Visualizing is a technique that is used by most successful people and in particular by sports men and women to achieve their goals.
The reason so many successful people use visualization is because seeing the end result of your plans in your mind excites and motivates you to do what is necessary to get where you want to be.
Visualizing your medium term goals and seeing them succeed helps give you the focus to stick to the overall plan you have created.
seeing the short term goals means your next workout should be perfect because that is how you have already pictured it.
So, if you have set yourself targets that you want to reach with your bodyweight training then I advise you to start practising visualization as soon as possible.
The reason is that what ever bodyweight workout aspirations you have, you must believe they are possible before you can reach them and to believe they are possible you must see them clearly in your mind first.
Therefore, if you are following a bodyweight workout program or any other training regime for that matter, one of the most important tools you can use is the art of visualization.
If you are thinking – oh no not another airy fairy new age idea – and I am sitting here wearing the essential cardigan and sandals that seem to go with the territory of such people. I would ask you to just keep an open mind for a few minutes and let me explain what visualization is and why it is crucial for success in bodyweight training, sport or any other aspect of your life that you want to change or improve.
Every desire begins with a thought, once the thought has had time to take root in your mind it will turn into a dream that you want to achieve. To achieve it you have to set yourself goals, the overall big goal and the smaller ones that build up to turn your desire in to reality.
This is where visualization comes in to play because unless you can picture what you want in your mind I guarantee you will never accomplish it.
To quote the martial arts legend Brue Lee – As you think, so shall you become –
So as you see, visualization is using your own imagination to picture how you would like things to be instead of how they are. It is a gift that all of us possess and can harness to improve ourselves and the life we want to live.
The more you can imagine a certain thing happening the more likely it will be to occur. For example, if you are currently overweight and want to slim down using a bodyweight workout routine.
Then the more time you spend visualizing yourself with the body you want, picturing in your mind how you will feel, how you will respond when people compliment you on your new appearance and how much more confidence you have, the more likely you are to belief it is just a matter of time before you have the slimmer body you desire.
How to get the most out of visualization!
The skill of visualization is a very powerful technique that is as close to having supernatural gifts as it gets. If this seems incredible keep in mind that every single athlete who won gold at the Olympics, fought there way to a world championship or broke a record in any sport visualized doing it long before it actually happened.
All great sports people spent years dreaming of their success, picturing in their mind what it would be like to lift the trophy or receive the medal, imagining the applause of the crowd, conducting imaginary interviews with journalists and thinking what they would do with the rewards that sports success usually brings.
It is this same frame of mind that you must develop to reach the targets you have set yourself in life whether they are exercise related or other ambitions you might have. To throw another quote at you the great Muhammad Ali said – I am the greatest; I said that even before I knew I was –
Now back to getting the most out of visualization
The first step is to visualize the final goal you have in mind. Once you know exactly what it is you want to achieve you should constantly visualize what it will be like for you when you have done so.
Really use your imagination, picture how different your life will be when you have reached your dream and make the picture as real as you can. The more of your senses you can include in your visualization the better.
For example, if it is a different physic that you want then imagine how you will feel when you look in the mirror and see your new body, think what it will be like when your muscles are so big that they look like they are going to explode out of your clothes and the looks people will give you when they see you as a powerful confident man in control of your life.
If building big, strong muscles is not what you want and you are planning to slim down. Then imagine how good it will feel when you have to buy smaller dresses because of all the weight you have lost (the women can do this as well if they want, he says joking) and you hear all the comments of family, friends and work colleagues when they see the new you and how about the sense of pride you will feel for achieving what you set out to do. Life doesn’t get any better than having a dream and making it come true.
The second step is to get into the habit of visualizing the smaller goals that you must conquer to reach your ultimate dream. For example, if your short term exercise goal is to do 12 pull ups and you can only mange 8 at the moment you should spend time every day visualizing reaching 12.
All you have to do is find a quite place close your eyes and run through the set of pull ups in your mind. Visualize completing each rep individually and visualize in real time – in other words take as long to picture doing the set in your mind as it would take you in reality.
When you get to the 8 reps you are stuck on at the moment, visualize your self doing another pull up and then another one and so on until you reach the 12 you want to do.
An important point about this technique is when you do the pull ups for real you will feel some pain so you should also include the feeling of some pain in the last few reps during your imaginary set. The only difference is this time the pain will feel less intense and if you have a really good imagination you can picture the pain sending a warm feeling throughout your body that comforts you, almost like a friend helping you reach your goal.
The third way to use visualization for your bodyweight workout routines is to take some time before every workout and picture it as the most perfect training session you can imagine. A workout where you are stronger, fitter, and more confident than normal and all the training targets for that day are reached. If you take 10 minutes before each bodyweight training session to do this your workouts will definitely improve.
If you are sceptical about the power of visualization and unless you’ve tried it I wouldn’t blame you. I would like you to do the following experiment for me so you can see for yourself what it can achieve.
Take any exercise that you do regularly – lets say you’ve chosen push ups – if at the moment you maximum set is for example 25 and no matter how much you try you can’t get past this number then do the following experiment for one week only.
What I want you to do is refrain from doing press ups or any other chest exercises for the whole week and instead every night visualize your self doing 30 good press ups. After the one week trail is over and you have spent 7 days seeing your self push past the 25 reps seeing the pain of the last few reps as a friend helping you reach your goal then find a nice quit place where you wont be disturbed and try it out, I guarantee you will do 30 reps.
What visualization cannot achieve!
Although you possess the gift of visualizing your dreams there are limits to what it can achieve. If you spend the next month picturing yourself taking a giant leap and landing on the moon I’m willing to bet it doesn’t happen for you. However, with visualization you can reach for the stars.
Everybody is capable of doing far more than they think they can and visualization is the best way of doing so.
Decide what your dreams are, set short, medium and long term goals for accomplishing them and then spend as much time as you can seeing the fulfilment of those dreams in your mind.
Finally, as I said at the beginning of this article. All successful people visualized there successful dreams long before they ever achieved them, so the message is clear. keep visualizing your dreams and they will come true.
I will leave you with some quotes by successful people about the power of the mind.
If you always put a limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.
As you think, so shall you become!
A goal is not always meant to be reached; it often serves simply as something to aim at.
Mistakes are always forgiveable, if one has the courage to admit them.
The possession of anything begins in the mind.
To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.
– Quotes from other famous people –
Doctors and scientists said that breaking the four-minute mile was impossible, that one would die in the attempt. Thus, when I got up from the track after collapsing at the finish line, I figured I was dead. Roger Bannister
Champions aren’t made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them – a desire, a dream, a vision. – Muhammad Ali
If you set a goal for yourself and are able to achieve it, you have won your race. Your goal can be to come in first, to improve your performance, or just finish the race it’s up to you. – Dave Scott
Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records. William A. Ward
Do not let what you can not do interfere with what you can do. John Wooden
The minute you start talking about what you’re going to do if you lose, you have lost. George Shultz
If you can believe it, the mind can achieve it. Ronnie Lot
The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary. Vidal Sassoon
Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance. Samuel Johnson