What Is Muscle Mind Connection? Indepth Look
What is muscle mind connection? This is something that I will explore in detail in this article, it is commonly referred to as “mind muscle connection”. It is a way of training that is frequently talked about in bodybuilding circles. By the end of this article you will have all the information you need to know about this topic.
This principle is more important for bodybuilding.
The Muscle Mind Connection
The premise of the muscle mind connection is to establish a strong connection with your mind and muscles as you are performing an exercise. You want to feel your muscles working properly and contracting. This is the essence of bodybuilding after all, building up muscles to be bigger and stronger over time.
When your body is in tune to what your mind is asking it to do when performing a movement you will experience better results over time. A lot of times people rush reps just to get them done as fast as possible. By doing this they are missing out on creating sufficient tension in the muscles. Creating tension is key to building bigger muscles.
Importance Of Proper Mechanics
It must be said that to have any chance of establishing a good muscle mind connection, you have to be performing the movement with good technique. This is crucial, without good technique you can never make the progress that you want. You will also increase your chances of getting injured down the road.
Once you have practiced many reps of an exercise with good technique, the movement pattern will become ingrained. Your mind will automatically know what it needs to do. In this way you can then start to build a stronger muscle mind connection when performing the exercise. You will feel the targeted muscles working as they should and you will have fewer weak links.
Not Going Too Heavy
A big part of feeling the muscles working relies on not going too heavy on an exercise. Very often people will sacrifice form just to move more weight. What will happen is they will then resort to performing the movement with faulty mechanics and shifting the workload to the wrong muscles.
It is important to push yourself and apply progressive overload in the gym. However, this must be paired with maintaining good mechanics and a strong muscle mind connection. This will ensure optimal muscle growth over time. By disregarding good technique in favour of heavier weights you are setting yourself up for serious injuries.
Once you are seriously injured your bodybuilding journey will be hampered and so it is critical to focus on keeping your ego in check. Work the muscles above all else and push yourself. But always aim to feel the muscles working and keeping your technique solid.
Feel The Muscles Working
When you have cultivated a strong muscle mind connection, you will feel your muscles working as they should. If you are performing seated rows as an example, you should focus on the peak contraction and feeling your muscles contract as you complete each rep.
High reps can be very good for feeling the muscles working as you will get a better pump. It also gives you more time to practice your technique and become more efficient. This will result in your mind being able to know what it needs to do on every rep subconsciously. The cue that you would use for seated rows would be “deep elbows”. After lots of practice on this exercise your muscle mind connection would be so in tune that you can perform the exercise on auto pilot.
Feeling the muscles working goes hand in hand with utilising good technique. If you are cheating and using lots of body english on every exercise, you will certainly not feel your muscles working. Definitely not the targeted muscles for that exercise. Instead you will be activating a whole host of other muscle groups to assist you.
Tempo training is a fantastic way of putting more tension on your muscles during an exercise. You can establish a stronger mind muscle connection as you can feel your muscles working a lot more through every part of the range of motion. Let’s say you are doing a lying leg curl. If you perform the exercise in a “3 second tempo” fashion then you will count 1-2-3 as you perform each rep.
You will create more tension and be able to get more out of less weight. In addition you will feel your muscles working really hard throughout the entire range of motion. There are quite a few exercises that I perform in this way – another example is an incline dumbbell tricep extension. You can build up bigger and thicker triceps using very little weight. Just perform the exercise with a 3 second tempo.
Tempo training will allow you to pack on a lot more muscle and will also mean that you don’t need to go super heavy. For bodybuilding purposes it simply isn’t necessary to train ridiculously heavy for hypertrophy. Just look at your average bodybuilder and your average powerlifter. Sure the powerlifter will be stronger, but the bodybuilder will look a lot more intimidating and also more aesthetic.
Holding The Peak Contraction
Another way to feel your muscles contracting and get a better muscle mind connection, is to pause the peak contraction of every rep. This will allow you to feel your muscles contract hard when they are super pumped up. This is especially useful for smaller isolation movements where you are targeting fewer muscles and smaller muscles.
By holding the peak contraction you will engage the muscles more on every rep and get a better pump overall. You will instinctively know what it feels like when your muscles contract forcefully on an exercise.
To conclude, in this article I have discussed the muscle mind connection. Hopefully you will now have a deep knowledge about this topic and be able to use these aforementioned techniques in your own training.
There is a great program called the MI40 program which utilises the principles of muscle mind connection to help you to get significantly bigger muscles and lose fat at the same time. If you want to find out more about this program, simply click the link below.
As always, enjoy your training and stay safe! If you have any questions about this topic please leave them in the comments.