Monster Garage Gym: Powerlifting and the Secret

TAGS: power of thought, positive thinking, Eric Maroscher, ed coan, powerlifting, dave tate, Elitefts Info Pages

Flying monkeys, good and bad witches, and the emerald slippers—every year that the Wizard of Oz comes on, I find myself sitting down to watch it (you can admit that you've seen the movie because we all know that you watch it, too). Every year that I watch that movie, another year of my life has passed, and because I'm one year older, that movie reveals something different to me each and every year.

As a kid, I recall watching the movie thinking that those trees throwing their own apples at Dorothy and the gang might be the scariest things I'd ever seen. Think about that—they yank a part of their own bodies off, practically their offspring, and fire it at someone like a baseball. That is some top notch creepy stuff.

This past year, when I watched it for the umpteenth time, I thought something different. I was watching the scene where Dorothy finds out that she had the power to go home all along and only needed to click her heels, say the magic words, and poof—she's back in flat as a pancake Kansas. This year’s Wizard of Oz meant something different to me because of a book I've read a few times over the last few years dealing with the Law of Attraction. The Law of Attraction is, in essence, the law in which you create your life. You draw things into your life that are attracted to you and this happens based on the thoughts that you're thinking. Simply put, the way that you think creates your reality. The kicker is this goes on all the time, but you're probably unaware of the fact that you're ultimately controlling this process. The power to do this is already in you. Just like Dorothy who all along could send herself home, you have the power to create your own reality based on the 'like' things that you draw into your life. 'Like' things are things that are of the essence of you or that are similar to you. This is the Law of Attraction. It isn't anything like rocket science, as it's easy to understand and it's right there available to you already.

Let’s talk about ‘like’ things for a moment. Think back to when you were in high school. High school is some 720-day period of your life where you're in a social setting with the same group of people for the most part. During that time, you'll see social groups come together, split apart, merge, and so on. 'Like' groups, if I can be stereotypical for a moment, would be your athletes or your academics or your awkward kids or your drug users. These kids found one another because they're ‘like’ one another, and you will attract 'like' things. Have you ever known someone who is just plain old miserable? You get to work, and he says, “Isn’t it 5:00 p.m. yet?” Or every situation is a drama or a tragedy or something negative. The Law of Attraction says that when you think these things, you draw them to you. Conversely, there are those people who seem—seem that is—to have charmed lives. Everything that happens to them is pretty darn amazing. Everything seems to come easy, and they are for the most part very happy. Those people have drawn those good things to them via the Law of Attraction. Can bad things happen to good people? Heck, yes, but I think you're getting my larger concept here.

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Back in May 2010, we started the Monster Garage Gym (MGG) Facebook page. (On a side note, please feel free to "like" our page if you like our articles.) Along with the MGG page that we started, I started my own page so that I could figure out this whole social network thing and do my part to help get the word out about powerlifting to as many people as I could. As I started to understand “status” this, “like” that, “tag” this, “message” that, I also began to see patterns in people’s posts. Some are merely status posts like “Just had my coffee.” Some are inspiration posts to inspire others, but I think most of the time, people post those to try to convince themselves of something. Some are positive like ‘have a great day,” but quite a few more than I expected are the inner thoughts that the person is having at that time. All too often, they can be negative.

When you look at the people who post about the things that are constantly wrong with this group of people, that company, this person, that politician, or this x-boy or girlfriend, you'll see that their life, in general, is in a negative state and that the Law of Attraction is working because the law works both ways—positive thoughts attract positive things and negative thoughts attract negative things. At the risk of sounding like I'm having an Oprah’s book club moment, buy the book The Secret, which is all about this topic.

Powerlifting is something that is also impacted greatly by the Law of Attraction. I know some pretty strong people who can turn one missed deadlift into a completely and utterly bad training session. “Oh, my deadlift sucks.” “Oh, I can’t lock anything out.” “Everything is so heavy today.” If you think it, it happens. Over the years, I've had a number of conversations with Ed Coan, and when he talks about his competitive days, he never guessed that he would get a weight. He knew it, thought it, and made it happen. The same thing goes for Ernie Frantz. He was 100 percent positive about his lifts and the results are historical. Writing for elitefts™ has given me some insight into Dave Tate. It's the same thing with him—think it, visualize it, plan for it, and make it happen, all within a positive framework and mindset. Dave seems to put a positive vibe on everything that he and elitefts™ do, and because of that, the whole company is above drama, pettiness, and negativity.

At the MGG, we put a lot of videos out there. Recently, our YouTube page got its millionth view. Our premier video has nearly 400,000 views and it is a highlight reel of sorts. In the video, one of our lifters rounds her back deadlifting as she tries a max effort deadlift. By the comments, you would have thought that she raped baby seals and clubbed them to death during the process. We made a decision long ago to just let comments that are negative in nature go. Clearly, those aren't the powerlifters that we're interested in motivating, inspiring, and teaching. Even responding to the negative takes us away from our positive intentions for the powerlifting community.

There are hundreds of powerlifting programs and thousands of exercises out there but only one lens to view them through and that is either a positive lens or a negative lens. As a powerlifter in his late 40s who started competing way back in 1989, I can tell you that there is, without a doubt, a correlation between your powerlifting life and your non-powerlifting life. If your personal life is negative, that will absolutely bleed into your powerlifting life. To the contrary, when your personal life and work life are in check, your powerlifting life will see gains like never before.

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The Law of Attraction doesn't counter out “shit happens” because shit happens. But the daily thoughts—and we have tens of thousands of them—can be positive or they can have a negative tilt to them. The bottom line is what you put out into the universe or to the bigger powers or whatever you title those things, the Law of Attraction says you will get returned to you not unlike karma. Keep in mind, a thought is in fact a unit of mental energy that can be scientifically measured, and those thoughts can and will impact your behavior.

When I was working on my first master’s degree in psychology, the focus of my master’s thesis was neurolinguistic programming or, in other words, programming your neurons through linguistics or, more simply, words. It sounds all sciency, but you do it all the time in the gym. You say to your partner as he's getting ready for a PR, “Today is about you! Pick that m***** f**ker up!!!!! You are strong as h*ll!!!!” This gets your partner psyched up and boom—PR. This is in contrast to saying, “Gosh, Dani, your last set was really tough, and well, your form is just off today. Maybe you are getting a cold. Geez, I hope you don’t pull your hamstring or anything.” Those words are equally powerful but in a negative way.

There is obviously more to neurolinguistic programming than that, but you get the gist. You can say something and that gets someone psyched, which means this—your words caused a neurological response. That neurological response stimulated the adrenal glands and also testosterone production, and those physical responses to the neurological signal were caused by your screaming positive words. The same thing goes with your thoughts. If you constantly think negatively, science will tell you that you will produce more cortisol, which is the last thing you need when you're training. Put it this way—don’t be a victim of your negative thoughts or those thoughts or words from others because that will 100 percent impact your powerlifting. If neurolinguistic programming sounds a little like the Jedi mind trick (these aren't the droids that you're looking for) it's because it's pretty much the same—words causing a physical response.

yoda-MGG-121713You plan your training, you plan your meals, you plan your sets and reps, you plan your meets, and you plan your supplements. Take that next leap and control your environment by adding positive thoughts and eliminating negative ones. Positive thoughts look a certain way, too. “I love being in perfect health.” That is positive versus “I hope I don’t get sick.” You just introduced ‘sick’ into the equation, so be aware of the difference.

My personal Facebook page is small. I have fewer than 100 friends (some family, some team elitefts™ members, and some MGG members). Our MGG page is substantially larger. On my personal page, I've either "defriended" folks or just turned off their news from my feed because, for the most part, I'm uplifted by the things that the guys and gals from the gym/family/elitefts™ have to say. If someone wants to infect his own life by drawing in 'like' things and they're all negative, go for it. But that isn't something that I want to be part of because my powerlifting needs to be immersed with the positive, thus I surely don’t want to read that stuff on my phone in the morning before my day has even really started. I prefer to start it off on the positive energy side.

If you want to be as complete a powerlifter as you can be, read the Ten Commandments of Powerlifting II by Ernie Frantz as well as the Westside Method by Louis Simmons. Read everything from elitefts™ but also consider reading The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. It's like $15.00 online, or if you're like me, read it for free at the library because free is good, people. If you aren't a book person, it's on DVD and that means it's probably on YouTube as well, but you didn’t hear that from me.

If you really want to get into the science of things, check out What the Bleep Do We Know. This gets you into how your thoughts turn on or off neurotransmitters and the impact that those neurotransmitters have on hormone release or inhibition. It gets a little heady, but the message is the same. Your thoughts cause physical reactions, and negative thoughts cause production of a number of bad things in your own endocrinology. If a father tells his son or daughter that he or she is a loser long enough, although just words, those words trigger neurological changes that can directly impact the child's health both mentally and physically. Just like the father who constantly tells his kids how proud of them he is, that, too, impacts the body but in a positive way. Both words and thoughts have this impact.

Try this—think of a time when you were in a fight or near fighting. Think back through all those emotions. Think about how you so wanted to pound on that person. If you really can get your thoughts there, you'll have a physical reaction. Your heart will start to beat faster, you'll produce an adrenalin secretion, and you'll have elicited a physical response with merely a thought. On the other hand, picture that one awesome relationship in your life with that oh so attractive mate who could do no wrong. Feeling all warm and cozy? Thoughts impact the physical. It's all science and all this science can impact your training. That is fact.

To put things simply the way that Steve Colescott likes, you have the power through your positive thoughts to take your powerlifting to another level of success and achievement just like Dorothy, who had the power all along to go where she needed to go.

 


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