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The Power of Mind Muscle Connection on your gains.

At Ocean Pacific Gym, the best gym in San Diego, we understand how important it is for your

efforts to match your results. There is nothing more frustrating than consistently following a

training program and not seeing your desired results. Whether you are seeking improved

conditioning, strength, performance, or muscle gains, in order to keep pushing forward, it’s

crucial to see progress. If you are doing “all the things” but not seeing the results you expect,

there may be one essential element that needs more of your focus: mind-muscle connection.

You may have heard this term before and thought it was hocus pocus but is it?! This has been an

ongoing debate among bodybuilders, fitness trainers, and athletes. One of our athletes here at

Ocean Pacific Gym, Gina Aliotti, is a big advocate and believer of mind-muscle connection and

dedicates much of her ability to stay in top shape to this mind-muscle philosophy.

The debate is whether shifting your focus to the muscles you are working actually plays a key

role in making strength, performance, and muscle gains. Is an exercise done with more mental

focus and connection to the muscle being worked, have a greater impact than the same exercise

done with less focus? Let’s talk about it…

Let’s begin by understanding what Mind-Muscle Connection is?

A curly hair woman in great shape lifting a dumb bell

Mind-muscle connection is a mental training technique that involves focusing on intently putting your mind in the muscle you are working. It goes beyond just executing the exercise. It is about consciously and deliberately feeling every muscle fiber being executed to perform the exercise.

This mental focus has been shown to enhance the intensity and improve the effectiveness of an

exercise. For example, let’s take a shoulder press. You have two ways to perform this press. The first is done without activating a certain muscle. Mindlessly pressing the dumbbells overhead.

The second is done with concentrated attention on the delts and focusing on every muscle fiber

firing off within your delts. The Science Behind Mind-Muscle Connection

A study done by Brad Schoenfeld* found that training with mind-muscle connection led to

significant gains compared to those that trained with proper form without mind-muscle

connection. Over eight weeks, inexperienced lifters who focused on mind-muscle connection

saw greater increases in strength than those experienced athletes who did not.

Another study performed by Bret Contreras* utilized EMG (examine muscle activation) to see if

performing a variety exercises with and without mind-muscle connection would have an impact

on what muscle groups were activated. The results found that lifters could steer activation based

on their mental connection to that muscle. They could take a squat and focus on quad muscles to

activate quads and eliminate glute activation and vice versa, focusing on glutes to activate glutes

and less quad stimulation.

The conclusion proved that bodybuilders were right that mind-muscle connection does indeed

impact the effectiveness of a lift and the ability to activate muscles.

Now that we know Mind-Muscle connection is a real thing, how do we do it?

Flex Your Muscles

BEFORE performing an exercise, start improving your mind-muscle connection by flexing your

muscles (without weight) to feel the pump and contraction. This practice will help you to

understand what it feels like to mindfully connect to your muscles and make it easier to focus on

these muscles when lifting weights.

Use Lighter Weights

When practicing mind-muscle connection, it's best to lower your usual weights. This can be hard

for some to do, especially if you are aiming for PR’s but if you are wanting to improve your

mind-muscle connection, heavier weights are not necessary. This focus on specific muscles

means secondary muscles won't be used as much, so you won't be able to lift as much weight.

Performing exercises with lighter weights ensures proper form and connection to the muscles

being worked.

Slow Down Your Movements

Maximize each rep by slowing down the eccentric portion of the contraction. When you speed

through your reps, you are not able to fully connect. By slowing down and connecting, you are

able to create tension in the right muscles, helping your body gain strength and size effectively.

Train Smarter at Ocean Pacific Gym

At Ocean Pacific Gym and Wellness, located in Pacific Beach, San Diego, we prioritize

evidence-based strategies to help you achieve your fitness goals. Our body specific machines

allow you to maximize your workouts. Elevate your results by incorporating mind-muscle

connection techniques to ensure you get the most out of your workouts. At the best gym in San

Diego, Ocean Pacific Gym is dedicated to helping you train smarter, not harder and maximizing

every lift for the greatest gains.

Join Ocean Pacific Gym today and experience the best in fitness and wellness. Whether you're

looking to enhance your strength, build muscle, or improve performance, our comprehensive

approach and wellness facility will help you reach your goals. Visit us in Pacific Beach and

discover why Ocean Pacific Gym is the top choice for fitness enthusiasts in San Diego.

Train hard, recover smart, and make every rep count at Ocean Pacific Gym.

Sign up for a day pass in person or learn more about membership at OPG.





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