Marie Dalloway, Ph.D., Director of the Optimal Performance Institute, offers interesting insight on how imagery affects performance in her book, Visualization: The Master Skill in Mental Training. She relates:
"We cannot think or imagine without some level of physical response occurring. In visualization, thoughts and images lead to neurological patterns, which in turn, lead to muscular responses.
"With a repetition of thoughts and images (a visualization), the associated neurological pattern is strengthened, and the responses imagined have a higher probability of occurring in an actual situation. It's as though by visualization a neurological blueprint or template is created.
"With visualization practice, the template is being traced and retraced, making it more indelible and more clearly defined. The stronger the neurological pattern associated with the visualization, the more likely that it will be activated in an actual situation. Therefore, there is a greater probability of performance outcomes that have been visualized."
Having personally worked with professional athletes and world champion bodybuilders for 27 years now, I'll relate some personal experience wisdom -- the stronger the link you form between an idea and its desired physical action counterpart, the more decisive and frequent the physical action becomes.
So you can now strengthen this link to foster a driving, success compelling workout approach, following is a pre-sleep visual scripting process I've developed. I've taught this same procedure to all the Mr. America, Mr. Universe, and Mr. Olympia champions I've worked with.
It will enable you to exploit this thought-instigating-action principle, and help you program a connection between your workouts, and you generating peak exertion levels which stimulate maximum results.
Pre-Sleep Success Motivation Scripting
Rather than going through the "usual" unconscious processing of your day's experiences before you sleep, this is an excellent time to mentally reinforce and strategically motivate yourself toward achieving your physical development goals.
Most people I meet will just allow random experiences of their day to comprise the sensory impressions that become processed while they sleep. And during this period, you've got 6 to 8 consecutive hours of unconscious processing going on which, in many cases, will be partly constrictive and/or negative.
As such, to use your inner power for peak goal accomplishment, it's essential you "ingest" the most positive, success inducing programming possible. This way, instead of having your power inwardly "fight" the unresolved battles and conflicts of your day, you direct it to further advance yourself up the mountain of personal triumph!
Understand that as you drift off to sleep you naturally gain subconscious access; essentially, you connect with the very power which makes you what you are. And with the following pre-sleep process, you'll use your capacity for sensory imaging so determination, conviction and indomitable success expectancy unite to fuel all your training efforts.
Applying The Process
[Read this process through in its entirety first, then perform it exactly as outlined.]
In bed at night, before you drift off to sleep, close your eyelids down and enthusiastically, imaginatively progress through each of the following sensory impact modes:
Mode A: Super Human Workout Forcefulness:
Imagine a graphic scenario where you're about to engage a set of an exercise you intend to perform in your next workout. But, instead of envisioning this with yourself possessing your current physique, envision it with yourself possessing the exact physique you desire ... that's right -- that ultimate thick, dense, cut, flaring muscularity that represents peak accomplishment to you!
Once you've mentally projected this scenario (as outlined), imaginatively step-into the picture, and into your body, an experience yourself powerfully and masterfully engaging this set. Take charge, take control, and imaginatively push yourself to the limit ... and then BEYOND!
And as you're perceptually generating this superior effort, f-e-e-l every accompanying physical/sensory factor of emotion, body temperature, heart rate, muscular contraction, breathing rate, etc. – all reflecting levels you know they'd have to as you engaged your set as this conquest compelled intensity!
Just don't imaginatively perform a "regular" set here, experience yourself as this physical mastery generating the most super human, dominance fierceness you can conceive! S-t-r-e-t-c-h your imagination here, and as the full unbridled reflection of muscular success, perceptually blast out a set which literally depicts you "MELTING THE IRON!"
Mode B: Peak Muscular Success Imaging:
Next, directly after you've completed Mode A, envision yourself in shorts or posing trunks standing in front of a full length mirror, and experience your physique the total embodiment of this commanding muscular success.
From your calves to your traps, as you look at your reflection (as peak muscular development) clearly notice the size, fullness, shape, and proportion of every body part. Precisely experience every cut, groove, line, peak, vein and sinew of this masterful physical development you're perceptually possessing – and F-E-E-L its natural power and proportional density from head to toe!
Spend 3-4 minutes richly experiencing yourself as this maximum muscular success, first from the front, then from the rear.
In addition to perceptually envisioning yourself as this masterful physique, and feeling its overall mass and power, let yourself then feel each body part as this peak development—from within! (Sense the density, the power, and the fullness of each body part as if you've internally become the muscle.) And spend 3-4 minutes engaging this internal peak muscularity unifying aspect.
Then, again, imaginatively look at your peak muscular frontal development, and notice yourself reflecting the facial expression and emotional state you sense you'd naturally express having this physical dimension as your fact of life!
Mode C: Future Success Impact Visioning:
Now, you again project yourself back into the gym as the epitome of your desired level of muscular accomplishment. But now envision yourself having just finished a magnitude exertion set, and experience yourself studying your fully pumped physique in one of the gym mirrors.
As you're doing this, experience others around you commenting on your size, power, and level of development. Hear their compliments, their praise and their seeming excitement and appreciation over the development level you possess!
Spend 3-4 minutes with this aspect, then envision you're in your street clothes, with your head held high and a gleam of masterful self-esteem in your eye. You exude healthy muscular power and confidence, and with every step you take, you feel a commanding level of personal power and self respect -- a genuine sense of pride and value in your achievements and muscular success!
Clearly envision yourself as this decisive muscular success among your friends, co-workers and peers, and hear their comments, compliments, and praise. And, as you experience this, let it serve to empower you even more!
After 3-4 minutes with this aspect, again envision yourself in posing trunks or shorts standing in front of a full length mirror the striking reflection of densely chiseled muscular success. Then, feeling a deep connection with every body part at this development level, and feeling a sense of rightful, expectant capacity to achieve, s-l-o-w-l-y let your mind grow clear, let your attention focus on your breathing, and easily let it all just mentally slip away.
Then, feeling this richness of capacity for peak muscular success, let yourself easily, comfortably drift off into a deep and soothing slumber.
I recommend you perform this pre-sleep motivation scripting every night before retiring. In this way, you keep your dreams positive and enriching, and your subconscious drenched with the sensory forcefulness which commands muscular progress!
Recapping The Overall Mode Sequence Of This Process
Here's the sequence outline to follow as you implement this whole process:
- Mode A: Super Human Workout Forcefulness:
- Mode B: Peak Muscular Success Imaging:
- Mode C: Future Success Impact Visioning:
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Experiencing yourself as muscular success engaging a Herculean exertion/impact set, feeling related sensory accompaniments.
Experiencing the full reflection of your physique as maximum muscular success, and feeling the proportional density you possess as this peak muscularity. Then, imaginatively becoming the full density/power of each body part from within the muscle. Then, noticing the accompanying facial expression and sense of self you naturally project as this peak muscularity.
Experiencing yourself as full muscular success after a set, noticing the peer feedback to your superior development.
Then, experiencing yourself in street clothes among friends, co-workers and peers and hearing their positive acknowledgement and praise.
Then, experiencing yourself again in front of a full-length mirror as peak muscularity feeling a deep connection with yourself and body, at this level.
Then, drifting off to sleep.
Go now and make sure you have pleasant, and powerful dreams!
About The Author:
Powerhouse self-help author, clinician, and national TV therapist, Pete Siegel is the country's foremost sports and peak performance hypnotherapist. You can review his PowerMind© best selling life and success building programs, including Building Super Confidence, Think & Grow BIG, Living Invincibly Positive, Steppin' Up To Mega-Muscle And Power, and Winning At Life, at www.incrediblechange.com.