“Bodybuilding is more mental than physical, you're concerned with what is first of all this mental projection, of what you wanna look like what you wanna be like, second, your concerned with daily feelings of exercises, and muscles, and handles, you're concerned with 'putting your mind in the muscle"-Tom Platz
The body cannot go where the mind has not been. If you want to achieve something, you have to focus on it and visualize it. Changing the way your body looks is a lot more complex than people imagine. Society thinks it is a matter of going into the gym and just lifting weights. Moving an object from point A to point B and repeating it over and over again until you grow the amount of muscle you want.
Unfortunately, building muscle is not that easy. Moving a weight around actually doesn’t build any muscle. At least not directly. What builds muscle is an internal focus on contracting a muscle and tearing down the fibers by using resistance (the weights) as a tool. 95% of the people I see in the gym are just mindlessly going through the motions and purely focus on moving weights around. Some people are even talking in the middle of their sets and looking around focusing all their attention on other things except for what they are doing. Too many people in the gym have an external focus when their goal involves an internal stimulus.
Unless your goal is pure, raw strength, or to be a better athlete and improving a certain physical marker, then you have to have a paradigm shift and begin focusing on the internal aspects of weight training. One of the best things you can do is learn basic anatomy of the muscles you regularly work in the gym and how you can put a muscle through its full range of motion. The other thing is while you are training, to close your eyes and only think about fully shortening and lengthening a muscle while the weight moves. The goal is to think about contracting the muscles and there just so happens to be a dumbbell or a barbell in your hands. The harder that you can contract a muscle, the more it has the potential to grow.
Even Arnold talked about the mind-muscle connection and said he imagined his biceps growing like mountains while he was training. This visualization allowed him to fully put his mind in the muscle and give it no option but to grow. There are many ways to improve your mind muscle connection. The best way is to obviously practice contracting your muscles constantly. Whether you are at home, at school or just before a set, focus on squeezing the muscles hard and feeling them. There are also certain supplements that can enhance this connection such as Alpha GPC, Vinpocetine, caffeine and many more. Meditation is another crucial technique that allows you to learn to connect with your body. The ability to focus completely on one task such as contracting a specific muscle will be improved through the proper use of meditation.
Increasing the amount of muscle mass you have has much more to do with you being able to connect with your muscles mentally as opposed to you actually moving weights physically. This is why a proper pre-workout meditation technique paired with a proper warm-up is crucial to building muscle. The clearer your mind is for training and the more you can allow your mind to focus on the muscles contracting, the better results you will see!