BRIGHT SPOTS

Bright Spots

Bright spots are daily victories and successes that you experience inside and outside of the gym. We encourage everyone to focus on daily acts of excellence and celebrate their bright spots because positivity breeds more positivity.

It’s easy to be positive when everything in your life is going well. The hard part comes when you feel like you get knocked down. We all have bad days when we feel like crap during the workout, our job is stressful, and our family is driving us nuts. How we respond to these challenges is a choice.

Choose to stay optimistic during the tough times by changing your mindset. Start by focusing on what’s going well and always remember to include some fun in each day. When you’re having a frustrating day at the gym, remind yourself that training should be fun and the gym should be an escape. Finding just one thing, a bright spot, to be happy about or proud of will help change your mood.

“Bright Spots Friday” (BSF) is way to reflect on your week and revisit all the things that went well. In “The Champion’s Mind: How Great Athletes Think, Train, and Thrive,” author Jim Afremow writes “Too often…we think back to what went wrong or what we did not do rather than what went well or what we accomplished…reward yourself for a job well done by keeping success fresh in your mind.”

It’s important to review the high points, PR’s, and positive moments from the week. Overcoming daily challenges and savoring what you have accomplished will lead to future bright spots. Do not undervalue what you’ve accomplished this week. Give yourself a mental high-five and celebrate.

By Conner Edelbrock

Support, Friend, Community

Strength In Numbers
Research has shown that the most important factor in achieving long term health and wellness is having a support system. Fitness buddies provide motivation, accountability, and healthy competition.
There are days when we all show up to a workout exhausted and are instantly reenergized by our workout companions. A twelve month exercise adherence study at Indiana University found that people who exercised with a partner had only a 6.3% dropout rate, compared to the 43% dropout rate found in those who exercised alone.
Workout buddies are also great for holding you accountable. Many people wouldn’t wake up at 5:00AM if it weren’t for the other athletes joining them at the gym. Working out in groups provides what Jean Fain, of Harvard Medical School, calls common humanity, “the understanding that suffering is part of the human experience, that you are not alone and others suffer similarly.”
Lastly, working out with others will often elevate your own performance. The Kohler Effect is not wanting to be the weakest link in a group or partnership, which is why we often see people push themselves more in a group class vs. individually.
By Conner Edelbrock

Your Mental Game

Your Mental Game

Genna Smith and I recently attended a Sport Phycology Seminar, presented by Mike Caruso, Pro-Strongman competitor.  Here are the ‘knowledge nuggets’ from that seminar.

The brain is a muscle – if you work this muscle it will improve and grow. Tommy Kono, an American Weightlifter, developed a model to successful weightlifting, where 20% of your success is based on power development, 30% is based on technique, and 50% of your success is based on your mindset. Three things you can start doing to improve your ‘mental game’ are visualization, eliminate negativity, and train with a purpose.

Visualization is mental imagery. Devoting time to visualization will make you a more successful athlete. One tool you can use is to watch videos of elite athletes and start to see yourself as those people. Studies have shown that visualization activates the same regions of the brain as physically performing the activity. If you practice visualization before your workouts you will find that you have more energy and you will believe you can achieve what you’ve pictured in your mind is possible.

Second, eliminating negativity from your training and your life will help you create a positive mental framework. Creating an optimal training environment will yield significant gains. One strategy is to train with athletes that are better than you. Pairing up with another athlete during training will elevate your performance. An example of an optimal training environment is at Westside Barbell, which is an “invitation only” elite training facility in Columbus, Ohio that was created by power lifter, Louie Simmons. At Westside Barbell they believe weightlifting is not an individual sport. They commonly have eight athletes working on one bar, and each athlete will take a turn making the lift.

Negativity is draining and you have the choice to surround yourself with positive people as well as eliminating negativity from your life. Everyone experiences times when they are tired, unmotivated, and depressed – this is natural. There is learned optimism and learned helplessness. You choose your mindset. Caruso said ‘you can learn to struggle or you can learn to thrive.’ Always look for a sliver lining in failure, where you learn from your mistakes and move forward.

Lastly, train with a purpose every day. It helps to set daily goals because small success everyday will lead to more success and positivity. Start by setting an intention for each workout:

Today, I’m not going to count the weight.
Today, I’m not going to stop on the run, even if I have to walk, I won’t stop moving.
Today, I’m going to listen to Brittany Spears Pandora Radio and have fun during my workout.

By Conner Edelbrock