Estimated read time 3-6 minutes
Wouldn’t it be nice if there was something you could do, for free, anywhere, anytime, that was guaranteed to improve your weightlifting or sporting performance?
Well listen up, because this article’s gonna blow your mind (pun intended)
What are visualisations?
Visualisations are a performance enhancing tactic in which you vividly imagine yourself performing positively. For example, a football player might vividly imagine a successful penalty kick, or a golfer might imagine a perfect swing.
Do they work?
Put simply, yes. But if you’re looking for a little scientific justification how about these studies:
Sports psychologist Richard Suinn used electromyographic tests on skiers which showed electrical impulses during visualisation were almost identical to those during the actual movement.
Guang Yue, an exercise psychologist from Cleveland Clinic foundation in Ohio found that participants performing ZERO actual exercise and only visualising bicep curls, actually saw a 13.5% increase in bicep muscle mass!
Plus in 1993 Anne Isaac’s study of 78 trampolinists (from beginner to advanced) found that visualisers saw significant improvements over those who only performed physical practice.
Who uses them?
Back in a 2011 interview Jessica Ennis-Hill said that she used “visualisation to think about the perfect technique.” There are similar interviews with Johnny Wilkinson, Michael Schumacher, Arnold ‘Big Oak’ Schwarzenegger, Andy Murray and dozens of other successful, high performing athletes.
If its good enough for them, I think it’s good enough for you and me.
How to use them?
Alright so you’re convinced, but how do you do them?
1) Close your eyes and vividly imagine the weightlifting platform, track, pitch or area in which you will be performing.
2) Add depth to this image. What can you hear? What can you see? What can you smell? How do you feel?
3) Imagine yourself performing the intended action perfectly. For weightlifting this means imagining your set up, pushing against the ground, pulling yourself under the bar and recovering.
4) Repeat step 3 loads of times.
Top tip: Start with slow motion visualisations and get faster with each extra visualisation.
Visualsations = Good. Do them and improve.
Go get visualising, and as always if you want to improve faster, you can find details of my 1:1 coaching services here.
All the best