ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

I Increased My Muscle Strength Using Visualization

Updated on March 1, 2013

Mental Rehearsal

Mental rehearsal is a form of visualization that helps you prepare for an event. You visualize yourself going through the motions and getting the outcome you want. The main advantage over physical practice is that you can always experience the outcome you want. You can also use it when you can not do it physically. Athletes often use mental rehearsal to improve their performance.

The visualization should be similar to what you can actually do but a bit better. Day dreaming about having super strength will not help you. Physically practicing will keep it fresh in your mind. When I am visualizing an action like exercise I find it easier to do if I breath the way I would if I was physically exercising. You can improve your ability to visualize with practice. Watching videos of you or someone else can help.

Guy doing push-ups
Guy doing push-ups | Source
Girl doing push-ups
Girl doing push-ups | Source

Visualization Experiment

I saw some experiments that showed it was possible to increase your strength by using your mind. In the experiments people visualized themselves doing an exercise instead of physically doing it. As a result of the visualization they significantly increased their strength.

It seemed like a good experiment to try because it would be easy to measure the results and it would not take too long. With actual physical exercise I can notice a difference in performance in a week or less. So I designed a simple experiment I could do for a week. For my visualization experiment I used push-ups for my exercise because they are easy to visualize.

To start I did as may push-ups as I could do while keeping proper form and recorded the results. I do slow and steady push-ups focusing on quality not quantity. For the next 7 days I visualized doing the push-ups. Since I was just picturing myself doing the push-ups I did over twice as many sets as I would have otherwise. To keep it realistic I visualized myself doing 5 more than I could when I started the experiment and gradually increased it to 10 more.

At the end of my experiment I could do 6 more push-ups. I became noticeably stronger within a week. This does not mean that my muscle became bigger or harder. My brain and body could just have gotten better at using what I already had. To see if I could increase my muscle mass with visualization I would need to give up physical exercise for a long time. However it proves without a doubt that I can improve my strength.


I would not recommend just using visualization. In most cases it is better to do the actual physical exercise. However it is a good tool. If you can not exercise physically you can use visualization. You could also include it as part of your exercise routine. It can help you exceed your current limits by preparing your mind and body.

To build muscle you could lift weights and visualize lifting weights when you wake up, as you are going to bed or on your rest days. I like visualizing in bed just before I go to sleep. For me it works best for short mental workouts. If you want to improve your ability to run long distances you could skip over some of the running and start near your current physical limit.

Visualization is a powerful tool that can be used to improve your strength. Try it out for yourself. You might be inspired to use visualization to improve other things.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)