Meditation is not a new topic, neither is strength training, but combining the two together…well, I believe that has potential. Let’s go with Meditation first. We spend very close to 47% of our day on auto replay. We are reliving the past over and over and over again, or we are formulating our opinions, actions, and conversation of things in the future, things that are not real yet. The 47% does not include our sleep, which brings our awareness to what is going on around us down to maybe 25% of our day. Do you realize how much energy we use up thinking about what ifs? That is a tremendous reservoir of power that we can take back. It’s not something you will master the first time you try, but mastery will come much faster than you think. Meditation brings us out of the thought paralysis and gives us the ability to look up, see what is around us, and appreciate all of the things that are right in front of our eyes. When first starting this process of awareness, it is recommended to just catch yourself in your dream fog and snap back to now. It doesn’t matter at first how long you stay in the now. This is more about the repetition.
From the famous author, Don Miguel Ruiz, and his book “The Three Questions“, he discusses how we have an entire government in our heads. (See reference below). We have the Executive Branch, which tells us what to do. We have the Legislative Branch which tells us whether it is possible or not, argues with us, and tries to form a plan for any situation in the future, many of which will never occur, and then we most definitely have the Judicial Branch, which judges every word, thought, and action that we have. This Judicial Branch is what we use when we compare ourself to others, impose restrictions or judgements on ourselves, or simply just stop believing that finding right now is even possible. Every person has their own government/dream going on in their head which makes you completely unaware of anything. Everyone does. Keep that in mind when someone reacts in a way that is unexpected. They may have a different kind of government going on. (So, those people in the gym who you think are noticing how uncomfortable you are and all the mistakes you make, they aren’t. I spent almost two decades of my life in fitness clubs. Everyone is caught up in their own government. It’s okay….you can just be comfortable with the thought that there is no judgement, except the one you are giving to yourself. Be proud of the step that you are taking, rather than uncomfortable because of those around you.) If you are exercising in a different environment, notice when you go into your government and pull yourself back. The moment for joy, happiness, and strength is right now.
Stopping the incessant talking in our minds can give us a reserve of tremendous energy and potential. Stop for a moment and just think about the people, places, and things that consume your thoughts and take you away from the people who surround you. Who out there hasn’t had an entire conversation with someone and walked away without knowing their name or really even the topic? I have. This applies to the gym just as well. If you are mindlessly doing an exercise just to get to a number with no though of which muscles you are working, you are missing out on so much good you could be doing for your body. If you are using every muscle except for the one you should be, you should pause, lower the weight, and go again. If you can have an entire conversation with your best friend about what happened that day while you are doing cardio, then I have to say, you need to pick up the pace a bit. If all you can say is “Help Me!”, then you need to bring it down a few notches. A good general rule of thumb when you are working out is: you should be able to tell someone your name and address without gasping for air.
So, that brings me to the topic at hand. Meditation can be a powerful ally when you are at the gym. If you can quiet your mind, pay attention to the exercise you are doing, and feel that muscle engage, you will get results so much quicker than just swinging weights around. Sometimes, especially during the beginning, just closing your eyes or blinking can do the trick. Feeling the muscle work pulls in so many additional accessory muscles. Controlling the speed, your breathing, your technique can take you leaps and bounds past what you think you can do. If you’re not sure about the technique, just ask someone who works there. They don’t judge. They will be happy to help you. Music is perfectly fine, as long as it is keeping you in the present moment. Part of knowing you are in the present moment is when you are paying attention to your senses (sight, smell, touch, hearing, and taste).
Next time you are working out, wherever that may be, mute the voice in your head, pay attention to what it is that you are doing, and tell me you don’t feel a difference after that workout. Be in the moment! Being in the moment is really the only place there is. Step into it’s stillness. Enjoy the stillness and take it with you to your next workout. I look forward to hearing how it goes. Connect with me on LinkedIn, Facebook, or leave a comment for me below. I’d love to hear your thoughts.