Positive Visualization and Its Effects on Strength Training

Transylvania University, Lexington, KY, United States, 40508

The following study examines the effects of positive visualization on strength training. Positive visualization is being defined as: visualizing yourself performing a physical movement to best of your capability or beyond. Student-athletes were asked to positively visualize themselves performing lifts that they physically executed frequently in their training regimen (bench-press, back squat, clean or deadlift). A directionality analysis demonstrated that, compared to athletes who did not, participants who positively visualized had a significant increase in weight moved during a lift. The positively visualizing group demonstrated a 10-15 lb. increase in weight moved, while the control group only demonstrated a 5 lb. increase. This suggests that athletes are more successful when incorporating positive visualization into their training. Power movements (clean) dramatically increased, suggesting a follow-up study specific to type of muscle development and movement, could further improve the efficiency of athletic training combined with visualization. This research is important to the field of neurophysiology, as it demonstrates a connection between the mind (visualization) promoting potential change in neural circuity and muscle development (measured by strength). If we are better able to understand how thought and visualization influence the brain and the nervous system, we might be better equipped to understand the mind-body connection, and utilize it to promote health and wellness.

Hynes and Turner (2020).pdf255.94 KB