[note from editor] Personally I've used anchoring like this to get into a "peak state" before a big lift...and it WORKS.
And I've definitely experienced that elevated state with the right music...(which is a big reason why I can't stand training at most commercial gyms...the music is terrible).
This anchoring is just a sample of the techniques and strategies that Mike Gillette teaches in his Strength Psychology program.
Once you start the mindset exercises like these you'll be surprised how little time they take. It will all seem quite easy, as though nothing is happening. But then in the next few days, you’ll start to notice subtle differences.
You’ll find yourself a little more focused. The paperwork on your desk will reduce faster. You’ll find it easier to concentrate.
A week or so later, you’ll start noticing your surroundings more. You’ll observe your environment in greater color and detail when you walk in a room. You’ll wonder if it's really is possible that changes are taking effect THAT quickly.
After three or four weeks, others will start to comment.“Is there something different about you?”... because you’ll be walking taller, more confidently. And the first time you realize how far you've come will be when you start experiencing breakthroughs.
Perhaps giving a presentation without feeling nerves.
Or finding yourself reacting calmly to a ‘situation’ that you would have freaked out about before.
The chaos that used to rage in your mind is long gone. The electric energy that tightened your muscles and your chest doesn’t materialize.
You breathe. You think. You act, decisively and with purpose.
Do This Before Your Next Workout and Be STRONGER
By Mike Gillette
Chief Instructor of Strength Psychology
You’ve experienced this before, whether you realized it at the time or not. It starts when a certain song comes on the radio.
Then, the next thing you know, you’re in a better mood than you were just a moment earlier.
Or, it starts when a certain song comes on the radio. And then, the next thing you know, you’re in a much worse mood than you were just a moment earlier.
How can this be?
Well, it goes much further than the idea that some songs are either inherently good or inescapably bad. It has to do with a psychological term known as an“anchor”.
An anchor is any stimulus that can trigger a particular psychological state. And a song on the radio is just one example of a psychological anchor. Anchors occur throughout all of our sensory channels (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, gustatory [taste] and olfactory [smell]) in an almost infinite number of ways.
If you ever took a psychology class, you probably remember reading about Ivan Pavlov’s famous experiment with dogs. Using food and a metronome, Pavlov trained a group of dogs to salivate whenever the metronome was triggered.
For those dogs, the anchor was the association between hearing the sound and the food that they’d been conditioned to expect after hearing the metronome. Psychologists describe their salivation as being the result of a conditioned response.
So, an anchor is a stimuli, which brings forth thoughts, emotions or a combination of both. We actually create anchors throughout our lives. And many of them are created without any conscious thought or intention on our part.
Think about the feelings you get when you smell a certain type of food or perfume. Or the associations you have with a particular time of the year or location such as a house.
These are the kinds of anchors that develop and are reinforced over time. And this is an important point because anchors ultimately exert a significant influence on our lives based upon the decisions that they lead us to make.
So, if the ‘Psychology of Strength’ is about the intentional control of the mind, how can we use the phenomenon of anchoring to our advantage?
Very simply, by intentionally creating new anchors.
So here are some simple, effective steps for anchoring positive associations to your training regimen. These steps are so simple that most people will read through the list and that will be the end of it.
But remember, mental exercises are just like physical exercises. It doesn’t matter if you know them, it only matters if you do them.
1. Create a mission statement for your training
It could be related to improving performance in a given sport, improving your appearance or, if you’re like me, you just want to be stronger.
So I might write out something along the lines of,“Every day I train I’m getting stronger and stronger.”
The key here is to make your mission statement specific to your goal(s) and build it into a concise, positively-phrased statement that you can both write down and repeat to yourself.
For example, before each set, repeat your mission statement in your head or even out loud.
2. Make a list of songs you love that also put you into a powerful mood
Then create a master “power playlist”. Whenever you train, play that music and let the powerful, positive associations take you to new levels of accomplishment.
3. Spend five to ten minutes before you train by reliving a strong, positive memory
A memory of an experience when you were performing at your best. Recall every detail of that memory. The time of year, the time of day, who else was present, how you felt before, during and afterwards.
Make it as real as you possibly can. Practice this with different positive memories, as many as you can recall.
With practice, you will get better and better at putting yourself into your own peak-performance state.
The results will surprise you.
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