Friday, May 30, 2014

Training mindset part 3 - Letting PR's come to you

"But man, I just wanna get laid." Brian told me.

I rolled my eyes and shook my head.

"Even if that's the case, your approach is all wrong." I said.

"How so?"

"Well, that puts you in the wrong mental state.  And women can tell when you're just trying to get into their pants."

Brian laughed.

"I don't think so.  Every time I'm out and start talking to a woman, the conversation ends up being about sex."

"And how's that been working for ya?"

"Well....not so good.  Like, they start talking about sex, and...."

"And within five minutes they jet.  Right?"

"Yeah." he said.  "But they always take the conversation there."

"I bet they don't.  I bet you do and you just don't know it.  You find a way to somehow make the conversation about sex don't you?"

Brian pondered for a bit and then realized what I was saying was indeed correct.

"Yeah, I suppose I do."

"Well, if you just met a girl and within a few minutes you're taking the conversation to sex, she knows what you're after.  And she's going to spurn you more than likely.  She doesn't know you.  She doesn't have comfort with you.  So here you are, some guy she just met in a bar, and within five minutes you're talking about sex.  How in the hell do you expect to get a woman with that approach?"

Brian shrugged.

"Let me ask you a question." I said.  "When you're going out, and you're thinking "I gotta get laid", put yourself in that mindset.  Think about going out with the purpose of trying to find a chick to sleep with.  Now, what does your approach to that feel like?"

Brian closed his eyes, and thought for a minute.

"Rushed.  Anxious...." Brian laughed.  "Desperate."

"Right.  So how do you think that kind of energy is going to manifest itself in how you interact with her?"

"Yeah, not good." he said.

"Now think about this.  Think about seeing the most beautiful woman you've seen in a long time, sitting at a table.  You decide to talk to her.  But your mindset is one of seducing her.  What does that feel like?"

Brian closed his eyes again, and thought.

"Relaxed.  Comfortable.  Like, getting to know her."

Brian opened his eyes and the look on his face said it all.

"Man" he said.  "I see what you're getting at.  Simply changing your mindset totally changes how you feel in your approach."

"That's right.  And how do you think she'll respond to your approach if it's encompassed by all the things you just described?"

"Probably really well, man." Brian said.  "I believe so."

Yes this was a real conversation.  I have no idea if Brian changed his approach to "getting laid" after that but the point was made.

Getting the things you want in life often have to do with your mindset and your approach in attaining them.  Whether that's seducing a woman, or getting a better deal haggling with the car salesman, or getting a raise at your job.

This same concept isn't lost in the realm of lifting weights.

If you are after certain goals then your mental approach to reaching those milestones is paramount.

The parallel between Brian trying to get laid and trying to seduce a woman do indeed have a distinct relation to training.

When his mindset was one of just trying to get laid, he felt rushed, anxious, desperate.

When his mindset was one of seducing a woman, he understood there was a clear process involved.  And it was made up of patience and "putting in the work" to make it happen.  He had to allow HER to come to him by giving her the things she needed.  There wouldn't be any instant gratification of simply walking up to a woman, throwing a few lines down and then expecting her panties to hit the floor.

But this is often how a lot of guys approach their training.....and women too.

They get a goal in mind, then spend a few workouts or just a few weeks of training, then start testing and testing and testing to hit a new max.

They switch routine after routine to see if there will be some magic involved that allows them to finally hit that coveted three plate bench or four plate squat.  Then it doesn't happen, and doesn't happen, and doesn't happen.....and doesn't happen.

Or maybe it does one time, but for the life of them they can't figure out why they can't replicate that ability each week.

I swear every gym has that bench guy that maxes out every single week, and year after year he comes in, and his max doesn't move.  But there he is, testing it every single week.  Sometimes he gets it, and sometimes he doesn't.  It's very hit or miss.  And he often complains of the fact that his bench has been stuck at X amount for Y long, and doesn't know why.

Then he comes in next week, and does the same shit.  And bitches the same way he bitched last week, and the week before that.  That his bench doesn't move.

Much like Brian trying to get laid, these guys find themselves getting caught up in the "chase".  They start chasing a number week in and week out, and then training stops becoming "training" and becomes testing.  Then "testing" becomes a very hit and miss ordeal.

Yeah you get laid sometimes, but more often than not she's turning her back on you or checking her phone five minutes later.

In the case of seduction, it's about letting her come to you when she's ready.  And hitting PR's is really no different.

There is a process behind getting to new levels, and that process involves patience and the understanding that training in a consistent and productive manner is what will "get you laid" on a more consistent basis, than simply walking up to the bar and asking..."you want some sex?"

Everytime I found myself losing sight of the process, I found myself stuck for long periods at a time.  I needed to hit certain numbers in order for my mind to believe that training was being productive.  But hitting a certain number isn't the only way to measure meaningful progress.  It can be in a myriad of ways like bar speed, volume, and even performing the lift with better technique.

Mainly, you have to put the work in, and let the numbers eventually come to you.  This has been the most effective way that I have found to hit PR's on a consistent basis.  In other words, stop worrying about the max single, and worry about the quantity and quality of work you are putting in on a consistent basis.  If you approach the bar week in and week out with THAT mindset, then the PR's will come rather easily.

If your mindset is one of chasing something, then you can lose the appreciation and understanding for the process involved in obtaining what you seek.  Come to terms with the fact that you're in the gym to TRAIN.  Not to test all the time.  Testing can be a measuring stick but it should only be used as a PART of determining if training is efficient and effective.  It shouldn't be the last word or the all encompassing factor in how you measure the quality of your training program.  


  1. Very enjoyable read. And certainly food for thought. Thank you.

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