You’re going to the gym and pumping that iron, but you still aren’t getting the results you’ve been hoping for. The boost your workout needs just might lie within your own mind. No, it isn’t simply a positive, can-do attitude—although that never hurts. Instead, you need to pay as much attention to your rests as you do to your reps.
When you take a break between sets throughout your strength-training routine, don’t daydream or get distracted by the reality show blaring on the gym television. Instead, visualize additional repetitions of each move while your body is recuperating. According to a study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, participants who visualized performing their workout (in this study, leg presses) between sets were able to lift more weight and do more repetitions than their visualization-free counterparts. You also want to make sure you’re picturing yourself doing the exercise, not that you’re imaging watching yourself perform the moves. That first-person perspective is the key to a successful visualization.
And don’t forgot: Visualization techniques are just as handy in the office as they are at the gym. Here, three easy visualization techniques that actually get results.