Mental Workout Booster – Part I: On Imaginative Power

Mental Workout Booster – Part I: On Imaginative Power

Mental Workout Booster – Part I: On Imaginative Power

0 comments 📅01 September 2015, 09:35
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By Christian Zippel & translated by Marius Kraemer

There it is. The barbell. It is not just a random weight. It’s your max. Will you break down or prevail?

A lot of people don’t know that the decision on success or failure is determined before you take up the fight against gravity. After all the body reaches and exceeds his current limits moving such a high weight. He will only be able and willing to vanquish this hazard if we give him a very good reason to do so.

If you work out in a fancy fitness temple having parquet floor and padded bar handles, it will be hard to convince your body that it is necessary to exceed your limit of performance in such a pony farm atmosphere. As a matter of fact this is not going to improve if there is infertile pop music in order to keep the housewives awake on their step machines.

In a sense we have to persuade our body to act beyond one’s means and thus leap over its present possibilities.

Mental Workout Booster – Part I: On Imaginative Power

But how do you convince your body to reach its peak performance?

(Source: / Otto Acron ; CC Licence)

Every person is able to unleash this strength potential (Source: / Otto Acron ; CC Licence)

Right from the start one thing should be definite: Our body is not receptive to rational arguments, but of profoundly devout mentality. If you try to persuade the body that you are just going to the mailbox you are not going to reach anything.

Instead the body reacts like some slow-witted human beings, who have more brains in their belly than their head if they swallow a fly. We have to call upon his animal instincts!

The strongest mothers in the world

Everyone knows this – almost proverbial – story of a mother elevating a car because her son is stuck underneath. And those mothers are not dragging trucks on television for a living. Those are ordinary, step machine using, housewives. Every person is able to unleash this strength potential. Usually we are not able to access it though. In case of the mother it is the fear for her son, which provides her with tremendous power. The more fear, the more stimulating hormones (like adrenaline) flow through our veins, downscaling our endogenous inhibiting mechanisms.

Overall her body knows, that this is a make-or-break situation. She realizes this fear of loss by a strong emotional infuriation, which blinds out everything else. The well-known tunnel effect.

How can we now use this effect for our own cause?

Even if lots of gym members get themselves into life-threatening situation (people squatting 500 pounds and more in not suitable gyms) because of their own mental incapability, this can’t be a permanent solution for our problem. The weight bearing for the passive locomotor-system, the following time of regeneration and probably also the search for a new gym would just take too much unnecessary time. However scientists have figured out that imagining an extreme situation can activate the same areal in our brain, as if we would experience them in reality. [We build our own reality]

This knowledge has lead to a relief for many heavy athletes. It implies that we can exploit our potential for physical strength by using pure imagination. By picturing being in an extreme situation the body boots up his thrill level, restrains its inhibiting mechanism and thus is capable of stronger performance. Thereby it does not matter which extreme situation this is. Essential is that it brings your blood into boiling. You have to choose a notably strong scenario and empathize with it as much as possible.

En détail

(Source: Flickr / Navcent ; CC Licence)

Our body is absolutely unreasonable. You can’t simply convince him to perform better. He will need pictures, noises, smells, tastes and more perceptions (Source: Flickr / Navcent ; CC Licence)

The following elementary rule – which has been approached indirectly before – should always be taken into consideration: Our body is absolutely unreasonable. You can’t simply convince him to perform better. He will need pictures, noises, smells, tastes and more perceptions. Imagine something getting your blood up, that stimulates and inflames you and brings you to the verge of lunacy. All doors, which you can possibly think of, will be open. Think about 300 half-naked spartans chasing you.

Or imagine surprising your girlfriend playing away or finally speaking out to your old and hated boss. Snoozing inside yourself might be the unused potential of being a hero, who awakes when having to rescue one of your beloved ones in a live threatening situation.

Whatever it is. Build your own scenario and embed it in your memory with as many details as possible. Don’t zap back and forth. This is not television. Optimally you have experienced all of these details once in your life with a strong emotional reaction. You can choose freely.

You can choose the scent of your old teacher, put some Justin Bieber under it and take a look at all the people who want to see you fail. They mumble things like ‘He will never be able to lift this’ or ‘He is born to fail anyway’. And so on.

If you are in rage when you hear a certain dialect, let those people talk in this dialect. If you abominate Hawaiian shirts, let them wear Hawaiian shirts and drink sangria out of a bucket. Imagine them laughing at you.

Do you have an arch-enemy? Then I am sorry to be the one having to tell you. He has been cloned hundreds of times and the whole army is in your gym. Standing next to the dumbbells, fidgeting on the step machines. Flirting with your favorite fitness bunny. Yes, the one you have always been too scared to talk to. They are everywhere and they just want one thing: See you fail. Will you do them the favor? Or will you show them what you are made of?

What is it all about?

This attempt for a new max is not just an attempt! It decides if your haters are right, if you can save 10k kitties from the rapidly descending ceiling, if you can give the slip to the 300 spartans and preserve your innocence. It decides if you can – as desired by the woman of your dreams – lift your soon-to-be mother in law, whose shade alone weights 200kg, out of the swamp or if you are able to thank national televisions for endless hours of deluding the public. It defines your strength, your power over the potential of your body. It is not just an attempt. It is a deed, a maximum deed.

„Lets take the bench press as an example. As I approach the bar I begin to concentrate on the bar and the bar alone. As discussed in the preceding section on concentration, I focus my entire self – body, mind, spirit and being – on the bar. Nothing else in the universe exists for me at that moment. There is ONLY the bar.

At that point, I begin to slow my breathing. Then I take a long breath, and mentally prepare to go to war. Life and death. No prisoners. Storm the beaches. I usually growl at the bar. Thats right. I GROWL. I get mad at the bar. I create a situation where it’s a battle of strength and will between myself and the bar. Its like the classic scene in the westerns where the two gunfighters face each other – in that final, long-awaited confrontation – for several agonizing seconds, that seem like hours – and then they draw. Its like two prize fighters staring each other in the eye immediately before they come to blows. And I tell the bar – sometimes silently and sometimes out loud – which one of us is going to win. Then I take a deep breath, summon all my power, and ATTACK the bar.“ – Brooks Kubik

Explore the possibilities

12-If-you-think-you-can-do-itAll this is made possible by pure imagination. We don’t have to pay for it – at least not yet.

With this method we can live through adventures afresh each time. We can overcome boundaries, achieve victories, save innocents, sentence seal hunters, argue with insanely boring people, curse the ozone hole and think about our hedge fond investment at Lehman Brothers. For all these imaginary gastric ulcers there is one sole solution: Lift the darn weight; hurl it to the ceiling.

Blow off your steam. Revenge all disinherits; sentence all guilty ones and set the woman of your dreams free from all strait situations using just one brute movement against gravity.

Certainly this just takes place in your imagination. But in reality you made an attempt become a deed.

Ultimately there is nothing more important than you overcoming your doubts and weaknesses with a storm of emotions. The thrilling evening entertainment comes for free.

From now on you should never go to the cinema or shady bars if you want to experience something and if you want to depressurize. Go to the one place, where boundaries are pushed. Go to the Gym. Get on the bank or inside the rack and get going. You can choose the program. Take it or leave it!

And finally stop playing around with plushy barbells, acting like a zombie with a mechanical and clinical sight. Or, hold up, continue doing this, so I have something putting me in the right way for my next max attempt.

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Picture sources: Flickr / Rhys A. ; CC Licence

About the Author – Christian Zippel

Christian-ZippelDr. Christian Zippel was the founder of the renown and famous weightlifting and philosophy blog “The Will to Power”, which got shut down in 2013. He wrote multiple books, amongst them “Der Wille zur Kraft – Die 10 Gebote kompromissloser Leistungssteigerung“ (The Will to Power – The 10 Commandments of Uncompromising Performance Enhancement”), “HFT – Hochfrequenztraining & Autoregulation” (HFT – High Frequency Training & Autoregulation), “Rosenrot – Oder die Illusion der Wirklichkeit” (Rose Red – Or the Illusion of Reality), “Leider geil, fett & faul” (Unfortunately Awesome, Fat & Lazy”) or “80/20 Fitness – Wenig investieren, viel erreichen” (80/20 Fitness – Invest Less, Gain More). He graduated in philosophy.

Christian is a so-called new age philosophe (although he may not say something like that about himself). His books and articles are saturated with a philosophical and rearing character (this also applies to his works on training and weightlifting as well). His teachers? Seneca, Nietzsche, Bruce Lee. His credo? Die unity of body and mind. Mens forti in corpore forti – a strong spirit in a strong body.

He turned his back on most of the internet and doesn’t participate in blogs and boards anymore. All articles, which get published on are just re-publications from his former page “The Will to Power” (with Christians consent).

In 2014, Christian founded a publishing house for fitness books called “Faszination Fitness” (Fascination Fitness). Faszination Fitness released their first book “Stark & Schön” (Strong & Beautiful), which was a crowd-funding project, in cooperation with Corinna Walther and Andreas Trienbacher.

If you’re interested in a coaching or intellectual conversation, you can reach out to Christian on his personal site at

Search terms for this article: Christian Zippel mental workout booster, mental workout booster, the will to power, will to power, imagination booster, mental strength.

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