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The Psychology Of Strength

The Psychology Of Strength

When it comes to training there is just as much, if not more, of a psychological aspect that needs to be nurtured as there is a physical one. Today I want to dive into the mental aspect of training and what strategies I prefer to implement with both my students and myself, as well as defining the lack of mental toughness within our society.

Being Interested vs Being Devoted…

One of the things I realized a long time ago is that anything in life worth having requires great effort. What I mean with this is that if any person wants to pursue any goal or dream in life it takes more than just a temporary interest. Interests in things are fun, but for the most part they don’t give you Jack. There is no Magical Pill…

For part of the mental training I implement I prefer to communicate various life lessons to my athletes after training that involve adopting an attitude of devotion. To drive home the point in this example I tell them that I’m definitely interested in snowboarding, I’m interested in golf, I’m interested in race cars,  and I’m even interested in clay shooting.

Yes, I’m interested in all of these things, as well as a few more, but I’m not devoted to any of these! The distinction is that first and foremost I’m devoted to God, I’m devoted to my family, I’m devoted to my business, I’m devoted to my students, and I’m devoted to getting stronger. These are the things I work every single day to improve. I’m not just interested in these things; the point is I want these things to grow and to define who I am!

The Mental Fallacy…

You see in today’s world I see a lot of weakness and distraction. This is caused by a growing culture that “expects” great things to happen with little to no effort. Additionally much of this in our culture is driven by the rapid sharing, growth, and availability of information.

For example, a teenage boy wants to make some serious gainzzz in training and fires up the YouTubes to stumble upon a video of a seasoned powerlifter, or with someone like the great Arnold Schwarzenegger hammering out a killer set of heavy squats. The kid immediately says “That’s cool” and proceeds to go to the gym all of about 3 times in the next couple weeks.

His interest in making those gainzzz quickly fizzles away, but his attitude is that he actually did something productive. You see at this point the kid actually has a mental belief that he is either super cool and is starting to catch up with Arnold, or that it just can’t be done and that those guys are just on steroids! Basically it’s a lie on top of excuse making. 

You see either way here our friend in this example is wrong. He has a mental fallacy that is blocking him from the truth. The truth is that those highly desired gainzzz that he once had in mind at the beginning of his interest in training can be acquired, but it takes a hell of a lot more than 3 visits to the gym over the span of a couple weeks to acquire them.

The other part of the problem is that his interest in training never grew from that point. Remember the problem with interest? That is the problem here. If our friend here was devoted to the cause he would discover the truth…and the truth is a powerful thing!

You see the problem is that many people in society don’t understand the value of commitment. The mental fallacy is one that must be corrected on two fronts. First they need to understand the truth. Like the young boy in our example here the truth is that he can build his body for great things. Secondly, it’s the devotion. He may come to understand that devotion is necessary, but until he experiences what devotion actually requires first hand he’ll never truly understand it!

I hope you enjoyed today’s post. I figured I’d throw in some psychology for you today. Let me know what you think by posting up in the comment section below. Stay strong and keep training smart!

Related Articles:

My Interview Podcast With The Super Strength Show 

What Is Driving You?

My Interview With Underground Strength Coach Zach Even-Esh


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I'm a Certified Strength And Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and author. I have had over 17 years experience in MMA fitness, strength and conditoning, and athletic performance for most every sport. As an author and specialist I've written close to a million words on fitness and strength. I'm also a Muay Thai practictioner and enjoy helping others to reach their peak potential through fitness and performance.

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