How to Increase Your Physical Strength by Training Your Mind.


Your physical strength becomes more or less effective — nigh on instantaneously — depending on what’s going through your mind.

Find a friend (or a particularly game stranger) and ask them to stand facing you with one arm extended, at shoulder height, to their side (like half a capital “T”).

Place your opposite hand gently on their wrist whilst steadying yourself by resting your other hand on their shoulder. Now ask them to resist as you test the strength in their outstretched arm by gradually pushing down.

No need to press particularly hard. Be nice.

Now, release the pressure (yet leave your hand gently touching their wrist) and ask them to recall a bad moment from their past. Typically this will be something like a break up, a death, or perhaps losing a job. (Don’t worry, you’re going to cheer them up again in a moment).

When they have a memory in mind, ask them to close their eyes and imagine it. Give them a little time to really get into the memory and to encourage a multi-sensory image of it, say:

“See what you see through your own eyes (pause)… hear what you hear (pause)… and feel how that felt on that day”.

Now ask them to resist your arm as you push down again. Sometimes the weakening effect of the negative state is so powerful that their arm begins to droop under its own weight before you even apply the pressure.

Now do all that again, but this time with the most positive thing that ever happened to them. Aim for something like a promotion, a sports win or a really successful presentation; something they’re proud of. Be sure to give them time to get into this positive state. Once again, say:

“See what you see through your own eyes (pause)… hear what you hear (pause)… and feel how that felt on that day”.

N.B. Avoid any “positive” memories involving ex-partners. I’ve seen this confuse the outcome of the test a number of times (almost certainly because of the “ex” bit).

When you have them resist again, you should notice a marked difference in strength.

In my Cognitive Hypnotherapy practice, I work with a lot of boxers and kickboxers and I almost always show them this. Just imagine the difference this could make at the point when they step out to trade punches for the first time.

But that’s only half the story…

To read more about how to use your body language to create a stronger emotional state, click here.

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For an exploration of the psychology of self-sabotage (and how to take control), take a look at my book, Fight: Win Freedom From Self-sabotage (Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton). Available on Amazon now.

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