Have you ever been working out and just felt completely in the groove? The weights felt easy, and your body was firing perfectly. For most people, that’s a rare and elusive feeling. In reality, it’s a skill that needs to be built and practiced. Once mastered, you can call on it as needed.
First, the resource state needs to be elicited. Let’s talk squat. What’s needed is a scenario where you feel extremely powerful in that pattern. I have people close their eyes and imagine an emotionally arousing scenario where they have to jump extremely powerfully. If they play basketball, it could be going for a dunk. Hikers could imagine having to jump as high as they can to grab a ledge to pull themselves out of a hole. Any scenario where your blood is pumping and you use an explosive squat pattern. Then I ask them, “where do you feel that power in your body? What does it feel like?” One told me their hips felt like they were completely activated. Another told me their knees and upper back felt full of energy. Whatever you feel is right for you. Really focus in on those sensations. Then switch to imagining your squat (with whatever weight you find challenging) and FEEL that same power in your body. Now, the most important step. Practice applying this in real life. Before you squat, engage your body – visualize that scenario, draw your awareness to where and how you feel that power. Then, as you actually squat, use that power. Feel it in your body. Visualization is great but ultimately you have to feel it while you are doing it. Consider every time you squat as an opportunity to tap into your nervous system’s resources and practice engaging your body’s power.
This process is the same for other movement patterns, just with a different visualization. Stay tuned for my posts on other common lifting patterns. Comment on your experience below or any questions you have!