Affective Stability, “Choking” and Learning to Take Risks

by Michael Saad
Training is a Good Way to Reset Your Worries

It’s not fair that those who lift weights are often seen as “jocks”, but there is something to the idea that having the physical skill to train hard takes a lot less… thinking. In fact, overthinking can jeopardize your progress and make you panic when you get close to your limits.

Whether you’re the kind of guy who knows how to crush a beer can on his skull after downing it or you’re after a kind of Zen-like, warrior inner emptiness, the enemy is the same.

Introversion, reflection, being risk-averse and over-analyzing are great in some areas of life. But not with training. Bring this attitude to the bar, or the field, or into the cage and you’ll do one thing: choke under pressure.

If you’re the kind of person who’s prone to contemplation, weight training can be a great way to shut your mind up and emphasize doing. Like Yoda says, do or do not. There is no try.

Be too much of a meat head and you’ll hurt yourself and never pause long enough to integrate what you learn. On the other hand, hold back too much and you’ll never experience that thrill of pushing yourself past what you thought possible, of sheer physical agency, of being brave and just doing it.

Whichever side of the spectrum you fall on, weight training is awesome in that it gives you a platform to practice the opposite. Unplug your overactive mind, or try being a little more focused and disciplined in your goals.

How do you know which one to do? Well, there’s only one way to find out…

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