Meditation’s Effect On Bodybuilding
Meditation’s Effect On Bodybuilding
This article is about meditation, yet it discusses how meditation has actually helped bodybuilders obtain more physical strength (ie: Gains!). Do I have your attention?
Meditation is especially important for: Type A personalities, worriers, sleep-deprived individuals, over-eaters, hyper-active guys/gals and the over-worked/under-payed.
These are just some of the rewards of daily meditation:
1. Lowered risk of over-training
2. Reduced stress hormone concentrations like cortisol and aldosterone
3. Higher DHEA-Sulfate as well as increased testosterone and growth hormone
4. Improved kidney function, lower sodium-potassium ratio and reduced urinary loss of calcium and zinc
5. Remarkable success getting off drugs, even after being dependent
6. Enhanced immune function
7. A shift toward fat oxidation “fat burning”
8. Enhanced reaction time
9. Improved focus and sports performance
10. Improved carbohydrate metabolism
11. Reduced evening-time overeating and better chance for long term weight loss
12. Slowed biological aging (according to biomarkers) of up to 5-12 years
13. Improved antioxidant effects indicated by 15% lower lipid peroxides
Surprised? It would sound like a joke if all of the claims didn’t have the hard science to support them. Every one of these 13 claims is scientifically proven and not just subjective, hopeful delusions by people who eat way too much granola. Meditation can do wonders for your mind AND body.
How To Start The Practice of Meditation
The first thing you have to do is stop the internal dialogue that chatters beneath the surface of our every day lives. The thoughts filled with worry, the internal debates, the racing thoughts at bedtime and the constant replay of the fight you had with your co-worker.
How do we get our brains to shut up? Well, there’s a space between our thoughts and you basically have the objective to make that space grow longer and longer with practice. A chatter-free mind is an unbelievably focused mind that spills over into physical benefits as listed above. I know it sounds virtually impossible and may even feel that way in the beginning, but after much practice, you can find silence and it’s a beautiful thing.
Step 1. Focus on your breathing. Focus ONLY on your breathing. Breathe in through your nose slowly, breathe out through your mouth slowly – in and out – repeat. I do keep my eyes closed and do this usually in my bedroom. With as little outside distractions as possible, including light distractions. I don’t sit all yogi master with my thumbs pressed against my third finger resting on my knees in romantic candlelight with burning incense – I simply lay flat on my back in the comfort of my bed with my arms resting at my sides or my hands entwined resting on my stomach.
Step 2. Sometimes, I listen to guided meditations. Some of the best I have found are actually on YouTube. There are a bunch of different types of meditations. I prefer to listen to the recordings of Alan Watts.
Still think I’m full of it?
Then, check out these Strength coaches and bodybuilders talking about meditation:
“Those who meditate regularly have higher GH, DHEA & testosterone levels, plus lower baseline cortisol.” – Nick Mitchell, Ultimate Performance Training
“If I were asked: what is something you regret not having learned earlier, I would say meditation.” – Charles Poliquin, Strength Sensei
“I’ve learned that the trick, the key is.. I can be whatever I want to be. But, the trick is I have to state my intentions not only with my mouth, but with my thoughts through daily meditation.” – Kai Greene
“I did 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes at night, and I would say within 14 days or three weeks, I got to the point where I could really disconnect my mind … and learn how to focus more and calm down. I don’t let anything else interfere I just focus on that.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
There are plenty of websites, articles and forums discussing bodybuilding and meditation. This isn’t some new thing I’m writing about.
The way I look at it, you’ll never know until you try it respectfully. I once thought the whole thing was just some crazy-talk from old hippies holding crystals. But, then I decided to try it out for myself and realized I was reaping mega benefits from calming my mind and allowing my body to become fully alert. It’s not just your body that changes. Your life changes.
your workouts will never be the same.
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