Sounds like one of those too-good-to-be-true claims, we thought. But researchers at Bishop’s University in Quebec recently conducted a study* which indicated that mental training alone could increase muscle strength.
The two-week study took 30 male university athletes and divided them into three groups. The study focused on the hip flexor muscles, since that is one muscle group that can’t be readily exercised in other contexts or with free weights.
One group performed physical training with a hip flexor weight machine; one group mentally practiced hip flexions at increasing amounts of weight; the third group did neither. At the end of the study, the group doing the physical exercises had increased its strength by 28.3%, which is not surprising. The group who did nothing not unexpectedly saw almost no difference. But what’s astounding is that the guys who practiced only mentally saw their strength increase by 23.7%!
The bottom line of the study isn’t that we don’t need to exercise—of course we do—but rather that empowering your mind in order to improve your body can really enhance your performance!
We were intrigued by how much this mind-body connection can improve performance, so we did some checking around. Hypnosis is one of the most effective and safest ways to get into the zone. And Core Sports Performance, an audio hypnosis program from The Hypnosis Network, is by far the most thorough, professional, and effective program on the market.
- Erin M. Shackell and Lionel G. Standing, “Mind Over Matter: Mental Training Increases Physical Strength,” North American Journal of Psychology, 2007, Vol. 9, No. 1, 189—200.
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