Reinforcement as Motivation in the Gym


Advanced Exercise & Health Sciences

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Try as you may there are times when you just can't motivate yourself to do your best in the gym. You might be depressed about the way life seems to be treating you or bummed out because your muscle gains aren't coming as quickly as you'd like. You might also be bored with some aspect of your life-even your training routine-and these negative thoughts can definitely impact your workouts. You can't have a great training session when you feel as if you're getting the short end of the stick at the gym, at work or in your social life.

At times like these you need to look around and find reinforcement for your long-term training goals. Don't just sit there and mope because things aren't perfect. This is the real world. Seek out reinforcement to help you on your chosen path-the path to major muscle size and strength. Your reinforcement can take many different forms. For example, it could be a comment by your friends on your strength gains or how much you've grown lately; an observation by your training partner on how your new diet is taking hold and how the cuts and vascularity are appearing on your body with each passing day; or an encounter with a new person at the gym who catches your eye. When that person smiles back, perhaps you start up a conversation that leads to a friendship and (who knows?) maybe more. The types of reinforcement are infinite and depend on your particular feelings and desires. Regardless of how you get it, however, positive reinforcement is a great benefit, Focusing it and applying it constructively to your workouts will make a major difference in your training progress.

Getting positive reinforcement for all your hard work bolsters your enthusiasm for the muscle game and motivates you to hit the weights with renewed intensity This strengthens your drive to excel in the sport and enables you to drive right past that pizzeria without even looking hack, knowing that the short-term sacrifices you make will pay off big in the long run. Reinforcement also provides new support for your commitment to drug-free bodybuilding. So what if it takes longer to reach your physique goal? At least the muscle growth is coming, and it's the real thing, not some artificially induced effect that will soon go away.

Reinforcement fortifies your intensity and concentration. Instead of losing focus and dividing your available mental energy between negative thoughts and the workout at hand, you plunge into your training with renewed stamina. It also provides confirmation of the progress you've made to date. If you have drive and determination, the future inevitably brings more of the same, leading to even greater increases in muscular hypertrophy and strength performance.

What's more, reinforcement helps you to expand the realm of the possible. Since you've gotten an endorsement of your progress to date, you can now dare to think about actually achieving that fantasy physique that you imagined but perhaps wrote off as an impossible dream. With hard work, a solid goal orientation and the right goals you can achieve more than you ever thought possible. Ibis leads to your getting more reinforcement from others, enlarging your available energy and will power. It adds new vigor and vitality to your workouts and extends your capacity to grow through the full utilization of the mind/body connection. The end result is heightened physical and mental strength, which leads to increased muscle gains as well as improved dedication to your diet and training regimen. This swells your devotion to the sport of bodybuilding even more.

It's equally important to avoid negative reinforcement in the gym and in your life. Some people have chips on their shoulders. There are a variety of reasons for this, but in the end it doesn't matter. They're always generating negative energy. Other bodybuilders figure that if they aren't growing, why should you? Never mind that they're only eating 40 grams of protein per day and have been using the same poundage's for years. It's easier to bitch than to train with animal intensity. Other purveyors of negative reinforcement feel that the world is static and that in order to rise they must kick you down. These people are poison. Avoid them like the plague.

Always try to absorb positive reinforcement while repelling the negative reinforcement around you. Spend your limited time with positive people like yourself who are willing to bust their butts to get the bodies they desire. Find the positive reinforcement you need and want from the good people around you and focus on helping them achieve their goals at the same time. After all, reinforcement works both ways. You'll wind up with a much better physique and some solid friendships as well.

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