Arnold was as famous for his mental success as he was for his physique. More than anyone, Arnold introduced the bodybuilding community to the power of the mind. For many young guys just starting, his mental approach was their introduction to the technique of bodybuilding visualization.
If you want to be successful, you have to see your success in your mind. This is not only true for bodybuilding. It’s true for any other sport, business, and life in general.
What Is Bodybuilding Visualization?
It’s seeing in your mind the way you want your physique to look. This technique is used when individuals exercise visualization to imagine the physique they want to achieve in extreme detail. This mental picture can apply to your workouts or any event that involves your transformed physique.
Workout Visualization Exercise
As noted, there’s a couple of ways you can use bodybuilding visualization to transform your physique. We’ve already talked about the mind to muscle connection in another article. By mentally connecting with the muscles you’re training, you can feel that muscle working. You’re intently focused on engaging more muscle fibers through the entire movement. Working out with this level of intentionality can positively impact muscle gains.
There’s another step you can take to bring the power of the mind into your workout. This step is to use workout visualization. This is imagining how you want the muscles you are training to look. For example, Arnold would close his eyes during concentration curls and imagine his biceps were huge mountains.
You can use this technique the way Arnold did. You can this visualization exercise to vividly imagine the workouts that will transform your physique.
In this case, you imagine how the weights feel, and how big your muscles look. Visualize and feel the muscles contracting. You picture yourself completing your reps and sets. Picture how good it feels to have a great workout.
Remember, every workout brings you one step closer to your goal. Exercising visualization this way, you can engage in this technique before you leave the house. Or, you can use it on the way to the gym. You can also take 5 minutes before you start your warm-ups and mentally rehearse the workout to come.
Bodybuilding Visualization Exercise Examples
While workout visualization is a big part of the process, there’s more. You can practice daily visualization that will help you achieve your physique goals. With this technique, you’ll visualize the exact outcome of whatever event you want.
For example, this can be how you want your physique to look. When creating a mental picture like this, you have to be realistic. Using visualization this way involves using extreme detail. You may want to find pictures of bodybuilders you admire that are similar in height to you. To keep it accurate, you should look for guys with a similar structure as your own.
For example, if you pick someone that’s 5-6 inches taller than you are, that’s not going to be realistic. A guy with a Frank Zane-like structure will never achieve the physique of a Dorian Yates. Likewise, a guy with a Yates or Coleman structure is not going to achieve the classic look of a Frank Zane.
Determine how you want to look, and use examples of bodybuilders that reasonably represent that look. Once you’ve done this, you can use visualization to see your physique in your mind.
Here are some bodybuilding visualization examples:
Picture yourself posing in a mirror. You can see the details of your physique as you pose. You clearly see the room, the lighting, and what you’re wearing. Finally, feel the satisfaction of getting closer to your goal as you hit pose after pose.
Example # 2
Let’s say you’re planning to compete. You can visualize the events of the contest day using extreme detail. Imagine yourself up on stage, how you look, and how you feel. You can see the color of your posing trunks. Picture the other competitors, hear the crowd, and feel the excitement as you hoist up the winner’s trophy. Finally, you can see yourself hitting a few Most Musculars to the cheering crowd.
These examples are the type of bodybuilding visualization exercises every bodybuilding champion has engaged in. Of course, Arnold used it to win his Mr. Universe and 7 Mr. Olympia titles. Frank Zane used it when he won his first Mr. Olympia in 1977. Every successful bodybuilding champion since has used this technique.
Use this mental approach to vividly imagine the workouts and other components it will take to achieve your goals. This is how you transform your physique into what you want it to be. It’s also how you achieve the bodybuilding goals you have set for yourself.
Bodybuilding Visualization Techniques
Using the above technique daily can be as simple as taking a few minutes and visualizing what you want to achieve. Or, you can use techniques that refine bodybuilding visualization to become a form of meditation.
Here’s are four steps to exercise visualization to help you achieve your goals and ideal physique.
Step 1: Write Your Script
Determine exactly how you want to look, in detail. As noted above, be realistic and keep your physical transformation in line with your body type. For example, if you’re 5’8” tall, and small-framed, don’t visualize yourself as a clone of someone that’s 6’5” and 300lb.
Step 2: Meditate
In this step, sit in a quiet, dark room, and close your eyes. Focus your attention on a large surface and imagine a TV screen. Next envision the details building the physique you want to achieve playing on the screen. The key here is detail. The more detail you can see, hear and even smell, the better.
Step 3: Think Positive
You have to carry the image you have of your transformed physique into your daily attitude. Express positive affirmations in your mind that support the efforts of achieving your goals. The concept of a positive mindset locks your success in place.
Step 4: Practice
Practice your visualization techniques. Visualization is a mental skill that you can develop with time. Begin with one 3-5 minute session a day. You can build up from there, and engage in a longer session or multiple sessions per day.
The Benefits Of Bodybuilding Visualization Exercise
It Improves The Mind To Muscle Concentration
Using visualization techniques improves your ability to focus. Training your mind to concentrate on a specific goal carries over to your ability to use the mind to muscle concentration. This means your workouts will become more productive.
It Reduces Anxiety
Anxiety about the outcome of something can often hinder your ability to complete the task at hand. Feeling stressed and anxious about a goal will only hold you back. Practicing mind-to-muscle concentration, workout visualization techniques, and bodybuilding visualization techniques helps you stay stress-free.
This is because you’re seeing your ultimate success. You’re feeling what it’s like to win. You’ve conquered the weights. You have transformed your physique in your mind. You have mentally achieved your goal. This means you will do it in real life.
For example, your goal is to transform your physique and win a specific contest. By using the visualization techniques in this article, you’re rehearsing these events. Every rep of every set is rehearsed. All the workouts it will take to reach your physique goals will be rehearsed.
Standing on the contest stage holding the winner’s trophy is also rehearsed. When the day comes, you will have lived it a hundred times in your mind. So why be stressed or anxious? You won’t be because you have mentally been here before. You already know the outcome.
It Helps Create Success
You can use visualization and a positive mindset to create success in all areas of life. You can apply the mental success you’ve developed to other goals you might have. Arnold used his visualization techniques to help him succeed as an actor, a businessman, and in politics.
You can use these techniques to help you at work or school. Visualize yourself achieving your college or career goals by using these techniques. You can also adapt the concept of mind to muscle concentration by applying that focus towards other goals.
It Builds Confidence
Success and a positive attitude will make you a confident person. Let’s face it, you will achieve far more in life if you believe in yourself. It’s about having the confidence to overcome obstacles and tackle any goal.
Bodybuilding Visualization: Taking Action
You’ve seen how successful you can be by using these techniques. Now all you have to do is follow-through by taking action. Put in the effort it takes to develop these mental techniques into habits. Make the mind to muscle connection and workout visualization a part of your workout, and your daily life.
Practice daily visualization and build it up in time and frequency. Your use of visualization techniques should be as much of a habit as taking your stack of Black Powder Pre-Workout and NO2 Black. Just like you use these powerful products, you can use these mental techniques. They’re one more potent tool in your arsenal.
When’s the best time to start? How about right now!
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Bodybuilding Visualization Exercise Resources
- Arnold Schwarzenegger, The Education Of A Bodybuilder
- Arnold Schwarzenegger, The Encyclopedia Of Bodybuilding
- Success Consciousness: Positivity, Meditation, and Lifestyle
- Microsoft Word - The Effects of Visualization-2.docx (txstate.edu)