Bodybuilding Positively Influences the Mind!
"Get in touch with reality ... feeling the cold steel bar under your hands and knowing the weight that's on it ... nothing is more real." You shouldn't just beleive in yourself, but be able to point to real experiences and achievements in your life.
The mind has an incredibly powerful effect on the body. All of your motivation, drive and desire comes from your mind.
The Arnold Schwarzenegger Bodybuilding Encyclopedia records this event:
When the going gets tough, it is always the mind that fails first, not the body. The best example of this I can think of occurred one day when Franco and I were doing Squats in the old Gold's Gym. Franco got under 500 pounds, squatted down and couldn't get back up. We grabbed the bar and helped him get it back on the rack. 500 pounds for even one rep was apparently just too much for him that day.
Just then four or five Italian-American kids from New York City came in. "Wow," they said, "there's Franco! Hey, Franco!" They were great fans, and were looking forward to watching him work out -- only Franco had just failed in a lift and it seemed probable that he would miss it again on the next try.
I took Franco aside and told him, "Franco, these guys think you're the king. You can't get under five hundred pounds again and fail." All of a sudden his face changed. He looked at me with big eyes, realizing he was on the spot. Then he went out onto the street and spent a while psyching himself up, taking deep breaths and concentrating on the lift.
He stalked back into the gym, grabbed the bar, and, instead of the six reps he was supposed to do with 500 pounds, he did eight! Then he walked away coolly, as if it were nothing.
Obviously Franco's muscles didn't get any stronger in those few minutes between sets, his tendons didn't get bigger; what did change was his mind, his drive and motivation, his desire for the goal. It was impossible to overlook how important the mind was in making the body do what he wanted.
The mind can make a significant impact on bodybuilding, but what about vice versa? Bodybuilding can teach us a great many things. Among them, discipline and die-hard persistence is gained by consistency in the sport. Hard training invokes the release of endorphins by the body. Endorphins are responsible for an increase in feelings of well being, protection against mental illness, and induced feelings of relaxation. They are a group of substances formed within the body that naturally relieve pain. Endorphins have a similar chemical structure to morphine. In addition to their analgesic affect, they are thought to be involved in controlling the body's response to stress, regulating contractions of the intestinal wall, and determining mood. They may also regulate the release of hormones from the pituitary gland, notably growth hormone and the gonadotropin hormones. It seems that endorphin stimulation may occur with strenuous exercise.
Highly oxygenated blood flowing through your body has its positive effects as well. All cells in the body require oxygen to carry about their metabolic processes. Bodybuilding's overall effect on lifestyle, body, and mind is astounding.
Bodybuilding teaches discipline, concentration, and focus. These traits learned in the gym can be applied to all aspects of your life to make all that you do a success! Bodybuilding teaches you to believe in yourself and take pride in what you do. When you're in the gym putting your all into every set, every lift, day in and day out, it goes to show you have the persistence to see anything through ... and not let anything stand in your way. Bodybuilding boosts self-esteem and self-confidence. The stronger and more powerfully impressive your physique becomes, the more your superior body realistically influences yourself and everyone around you. It changes the way you treat people and the way they treat you. It's deserving of respect, and it's well-earned. Through weight-training and exercise, you can release your frustrations and the tensions that build up inside us all. You've heard it's not healthy to let things build up inside of you and bother you. Well, with bodybuilding, you have an outlet to satisfy your body and mind's need to vent. All in all, it's safe to say that bodybuilding not only improves the strength and health of your body, but of your mind as well. So ... Get lifting!