Think there’s no such thing as mental barriers in bodybuilding? Think again.
Your mind is a powerful organ. It can push your body to do things that you never thought you can do. You can reach your optimum potential and do great things when you unlock your maximum mental capacity.
Just how powerful your mind is in helping you achieve great things, it can also be a deadly weapon in bringing you defeat. It may just be a small organ, but it can paralyze your entire body and leave you immobile.
One of the deadliest hindrances of bodybuilders in achieving their goals is their mind. Mental barriers in bodybuilding are a huge factor that you need to overcome. Having a strong mind helps a lot in keeping your physical body healthy.
Below are the most common mental barriers that some bodybuilders experience.
Common Mental Barriers in Bodybuilding
Lack of Self Confidence
We always have to battle this huge demon called “self-doubt” every day.
You may think that you are not strong enough and not built for the bodybuilding journey.
Because we lack self-confidence, most of us won’t even try it in the first place. Probably, we would try it a few times and quit cold turkey because we always have this nagging thought that we can’t make it to the end.
It’s not the lack of physical strength, time, or resources that will hinder you from achieving your body goal: it’s your lack of self-confidence.
Overcoming Lack of Self-Confidence
So how do you overcome the lack of self-confidence?
First, slowly acknowledge your capability and build faith in yourself. Small post-its of self-encouragement can do great wonders. Also, it helps if you set a realistic goal. Getting accomplishments, regardless of how small they are, can help boost your self-confidence. Surround yourself with the right kind of crowd, people who encourage you and lift you up. Lastly, remove any negative thoughts. These are just toxic and don’t do you any good.
Anything is possible as long as you believe in yourself. If you look at yourself in the mirror every day and picture a strong and masculine person that could take on anything in the world, it will eventually come true.
Lack of Focus
We live in a world full of distractions.
For one, social media can be a huge culprit. If you’re constantly on your phone, you would be surprised at how much time you’re wasting. Before you know it, you have already used up one hour of your time just checking your newsfeed instead of lifting weights.
Of course, there are other distractions as well, such as work and environment. It’s hard to focus on lifting that dumbbell when you can’t take your mind off the presentation that you’re about to do with your client.
Overcoming Lack of Focus
If you’re deadset on your goal but don’t have the right amount of focus and attention to accomplish it, here are some tips that you can apply to get things going.
- Turn on airplane mode.
- Go to the gym when it’s not packed.
- Train with someone who is also focused.
- Wear headphones so you won’t get distracted.
- Try new equipment or workout routine to spike your interest.
- Create a plan and track your progress.
- Keep on challenging yourself. If you have achieved your goal, push yourself to do better and go farther.
- Set the timer and do as many rounds as possible.
- Keep rest periods short.
Unable to Breakthrough Pain
Bodybuilding is not an easy and smooth ride. You would experience humps and bumps somewhere along your journey. If you don’t buckle your seat up, you might end up getting tossed at the other side of the road.
Pain has always been a part of any bodybuilding journey. And it’s not just physical pain that you will experience. You will also have to go through mental, spiritual, and emotional pain. A lot of bodybuilders give up because they can’t breakthrough pain. As soon as they feel that it’s too painful enough, they drop their weights and never come back.
Overcoming pain is not easy but it’s not impossible either. So how do you turn the pain around and make it into an instrument of your success? Below are some tips on how to do this.
- Change the way you think. Instead of focusing on the pain, think of it as a sign of your progress.
- Get a personal trainer so you know the proper techniques. Doing exercise correctly reduces the amount of pain that you will feel.
- Stay motivated. Every time you feel pain is about to knock you down, think why you are doing this. Always get in touch with your goals.
- Stay focused and continue believing in yourself.
- Prepare yourself mentally before working out. Condition your mind to think beyond the pain and push forward to reach your goals.
Feeling Burned Out
Feeling burned out can happen even to the best of us.
We sometimes feel lost and stuck. If we don’t see the result that we’re aiming for, we think we’re doing something wrong. It’s understandable to feel tired and demotivated if you’ve been working out for quite some time and you’re still not on where you want to be.
Exhaustion and lack of motivation are valid feelings. It’s right to feel them at one point in your life. But what’s not right is quitting just because you’re burned out.
So how do you overcome being burned out and get back on the treadmill?
Overcoming Burn Outs
Follow these tips below to get your lost zest back.
- Listen to your body. If it’s giving you signs of mental and physical exhaustion, take a short rest.
- Take a break whenever it’s needed.
- Maintain the excitement by trying new routines from time to time.
- Find a workout body that will encourage and motivate you every day.
- Don’t just focus on the numbers. Rejoice in non-scale victories.
- Give yourself a little treat every time you’ve reached a new milestone.
Acknowledging these mental barriers in bodybuilding is not a sign of weakness. Once you have acknowledged these hindrances, you can move past them and work towards reaching your body goal.
Ketchiff, M. (2017). 11 Tips to Banish Gym-timidation and Boost Confidence. Retrieved from https://www.shape.com/lifestyle/mind-and-body/11-tips-banish-gym-timidation-and-boost-confidence
De las Morenas, D. 10 Hacks to Enhance Focus and Intensity in the Gym. Retrieved from https://www.howtobeast.com/10-hacks-to-enhance-focus-and-intensity-in-the-gym/
Benn, B. (2019). Overcoming Resistance To Pain!. Retrieved from https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/overcoming-resistance-to-pain.htm
7 Tips For Getting Over “Workout Burnout. (2018). Retrieved from https://endeavorathletic.com/blogs/news/workout-burnout