It can be frustrating when certain muscle areas just don’t seem to be growing, no matter how much time you dedicate to working them out. But it may be psychological barriers holding you back. Despite weight-lifting being a purely physical exercise, energy from your mind is required to make sure you’re pushing yourself to the maximum, and keeping up a strict routine.
The Science Behind It
Mind-Muscle-Connections (MMC) are not just quasi-science. The mind actually meets the muscle at the neuromuscular junction, a series of synapses in which neurotransmitters are sent from your brain impulse to the muscles in the body – causing movement, or muscle contraction. The more neurotransmitters crossing over, the more your individual muscles contract. The better muscle contraction, the more effective workout. Although it may sound technical, it really is mind over matter. To maximize your gains, you have to focus.
How to Improve Your Lifting with MMC
Channel this focus onto your muscles, and really feel each and every contraction. When you feel it as you’ve lifted the weight, pause for a moment to really gain some focus. This enables your muscles to work for that few extra seconds longer, which is crucial for their growth. Remember, it’s not about how much weight your pushing necessarily, but rather how much work your muscles are actually doing. With a solid Mind-Muscle-Connection, you’ll discover that your muscles have a few more reps in them and then you’re on your way to more valuable workouts.
- Slow It Down
In a similar vein, performing your lifts much slower enhances your MMC. It may be best to use smaller weights than normal to start, but by taking an extra few seconds for both the concentric and eccentric parts of the lift, you can really push your muscles to its maximum contraction.
- Flex Between Sets
To pump up your muscles even further, flexing between sets helps the blood get flowing. When your muscles are pumped, not only do they perform better physically and allow you to push further for those extra few reps, but they also mentally make you feel as though you’re capable to keep on going.
MMC is something that takes a lot of brain power. It takes utter focus, pure awareness and a willingness to find out your muscles true limits. Once you’ve reached this state with a bit of practice, then you’ll be able to push past those limits when lifting weights and start to make those neglected gains.