Why is it that some days you feel like you can move a mountain and other days you feel like the mountain just moved on top of you? You know the feeling I am talking about. It’s the feeling of being in total control of the weights and throwing them around as if each set is a warm-up versus the feeling of having to dig deep so that you don’t get crushed by weight you know you can handle.

Your strength certainly didn’t go anywhere since the last time you trained. Your muscles didn’t take the day off and refused to work. The trigger is in your head. Your mind is command central for your body, and the success and intensity of your workouts are dependent on how you manage your mental state.

Your Mind

We each have it within our capabilities to make every single workout a masterpiece of execution. Think about it. If you achieved an incredible workout once, you know you can do it again. It is just a matter of mastering and controlling your mind and emotions. Sometimes, easier said than done but with practice, you can make more workouts a hit rather than a miss.

I think it is important to reach the right frame of mind before you even set foot in the gym. I like to create a clear picture of the muscle groups I am about to train and exactly how I am going to attack them. I also create the mental image of how I want the body parts to look. This helps keep me focused on the task at hand.

Some people respond better to different motivational tools. It may be music, a certain spoken phrase, visual imagery, or a specific ritual you perform. Neither is right nor wrong. Whatever works best to help you achieve the right frame of mind will do. I have always liked using visual techniques to increase my motivation and focus.

I use both mental imagery and photographs. I remember when I first starting bodybuilding as a teenager, spending countless hours looking through various muscle magazines and practically memorizing pictures of my favorite physiques. I would imagine developing the same type of thick musculature the pros displayed, and I couldn’t wait to get back into the gym and build my own physique.

Visual imagery worked for me then, and it still helps me today. For a while, I had gotten away from that technique, but recently I started doing it again, and it is adding some fuel back to the fire. I often take a few minutes before I train to glance over some photos which helps increase my focus and motivation for the workout ahead.

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Once I get into the gym, I keep the imagery I have created clear in my mind. I think about the development I want to achieve and how I want to look. I remind myself that each workout is an important piece to the results puzzle and the more great workouts I can string together, the better my results will be and the faster they will come.

Love The Process

You also need to love training and make it fun. If training becomes like a job, then you’ll find it harder to capture the enthusiasm and excitement to attack each workout, and if you’re not careful, you can end up simply going through the motions. We all know that just going through the motions is no way to build maximum muscle. Mind-set is everything. Creating that mind-muscle link is paramount maximizing efficiency and results.

Recently, training has become fun again for me, and as a result, my workouts are the best they have been in quite some time. I feel like I did when I was a younger – eager to get to the gym each day and build more muscle.

Back then I was so motivated by the thoughts of what I could become, and those dreams and goals created a raging fire inside that exploded with each workout. The fire has continued to burn all these years, and now I can feel it building to an inferno once again.

Over the years I’ve had periods where the enthusiasm wasn’t as high, and training started to take on more job-like characteristics. That is not the case anymore. After 18 years of bodybuilding, I have a found a renewed enthusiasm fueled by the visions of what I can become and what I can achieve.

You need to capture that enthusiasm and channel it towards each workout. Make it fun and learn to love it. Love the feeling of the results you are achieving with each great workout you complete. Love the challenge of bettering your performance each time you enter the gym. Love the possibilities of what you can become with all your great efforts compiled over time.

If you renew your love of training and use the motivational tools that work best for you, achieving a great pre-workout mindset will be a breeze, and you’ll make each workout great before you even touch a weight.

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How to Make Each Workout Great Even Before Your Very First Rep

by Jeff Willet time to read: 4 min