Avoid thinking negative thoughts while weight training. Worrying or anxiety producing thoughts will cause a spike in the sympathetic nervous system, increasing insulin secretion, resulting in removal of blood sugar from the bloodstream. The end result is you will become weaker and will not be able to sustain the blood pump in the muscle, due to the blood shunting effect.
I remember one time when I was under a lot of emotional stress and I tried working out. I put my normal amount of weight on the bar and proceeded to lift it. But as I was going through the first rep I started focusing on my stressful thoughts. I then found my self struggling like mad to complete the reps. By the last rep of the first set I was completely exhausted and I had no pump in the muscles. I was shaky and felt that my muscles were vasoconstricted. I ended up dropping the weight down by 50% before I felt strong enough to lift it. The more I focused on my worrying thoughts the weaker I appeared to get. I ended up quitting my routine half way through and went home to deal with the anxiety producing issues.
Then when the anxiety producing issue was resolved, I was able to regain my original strength once I returned back to the gym. In life we have our ups and downs. Weight training is a good way to know where you stand among balance with your emotional and physical state of well being. I have often times have been unfocused in my training because of stressful anxiety issues. This is just apart of life. Through my weight training experience I have learned to listen to my body and to train according to my stress level. When I am over stressed and unfocused I will reduce my training load. My immune system is already taking a beaten from all the worrying and I don’t need to compromise it further by overtraining.
I will reduce my training and work on resolving the issues that are pressing on me. I find this to be a better way of getting out of a rut and gettting back on track with my responsibilities.
Daryl Conant, M.Ed