Lifting weights and strength training is about so much more than the fact that being strong is awesome.
Strength training is medicine.
An opportunity to remove yourself from the stress of life, to find your flow.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is Hungarian psychologist who first proposed the concept of a flow state in the late 1970s. Flow or ‘the zone’ is the mental state of being fully immersed in the activity you’re undertaking, unaware of the distractions around you.
Finding your way into a state of flow is incredibly beneficial for your training and competition performance but it also has significant positive effects upon your life outside of training.
Having a dedicated time each day where the only thing that matters in life is the next rep will make coping with the stresses of day to day life much easier.
Achieving a flow state might not come naturally to you.
It might take some time to find your zone.
Want to know the best way to find your flow?
Do something hard.
I don’t mean something that you have to sweat a little bit and maybe strain to get through.
I mean something really fucking hard. Something that, when you start, you’re not sure if you’ll be able to finish.
On Friday I deadlifted. I came into the gym pissed of and worried about some little shit that had happened that day.
I put 70% of my 1RM on the bar and pulled 3 reps every minute, on the minute alternating sumo and conventional. I started with the intention of going for 20 minutes.
After 5 minutes I was feeling good and confident that I’d get through it.
After 10 minutes I no longer cared about the work I needed to do later.
After 12 minutes I was more focused on not dying between sets then I was on the fact my car rego is due in a couple of weeks.
After 14 minutes and noticing that, as I opened my hands after letting go of the bar, I could feel the skin on my hands tearing slowly I stopped.
I then spent approximately the next 15 minutes focussed on nothing other then the fact that my lower back was on fire and my lungs appeared to be dysfunctional.
Here’s the thing…
Once I could breathe again and my back pump had subsided enough to allow me to stand I felt fucking amazing.
I was no longer pissed off.
I no longer cared about the crap that had made my day painful.
I found my flow.
Take some time this week. Try and find your flow.
If in doubt do something really fucking hard.
Until next time,