Visualize your potential

Cathleen Kronemer, NSCA-CPT, Certified Health Coach, is a longtime fitness instructor at the Jewish Community Center. She is also a member of the St. Louis Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

By Cathleen Kronemer, NSCA-CPT, Lifestyle/Weight Management Coach

If I asked you to close your eyes and picture something important, what would you see? You might be reliving a very special memory from a long time ago, or thinking about the next item on your very full “to-do” list. While there is definitely a place for both of those scenarios in our daily life, there is also room for one more worthy visualization, and that is the vision of your next workout.

When I first embarked on my bodybuilding journey, every workout seemed impossibly difficult. Some weeks there were as many tears as there were cheers as I challenged myself in the weight room. As I became more and more enamored of this new endeavor in my life, I began to realize the value of advance planning. Knowing which body part I would be training each day helped me organize my time as well as focus my energy.

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Soon I began to visualize the workouts in my mind, often with my eyes closed. In this space I was able to “see” myself performing each exercise, playing them over and over in my head until I had convinced myself that I would be successful in the gym the following day. The power of visualization is that it allows for a “dress rehearsal” of the actual performance, so that when the time comes to execute the exercise, you feel as if you have already accomplished it with ease.

Harnessing the power within your brain can transform your exercise efforts. If given the chance, the mind will always quit long before the body reaches failure. However, by visualizing your challenges in advance, your mind has an opportunity to play out the event, realize its potential for success, and thereby not interfere with the body’s natural abilities to push past its comfort zone when the critical moment arrives.

As you plan for your next workout, while getting your gym bag ready the night before, take a moment to visualize what you plan to do the next day. See yourself being successful, challenging every obstacle you can imagine. Then, get to the gym and watch your body soar!!