If you watch a replay of the 2019 NPC Empire Classic Bodybuilding Championships, you’ll see some amazing muscles. Bodybuilding is a challenging sport, and participants work hard to achieve mind-blowing results. However, you don’t have to be a professional bodybuilder to take advantage of the benefits of weight training. According to Kristin Gustafson, Exercise Science and Wellness Coordinator at Rasmussen College, lifting weights is good for everyone:
- “Not only does strength training increase your physical work capacity, it also improves your ability to perform activities of daily living (ADL’s). You will be able to work harder and longer with the proper weight training activities.
- It improves bone density. One of the best ways you can control bone loss as you age is to add strength training into your workout plan.
- It promotes fat-free body mass with decreasing sarcopenia. The lean muscle mass that we all work so hard for decreases with age. If we don’t add strength training to our routine then it will turn into fat.
- It Increases the strength of connective tissue, muscles, and tendons.This leads to improved motor performance and decreased injury risk.
- It improves your quality of life as you gaining body confidence. Strength training will not only make you strong, but will also help with managing your weight.”
Now that we’ve touched on the advantages of pumping iron, we’re going to shift our focus from our bodies to our minds, which are equally important to train. Our discussion today centers on gaining mental muscle with martial arts training. And guess what! If you work hard, you can achieve mind-building results!
What Is Mental Muscle?
“You have certain muscles in your body that are absolutely essential for sports including your quads, glutes, abs, and hamstrings,” explains Dr. Jim Taylor, a sports psychologist who contributes to the Huffington Post. “You should think about your mind as made up of ‘mental muscles’, the same way you think about your body and its physical muscles. And you have certain mental muscles that are also absolutely critical for you to perform your best. The simple reality is that if you don’t actively strengthen these muscles, you will not be capable of performing your best. ”
Dr. Taylor describes these mental muscles as life skills we can develop, such as motivation, confidence, focus, intensity, and mindset. But it’s going to take some effort! “Like any muscle, these five mental muscles won’t just develop on their own,” Taylor writes. “Rather, you have to actively train them in a structured and consistent mental training program. Only by strengthening these mental muscles will be you have a chance to perform your best, get the results you want, and achieve your athletic goals.”
How Can You Build Mental Muscle?
Participating in a martial arts program such as the family martial arts program at MP USA provides you with the kind of structured and consistent training Dr. Taylor recommends. The ancient Indonesian martial art we practice, Merpati Putih, emphasizes a unique mind-body-spirit connection that can help you unlock the secrets to a longer, healthier life. Also, as you build your mental muscle, you can also enjoy four life-enhancing benefits. These include improved emotional well-being, reduced aggression, improved stress management, and memory improvement. “Regular physical activity has an effect on biological responses in both muscles and organs that, in turn, alter the structure and functions of the brain…” said Alesi, et. al in the Muscles, Ligaments, and Tendons Journal (April – June 2014). “…Consistent with this hypothesis, since martial arts enhance aerobic performance capacity, they could also favour the cognitive functioning including reaction time and motor time, information processing speed, [and] working memory.”
When Can You Join MP USA?
In a word, NOW! MP USA’s family martial arts program offers open enrollment twice each month. We start every student with a FREE Evaluation and, once approved, a 3-lesson trial series to make sure they will be a good fit for our group classes. And there’s no one else like us in Utah. At MP USA, our expert team works side-by-side with parents and children ages 6+, guiding them toward becoming the most empowered and capable people they can be.
If you’re ready to start gaining mental muscle with martial arts training, we invite you to call us at 1-866-666-7872.