Mind2Muscle Connection

So you’re about to un-rack the barbell on the incline press..... Looking to emphasize stress on the upper part of the pectorals (Pectoralis major). You lift the weight off the rack and bring it overhead, you then simply bring the bar down to chest level and drive the bar back up, hands gripped tightly around the bar with the mentality of pounding out as many repetitions as possible.... WRONG!

I am not worried about getting as many reps as possible, this is a given! Or the weight on the bar, this has already been adjusted to induce failure around the desired rep range.

Yes I may be pumped, yes I am focused..... however I am thinking about my Mind2Muscle connection!

To induce Mind2Muscle connection I am concerned with ensuring as much tension as possible on the downward portion of the rep and the maximum amount of force generated on the upward motion, comes from the muscle I am trying to stimulate (the pectorals). This is something you will need to focus on as you progress and move away from just building overall mass and look to focus specifically on developing individual body parts. Too many take for granted that they are stimulating the right muscles when performing exercises, just because the set up of the exercise they are trying to perform looks close to what they have seen in a magazine or online.

To induce the connection between your mind and the muscle you are working (with reference to the example above) 1st flex the muscle to its fullest pre-workout, within the range of motion of the exercise you are about to perform. Focus on closing the distance between the ORIGIN and INSERTION of the muscle until maximum contraction is reached.

Use this throughout the workout between sets to maintain this connection. Try to remove any tension from other muscle groups e.g. in this case I would do this by desensitising any thoughts about driving the bar up using your arms. Most people focus on a tight grip and pushing with their arms, this is not what we want to do. I would just rest the bar in my grip with my elbow out at 90 degrees. Reducing recruitment of the anterior deltoid and increasing involvement of the pectoralis major.  Make sure the weight is lifted without momentum eliminating excess strain and on ligaments and tendons. Ensure not only do you not lock out at the top of the movement, but stop short. At which point flex the pectorals as much as possible and almost try and draw your hands closer together while holding the bar.

Reflect, apply and you will grow!

Any information on applying this to other muscle groups please e-mail me at chris.brodie@monstersupplements.com

About the Author

My favourite training techniques and styles include Y3T, FST-7 Principle, DTP, HIT, 5x5 Strength Programs. Over the last 9 years I have submersed myself in a bodybuilding life style, training alongside competitive bodybuilders and fitness athletes to fast track my knowledge. I have made it my goal to try and test the most popular and effective training techniques/programs, diets and supplement stacks to be able to provide solid advice supported up by own personal experience.
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