Go to the Dark Place
Go to the dark place. We don’t mean this in a negative way. We mean it in the bad ass, evil villain-you-totally-relate-to-but-can’t-tell-anyone kind of way. If you want to get really outstanding results, you are going to have to lift with some violence. That doesn’t mean getting out of control, using bad form, losing your mind-muscle connection, or trying to go heavier than you can. It means harnessing all of your focus, all of the technique development and cue recall you have internalized, and all of your effort into the rep you are performing in that moment. It’s like that moment in the movie when the villain finally uses the full force and effect of your powers in a ruthless display of destruction. But like, you know - all in the name of fitness.
If you’re familiar with powerlifting, Dave Tate from EliteFTS talks about going into the void. What he means by that is training your mind and emotional state to block out all distractions, and to focus and amplify a hyper-aggressive, explosive state. It’s a lot like the berserkers from Norse history who fought battles in a wild, rabid state, possibly drug-induced. Tate talks about everything except the task at hand, being the big lift in front of him, disappearing. It’s almost a euphoria. Now, that may seem a little more intense than what you’re willing to put yourself through, but the point is, if you’re on your phone between sets, talking, messing around with friends, or even just if you have your mind on other things going on in your life, you’re not going to be able to have a fully effective lifting session.
So what can you do to put yourself in a amped up, hyper-focused state for excellent performance and, as a result, excellent fitness results? Here are a few you can try.
1. Take your music off Shuffle.
Pick an album that fits your mood that day and stick to it, even if you start it over. That’s your vibe for today’s session. You don’t interrupt it or you will interrupt your energy. It sounds like some hippie, granola stuff, but it’s true. Pick your pace and see it through. Emotion has a lot to do with performance so choose wisely.
2. Take a high-quality Pre-workout
This one can be especially important on those days you’re just not feeling it, but it’s a good things to build into your ritual. We recommend using Nutrifitt pre-workouts because we have formulated them with a lot of care and precision. Try Carnage for intense energy and pumps, or Symbiote for a legitimately insane blast of energy and rip-your-face-off focus. If a good workout is what you’re after, either one of these will do the trick. Of course, if you don’t need superpowers, you can just go with a cup of coffee for a little pick-me-up.
3. Wear a hat/hood
And wear them low. This is a little signal to the world that you don’t want to be interrupted and you’re in the weight room to put in work. If someone talks to you while you’re in the zone, you don’t have to be rude and ignore them, just give them a very brief answer and get back to business. This is your time and you need to make the most of it.
4. Use Smelling Salts (conservatively)
Smelling salts are common in powerlifting for use during the heaviest top sets. Their by-the-book use is to wake someone up if they have fainted, but if you’re already awake and revving at high RPMs from the Symbiote you just took, you can image how much more awake you’re going to feel. Now, these are ammonia salts and they should be used sparingly, but if you are pushing yourself to the limit, they can elicit an improved breathing response and really peak alertness.
5. Low Lighting
This might not be in your control, but if you’re lifting in a garage gym, try turning the lights down a little bit. This can help balance out all of this aggression we’ve been talking about and give you a sense of calm to go with it so that you feel comfortable, at ease, but ready to attack your training.