How do you men­tally push your­self when you’re lift­ing some­thing that’s crazy heavy?

SHAPE (USA) - - Strong + Fit - —@snf166 via In­sta­gram

The greater the load, the greater the fo­cus needed. As you start to train with heav­ier weights, this fo­cus will be as im­por­tant as your phys­i­cal out­put in the lift. Your body can’t do it with­out the mind. There are two men­tal tac­tics that I use to build this fo­cus. They’ve re­ally been game chang­ers when I go big with my lifts.

1. Cue an in­ner di­a­logue.

For me, it ’s talk­ing through the phys­i­cal steps, even though I get some funny looks at the gym when I say them out loud. When I’m squat­ting with a heavy bar­bell— that’s any­thing over 200 pounds for me these days—I say “Big toe, big toe.” This re­minds me to keep my feet gripped on the ground, which sets off the domino ef­fect of turn­ing on the in­ner thighs and glutes. Then, on my de­scent into the squat po­si­tion, I say “Up” to set the in­ten­tion of where that bar­bell ul­ti­mately needs to go. Fi­nally, I cue “Chest up, hips through” to dial in my body’s po­si­tion through the fin­ish line. 2. Take an ego trip! Adren­a­line and con­fi­dence will be as­sets for you here. When you step up to a chal­leng­ing weight, put on that metaphor­i­cal su­per­hero cape. Know the weight is go­ing to go up, ex­pect com­ple­tion, get a lit­tle weird, and nail it! Keep in mind that lift­ing heavy is 75 per­cent phys­i­cal and 25 per­cent men­tal. So while your men­tal game can­not make you lift weight you’re not phys­i­cally ca­pa­ble of, it will make the weight you’ve prepped to move feel that much closer to a cake­walk.

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