The importance of flow state in weight training
Weight lifting flow state is your ability to get and stay super focused during a heavy set. The particular mind state of focus is essential in order to do anything extraordinary. Lifting crazy heavy (relatively to each person) weights is one of such things. You cannot just come to a heavy barbell, take it and lift it. You must go through the whole inner ritual inside of your head prior to an attempt. A monumental task lays ahead of you. You will have to insure an impeccable body movement while experiencing unhuman pressure of the super heavy (relatively to you) weight. Your mood and feelings are going to be effected by the lift. You better do not promise your Mrs that few minutes after lifting weights you will come back and share your warm feelings with her.
Neurochemical adaptations happening while you’re in a flow state
“Getting in the zone” is the toughest part of lifting weights, not the actual lift. I may sound like a crazy person but thankfully science backs me up. Other than neuroanatomical changes in flow state neurochemical adaptations occur too. The brain goes wild producing a superhuman neurochemistry. You get pumped with 5 performance enhancing neurochemicals: dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, anandamide and endorphins. So you become measurably faster, stronger, quicker, just overall better. Dopamine and norepinephrine heightens your senses. Cocktail of the 5 chemicals makes you feel incredible. This is highly addictive (in a positive way). Trying to repeat flow state can become the most powerful motivation to train insanely hard. Your ability to learn from the experience while you are under the effect of the five chemicals is also at another level.
How to get to weight lifting flow state?
So how do you get yourself into this flow state? Well, first of all there is no button you can press to switch the needed mind state on. It takes a lot of experience and physical practice of the thing that you want to be flowing at. Nevertheless, I can share with you the steps I go through “getting in the zone”. You must know the exact technical breakdown of you movement that you are about to perform. Control your fear, anxiety, the feeling of butterflies in your stomach. Acknowledge these feelings as positive, they keep you on your toes, extremely focused in the moment. No hesitation, no doubts, extreme confidence, the absolute need to dominate, nothing else matters to you at that moment! This is how you want to feel getting yourself into weight lifting flow state. There cannot be even the slightest thought of weakness, failure and quitting. If you haven’t lifted weights being in the flow state then you haven’t ever truly lifted weights at all.
A couple of useful links if you would like to read more about flow state –