In this second part I will talk about how important it is to do the same workout so the mind adapts and grows with each same workout ... Here's great insight making more demand on your mind while training. Learn more.

By: Randy Herring
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Article Summary:
  • The beginner has the potential to use his mind to act on the body.
  • Not exercising one's mind causes it to atrophy and weaken.
  • The beginner cannot acquire the habit to use his mind.
  • In "The Importance of Adaptation, Part I - The Body", I talked about how important it is to do the same workout so the body adapts by habitually exercising to effect change.

    In "The Importance of Adaptation, Part II - The Mind," I will talk about how important it is to do the same workout so the mind adapts and, therefore, grows with each same workout by habitually exercising well to continually effect change.

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    Using Your Mind
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    Your heart might be your biggest muscle, but your mind is your greatest weapon. Using your mind, great things happen. Not using your mind, nothing happens.

    Your Mind Is Your Greatest Weapon.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Your Mind Is Your Greatest Weapon.

    The difference between a beginner and an advanced fitness enthusiast is the mind. The difference between an intermediate from the beginner and advanced is his incipient mind. Hence, the intermediate fitness enthusiast is in the incipient stage of actualizing his mind in training.

    On the one hand, the advanced has the ability to use her mind more than the beginner doing the same workout enabling both her body and her mind to adapt and, therefore, increase in strength by the acquired habit of exercising well. Did you catch that?

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    The advanced exercises will be doing the same workout. Because the advanced can act on utilizing her mind more than the beginner the body fails first before the mind, since the mind is stronger than the body because the mind controls the body.

    On the other hand, because the beginner does not act on utilizing his mind like the advanced the mind fails first before the body, since the mind is not acted upon and thus the body follows suit.

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    An example of the mind failing before the body (i.e., when one's body follows the state of one's mind) is the beginner complaining of the burning sensations while doing a set of leg extensions.

    The nerve fibers that transmit pain signals up to the brain that acts on the mind is so great the beginner imagines potential muscle fatigue and will terminate the set before ever reaching actual muscle fatigue.

    The Beginner Will Terminate The Set Ever Before Reaching Actual Muscle Fatigue.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    The Beginner Will Terminate The Set
    Before Ever Reaching Actual Muscle Fatigue.

    In the case of the beginner, the body says, "yes," while the mind says, "no." An example of the body failing before the mind is the advanced feeling nauseous after a leg workout and throwing up a minute or two later.

    This is because the advanced has the ability to push her body more than the beginner on the grounds that she applies her mind to act on the body so intensely it overburdens the body and drives it to a screeching halt. In the case of the advanced, the mind says, "yes," while the body says, "no."

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    Allowing The Mind To Act On The Body
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    In these cases the mind of the beginner is one of 'potentiality' (using an Aristotelian term) and the mind of the advanced is one of 'actuality' (again, using an Aristotelian term).

    Potentiality & Actuality:
    The theory of Potentiality and Actuality is one of the central themes of Aristotle's philosophy and metaphysics. With these two notions, Aristotle intends to provide a structure for the comprehension of reality. Potency refers, generally, to the capacity or power of a virtual reality to come to be in actuality. In broad terms, potency is a capacity, and actuality is its fulfillment.

    What this means is the beginner has the potential to use his mind to act on the body, and, therefore, to effect change, but is not in actuality, and so his body remains the same.

    This might be because of the lack of experience or because (and what this article is about) he has not learned why doing the same workout allows his body to adapt, which in turn allows his mind to act on the body to get results.

    The Beginner Has The Potential To Use His Mind To Act On The Body.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    The Beginner Has The Potential
    To Use His Mind To Act On The Body.

    Laying aside individual metabolism and genetic predisposition (which in both cases is a poor excuse not to exercise) differences, what is meant by potentiality, at one extreme, can be seen with a "fat" person.

    Fat is potential energy that a fat person chooses not to use; hence, a fat person remains fat. And a fat person will get fatter if he keeps his energy in a potential state.

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    It is simple math: more energy in, less energy out, equals an energy imbalance. That is, fat will be gained if a fat person remains in a potential state.

    At the other extreme, what is meant by actuality can be seen with a "lean" (not "skinny") person. ("Skinny", to describe someone's appearance, can be misleading. A person can appear to be skinny but in actuality be a "fat skinny pillow" due to the absence of muscle that lay underneath her skin and fat.

    What Is Meant By Actuality Can Be Seen With A 'Lean' Person.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    What Is Meant By Actuality Can
    Be Seen With A "Lean" Person.

    And believe me, there are a lot of "fat skinny pillows" walking around believing themselves to be lean and fit. I use "lean" rather than "skinny" to denote a person who has a healthy muscle to fat ratio but can add more muscle to increase strength and fitness.)

    Simply put, the absence of fat in a "lean" person is potential energy actualized. A lean person will remain lean if potential energy is always actualized. This too, is simple math: energy in, energy out, equals an energy balance that remains in an actual state.

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    At the mean, however, is what is moderate and healthy. What is moderate is having the right amount of fat and the right amount of muscle, not too much fat (like the fat person) and not too little muscle (like the lean person).

    This person possesses the right amount of muscle-to-fat ratio relative to her body both in quantity (not too little and not too much) and quality (no less and no more) that makes her strong and fit yielding potentiality and actuality - potentiality when energy is not in use and actuality when energy is in use at the proper time.

    Moderate Is Having The Right Amount Of Fat And The Right Amount Of Muscle.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Moderate Is Having The Right Amount
    Of Fat And The Right Amount Of Muscle.

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    The Mind Of A Beginner
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    That the mind of the advanced fitness enthusiast is one of actuality means her mind is always in act to effect change in her body. That the mind of the beginner fitness enthusiast is one of potentiality, which means his mind lies dormant, and, for this reason, cannot effect change in his body.

    On the one hand, first, the beginner has not acquired the habit of consistantly adhering to the same workout and, therefore, does not exercise well.

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    Second, as a consequence of not adhering to the first, the beginner cannot acquire the habit to use his mind and, therefore, his mind remains in a state of dormancy, of potentiality, of potential usage.

    Thus, the mind of the beginner is one of potential still yet yearning to do something significant to allow it to act on the body to bring about significant change to the body.

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    On the other hand, the advanced has acquired the habit to use her mind because she has acquired the habit of exercising well by allowing her mind to go beyond her physical bodily capabilities since she has educated herself to use her mind to act as a great weapon for a cause to effect change.

    In the case of the advanced, she has adapted her mind by the constancy of the same workout routine to stretch her mind in order to improve her body.

    The Advanced Lifter Has Allowed The Mind To Stretch, Improving The Body.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    The Advanced Lifter Has Allowed
    The Mind To Stretch, Improving The Body.

    In a few words, if you want to improve your body you must make demands on your mind. You will not make improvements if you exercise within your capacity, let alone your "comfort zone."

    You must tackle each workout of your routine with an unrelenting effort of reaching beyond your capacity. You can only do this with your mind. Your mind controls your body. Your mind is your greatest weapon. Your body simply follows the dictates of your mind.

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    Conclusion
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    Doing the same workout routine so your body adapts to effect change is like reading a great book (e.g., Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics) that requires more than one reading so your mind grows with the book.

    Unless you stretch your mind you will not learn, adapt and grow. To have a firm or muscular body you must exercise well. But to exercise well you must first utilize the mind. A lack of exercise makes our muscles atrophy and our bones weak and fragile. Similarly, not exercising one's mind causes it to atrophy and weaken.

    Copyright © 2006 By Randy M. Herring

    Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

    Importance Of Adaptation, Part II - The Mind: Grow By Repetition!

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