Today’s log is about mindset and how the Brain Drives the Body. You can retrain it and go faster. Or you can stay where you are spinning your wheels, or going backwards. And this applies to more than strength training, but let’s focus on that for now.

The brain is the body's most powerful organ not just because it controls all of the involuntary systems that keep us alive, and not because it allows us to do amazing things, but because it can allow us to achieve more than we thought possible. Or it can hold us back from even getting out of bed.

I can go on and on about how the Brain Drives the Body in every single aspect of life but I think it is pretty clear. And, I think it was Stuey Griffin that said:

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.”  

Maybe it was Henry Ford, I’m not sure but a truer statement has never been spoken.

Going back to strength training, one of my lifters has made great strides in getting the mindset changed as it applies to Westside style conjugate training over the past few years. She never really understood the concept of Max Effort and used her prior PR’s on lifts to gauge how much she should shoot for on any given day. After much Coaching and explaining (not mansplaining) things finally started to click and progress came quicker. At least in my perception.

Yesterday, like the last bench session, I made a suggestion based off many factors to take an approach that was not “on the paper”. Meaning that we deviate from the written program today.

Last week she was supposed to take a 3RM to a 1 Board.


(I use a lot of 3RM/1RM waves to control intensity with older lifters to allow for better recovery.)

She destroyed a huge PR and I suggested that she take the PR weight she hit for a triple and touch it. Not part of the plan but some days you ride the wave.

She rode the wave and crushed it.

Yesterday, same exercise but for a 1RM. As she approached uncharted waters, I saw a little hesitancy in discussions about the next weight. So, I took a step back and let Matt work his magic. It seemed to work, but I felt that she still needed to grasp that the Brain Drives the Body.  As she had just hit a small PR that looked like an empty bar because it moved so fast, I stepped back in the conversation and reminded her that she isn’t a 200 pound bencher anymore. I told her that she was a 405 bencher that simply hasn’t gotten there yet.

We were retraining the brain because the Brain Drives the Body and the body needed to go as fast as it was capable of now.

Think of your brain like a governor or a super charger.

Those are car references. A governor is something they put on fleet cars so that they cannot go over a speed. Much like your brain when you allow it to tell you  that you can’t. Or whatever negativity that applies to you currently.

Adding a super charger on the other hand makes it go wicked fast. It super charges it! Much like your brain when you let it do positive work. You need to rip out the governor and add in a super charger.


Well, I don’t know. All of us are different and respond to different things, and have different reasons for adding a governor from time to time. OR all of the time. My opinion is that you need to figure out how to take the governor off, or find someone who knows YOU to help.

It’s also me to say this because for the most part, I’ve never had a governor, or a filter.  In this situation, it wasn’t hard for me to use the right words to get Cheryl going in the right direction because we’ve known each other a LOOONG time.

A few minutes after her chat with Matt and me she hit 300 pound bench easily and a 315 bench in what I would call a good Instagram or Gym lift.

She will bench 405 before she knows it.

All that needs to be done is to understand the Brain Drives the Body and the governor needs to come off.

Watch her smoke 300 below.

The Brain Drives the Body, C.J. Murphy. bench press, governor, super charger

Did you miss last week’s log?

Read it here.

C.J. Murphy,; Two Exercises You Aren’t Doing That You Should Be., Copenhagen, plank;



My episode of Table Talk will be in about a week! 


Vincere vel mori

C.J. Murphy

April 20, 2023  

Total Performance Sports