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I remember back in grade school my teachers would often accuse me of not concentrating (which truthfully they were correct most of the time). Sometimes my lack of focus would get me into trouble. Well now some of the things that I got in trouble at school have actually served me well.

A phrase that I would use to encourage others (or myself) during a hard set of lifting is "turn your mind off". This is an attempt to try to block out the fatigue and challenge of a lift. Another great time to use this is if self doubt is present to hit a lift (especially for powerlifters).

However, you absolutely need to turn your mind "ON" when focusing and concentrating on feeling a muscle do the work or target specific areas. Keeping proper form in check certainly requires keeping your brain engaged.

This goes with nutrition as well. If you're experiencing hunger or cravings, it can be beneficial to get yourself distracted or change focus to help overcome these feelings. At the same time, you have to think about proper food choices to hit your intake goals, manage digestion time and quality nutrition content.

Therefore, it can be beneficial to determine which mental state is going to benefit you in the current status when it comes to your training and nutrition. Do you need to turn your mind off and shift focus elsewhere, or rather do you need to zero in, concentrate and think more?!

In both of the above scenarios, the proper focus (or lack thereof) will set you up for success, no matter what your third grade teacher used to say.


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