Posted by: Shawn
Top professional bodybuilders like Arnold or Frank Zane knew the importance of developing a positive attitude and a strong mind in their quest to achieve bodybuilding goals. Anyone can use simple visualization techniques to gain that mental edge you might need to achieve your specific goals.
Imagery or visualization is simply the ability everyone has to create vivid images of a desired outcome. Good visualization is able to reprogram your subconscious mind, where your brain will process your thoughts, triggers emotions, and help make decisions to your bodily responses.
When visualizing a positive outcome to build the best physique you can, there are many bodybuilders who have been able to embrace the journey and "daydream" it into a reality.
Step 1: Write Down The Script
You don't need to be a good author to create a clear-cut and vivid and image or motion picture you might be trying to mentally create, but it's your image and it must be something that is well defined, with the specifics clearly reflected on that rock hard body you are after.
Look at pics in magazines or online and see what type of body appeals to you. Maybe they got bigger calves than you or you admire their tight glutes or ripped abs. Try use imagery to create your specific metal image of what you would like your body to look like, or select a mentor.
Step 2: Concentration
Visualization requires focus, mindfulness and intense concentration. These skills are something you're born with and the 3 times Mr. Olympia winner, Frank Zane was a big advocate for visualization or the power of mental practice, and is probably the most recognized of all bodybuilders for mind training.
In his own words Frank says that true mindfulness is to slow down and the turning inward to assess feelings and thoughts. His mentor, Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn states that when an athlete concentrates they engage in a non-judgmental awareness of their own internal experience that occurs at each moment. Like your bodily sensations, your cognition and your emotions will respond to any environmental stimuli, like sights and sounds.
Step 3: Implement The 5 Methods For Imagery
Sport psychologists have been conducting numerous studies on the effects and the abilities of an athlete to utilize imagery for performance enhancement. In order to study this imagery function phenomena, psychologists devised the Sport Imagery Questionnaire. It's a 30-item self-reporting questionnaire whereby an athlete can rate their own use of imagery against a 7-point scale which marks degrees of use, 1 being very rarely, and 7 being very often. The SIQ measures this imagery ability of the athlete by using imagery in 5 different ways:
1. Cognitive Specific (imaging a perfectly executed sport skill)
2. Cognitive General (imaging specific strategies of play)
3. Motivation General-Mastery (imaging to stay focused and solve problems)
4. Motivational General-Arousal (imaging all the anticipated arousal, stress and the anxiety which may accompany performance)
5. Motivation Specific (imaging specific goals and their outcomes)
Step 4: Extraordinary Effort
Visualization is a very specific skill which needs to be done regularly as it is gradually developed and built upon. Start your visualization by practicing with just 3-5 minutes as you slowly build up. Practice visualization daily and eventually you'll find it becomes easier to control your thoughts so that you can concentrate on your vision. You'll be able to call upon the skill for various life events. Visualization and desperate desire will mean nothing without action. You must make a regular effort to turn your mental images into reality.