Arnold Preview feature brought to you by Allmax
In preparation for the Arnold Sports Festival, we decided to feature a guest blog from 5x Bikini Champ/ 3x Olympian Breena Martinez. We wanted her insight about what it takes to be a champion, especially as she goes into the 2018 Arnold Classic Bikini in Columbus, OH. See how this incredible athlete prepares herself in and out of the gym, for success.
How much time do you dedicate to preparing yourself mentally? When I asked myself that question, the answer was crystal clear: I wasn’t doing nearly enough. To educate myself, I started reading and researching material that discussed the mind-sets of successful people within their respective industries. Many of these resources brought me to the conclusion that the mind is like a muscle. So, if the mental part of your game needs work, how do you give yourself mental reps? I encourage you to R.I.S.E.
I set out my work clothes and workout clothes every night. I fill up my cooler with my prepped meals, and have a fresh gallon filled with aminos first thing in the a.m. There are certain actions I take daily without hesitation. I try to be as repetitive as possible. When you work repetitively, you’re constant, insistent … ceaseless. There’s no need for variety; you simply execute daily. You carry out your tasks to the point where your brain records a database of you doing all the things you already do. You become meticulous in your craft. No missed meals. No missed workouts. As you get deeper into your routine, a system is developed that doesn’t require thinking, just doing. Every day that passes where you do exactly what you set out to do increases your confidence, thus making you stronger mentally. Even in the most difficult of times, your repetitive nature takes over. Your mind gets lost in the repetition and thinks of nothing else but finishing everything on the checklist. The more good days you can string together, the more it will become habitual. Once your routine becomes a habit, you’re less likely to fall off.
I remember being told by my basketball coaches to visualize the ball going into the net. I thought it was silly until I remember needing to make two important free throws to tie a game. I felt intense pressure and didn’t want to let my teammates down. I remember closing my eyes, taking a deep breath and seeing that ball leave my fingertips with the perfect rotation and arch, and holding my follow-through while seeing the ball glide through the net. After I made both free throws, I made it a point to always visualize the ball going in before every free throw. The act of going through a situation step by step made a potentially nerve-racking time seem familiar. I apply the same concept to my posing routine. I not only imagine myself onstage going through my routine but also imagine the crowd, the judges, the cameras, and the way it feels to be under the stage lights. When I close my eyes, I can smell the ProTan, and I can hear my heels tap the stage with each step. Down to every detail, I imagine it. While lifting, while doing cardio, any chance I have to myself, I visualize the moment of being onstage. This way when I finally get onstage, I’m able to smile and have fun. I’m not nervous or overanalyzing a thing because I’ve rehearsed this a million times in my mind.
Sentiment is defined as “a thought influenced by, or proceeding from, feeling or emotion.” How can you reach a goal if you don’t believe you can reach it? If you believe, then that means you have zero doubt. You can say you have no doubt, but actions speak louder than words. Have you ever found yourself doubting the process and starting to look for alternatives before giving the plan 100 percent focus? Ever feel impatient with your results, so you try to expedite the process by eating less and doing more than what is recommended? To demonstrate belief in oneself, you do what you’re supposed to do, day in and day out. You carry out your duties because you’re on an important mission. No questions asked. You know you will be successful and don’t even allow negative thoughts to burrow in your mind.
Work hard every day like your life depends on it. Every rep you struggle with should ignite unequivocal passion to overcome it. This will allow your mind to tell your body to keep pushing and not give up. Fight through it! When you train with emotion, your mind will remember these breakthroughs, and remind you that you have been able to stand tall in the past, so do it again!
We spend countless hours working on the physical, but if we take a portion of that time and work on the mental component, we can develop into a more complete package. How long do we typically spend scrolling on social media? What if we took just 15 minutes a day to invest in ourselves mentally? Make yourself a priority and make the most of your time. Motivate and encourage yourselves by developing a strong will and work ethic by RISEing to your potential.