"I was constantly playing tricks on my mind. This is why I began to think of my biceps as mountains, instead of flesh and blood. Thinking of my biceps as mountains made my arms grow faster and bigger than if I had seen them as only muscles." So said Arnold Schwarzenegger, 7-times Mr.Olympia. Arnold was well aware of the need to focus on the muscles he trained in order to develop a type of mind-muscle connection. Back in the days when Arnold was at his bodybuilding peak, it was easier to do this since there were far fewer distractions in the gym. I, too, trained at the original Gold's Gym in Venice, California, and can confirm that training was taken very seriously there, although there certainly was an underlying sense of fun that isn't apparent in the present version of Gold's gym in Venice. The original Gold's didn't have constant loud music blaring from speakers situated in all corners of the gym. Instead, we had a small radio that sat on top of an old desk in the front of the gym. More often than not, the radio was either not working, or not turned on. As such, the only sounds heard in the gym were the clanking of weights, along with heavy breathing accompanied by exhortations of "One more rep, do another rep!" I first learned of the importance of the mind-muscle connection when I joined Vince's Gym in Studio City, California. I trained there for one year prior to relocating to the original Gold's in Venice. The owner of Vince's, an irascible but extremely visionary former bodybuilder, Vince Gironda, was a big believer in total concentration and focusing on the muscle that you trained. He would never tolerate the blaring noise and complete lack of focus seen today in most gyms. That perhaps explains why Vince's gym produced many of the top bodybuilding champions of the 60s, including Larry Scott, the winner of the first two Mr.Olympia contests in 1965 and 1966.
What you often see today are many people in the gym playing with their so-called "smartphones." It's obvious these people are not paying the slightest attention to their workouts, and are certainly not picturing the muscle they are training in their mind. What they are doing is, in fact, a complete waste of time. These people never show even the slightest degree of progress, no fat loss, zero muscle gains, no strength gains. It makes you wonder why they go to the gym at all. Some of them will tell you that they play with their phones only between sets, since"You have to rest anyway." What they are not aware of is that . . .