like. The striations, the size, the definition.
I know that this sounds so simple, but this is how you do it.
Every single repetition that you do is going to be an exercise of attention and focus. You need to block every other distraction out as you are lifting.
Don’t worry what everyone around you is doing. If you are truly focusing, you won’t even notice anyone else around. You are going to feel like you are in your own little world.
It’s just going to be you, your mind and your muscles.
This is also an exercise in consciousness. You need to take your workout second by second. Don’t worry about all the exercises you need to do.
Just focus on one repetition at a time. Feel it. Squeeze your muscle as much as you can. Imagine it blowing up like a balloon.
Then move on to the next repetition. Counting repetitions will not be as important as it used to be. You just need to keep a general idea in your mind of how many you are trying to do.
What’s important is the amount of work that you are able to make your muscle do. 6 slow, controlled repetitions done with a lightweight with focus will beat 6 fast, sloppy repetitions done with a heavier weight any day of the week.
Why it changes everything.
Using the mind muscle connection during every workout changes everything because it turns you into an artist. The great bodybuilders of the past always considered themselves an artist.
They imagined being a sculptor. They imagined the end result they desired as they went through each set of their workout.
Bodybuilding today has turned into a competition of who can be the biggest. Most people in the gym are just trying to get bigger without any real care for muscle shape and definition.
They don’t see themselves as an artist. I don’t think they really see themselves as anything. They don’t understand the mental and spiritual aspect of bodybuilding.
Once you learn develop your mind muscle connection, your workouts are going to take on an entirely new dimension. You will begin to see yourself as an artist.
You will also find that your results will skyrocket. Your body and mind will become much more in tune with each other.
The body follows the mind. Always. It’s rarely the other way around. The problem today is that lifters put the body first. That’s wrong. You need to work on and develop your mind first and body second.
Become an artist
If you truly want to be the best bodybuilder you can and build a body anyone will appreciate, you need to adopt the artist’s mindset and get away from the idea of just trying to get bigger.
Learn to focus on your body during every repetition.
The artist is focused. He does not have a million thoughts and emotions going through his mind as he does his work. He is too busy envisioning the end result.
If you take the time to learn to use the mind muscle connection, you are going to put yourself in an entirely different class. You will rise above mediocrity.
I know you can do it.
To your success,