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Become Stronger In Seconds: Boost Strength Fast Without Building Muscle

Updated on February 24, 2013


There is more to strength than having muscle. Your mind and body are connected. While you can not rapidly grow more muscle within a few seconds you can almost instantly decrease or increase your strength using your mind. Your brain sends signals to your muscles telling them what to do. It also sends signals to other areas of your body. So it is fairly easy to boost your strength.


Before attempting a task like doing a large number of push ups, biking up a steep hill or lifting heavy weights you should intend to succeed. Don't intend to try and don't intent to fail. There should be a specific task you intend to accomplish and you should expect to accomplish it. While doing the task don't give yourself permission to quit. It is important you have specific intentions.


To do your best you need to be focused. Don't just go through the motions while thinking about other things. Your thoughts and your energy should be focused on doing the exercise and your breathing. Breathing is very important. You should start to focus on it before you begin the exercise. Take deep breaths so you get lots of oxygen. The speed of your breathing depends on the exercise.

If you have done something lots of times it does not require a lot of focus to do it again. You could do it while thinking about other things. However you would not be doing your best. It is also important that you stay in the moment. Don't get ahead of yourself by thinking about what you are going to do when you are done exercising. For some things you may want to get a timer so you are not thinking about the time while you should be focused on the exercise.

Me doing a difficult exercise.
Me doing a difficult exercise. | Source

Fear Of Failure

If you are thinking about the possibility of failure then you are probably going to fail. Negative thoughts are a distraction and even worse you may be instructing yourself to do what you are thinking about. When balancing it is a bad idea to focus on falling unless you actually want to fall. When running it is a bad idea to think of tripping.

When attempting to lift heavy weights you are more likely to fail if you tell that you are going to fail. Adding a negative like don't does not help. Take steps to make sure that it is safe so there is no need to worry about something bad happening to you.

A lot of people suffer from performance anxiety. They don't want people to see them fail but their fear causes them to fail more often. To fix this problem you can exercise where other people will not see you or you can just ignore them. Focus on yourself and what you want to accomplish. Fear of failure can decrease your ability to do difficult exercises.


If the exercise is difficult then your muscles are going to send pain signals. Pain means the muscles are under stress. A sharp pain means you should stop. Often when people quit they tell themselves their muscles were giving out. However in a lot of cases your muscles could have done a lot more if you did not stop them and the real reason you quit was because you felt like quitting. For instance I went for a very long bike ride. After a while I felt like quitting but I kept biking for another hour. My body was sending me signals but the pain did not increase. It was mostly a mental battle.


Increasing your strength within seconds is just a matter of changing your thoughts but it has limits. For a huge increase in strength you should also build more muscle by exercising regularly and continuing to challenge yourself. Be careful when doing difficult exercises. Only increase the weight or repetitions by small amounts.

Me doing push-ups.
Me doing push-ups. | Source
Me doing handstand push-ups against a wall.
Me doing handstand push-ups against a wall. | Source
Me lifting my body with my arms.
Me lifting my body with my arms. | Source

My Results

I was doing a difficult exercise routine involving a variety of planks and push ups. While doing the routine I would take lots of breaks because it was too difficult to do all the exercises one right after the other. I was not strong enough. However when I intended to do all of the exercises one right after another and did not give myself permission to stop I was able to complete the full routine in one go. It was difficult but I did it. My muscles could handle it.

My limit for doing planks was around 40 seconds. I had to really struggle to last that long. However quitting was a choice. I would quit because I felt like quitting. By intending to do it for 80 seconds and not allowing myself to quit I doubled the amount of time I could hold the plank pose. My muscles felt like they were going to give out but they did not. The hardest part was not stopping myself.

I tried doing handstand push ups against a wall but I did not really believe I could actually do them and I did not even come close to doing one of them. My focus was on not falling and hurting myself rather than doing the exercise. Thinking of falling only made it more difficult. For this hub I intended to successfully do handstand push ups. My focus was on the exercise. I just got into position and did six of them. Six seemed like a good number to stop at considering it was my first time. To prove to myself I could do it again I did another set after a brief rest.

After adding some weight to my barbell I curled the weight as many times as I could. I managed to lift it 5 times before stopping. The next time I did it I intended to do it for 10 repetitions. I focused on my breathing and the exercise. It made the exercise a little easier. Intending to do 10 and not giving myself permission to quit along with the increased focus allowed me to do twice as many repetitions without building more muscle.

When attempting to do finger push-ups I felt like I was going to fail as soon as I put some weight on my fingers. There was some pain and it did not seem that my fingers were strong enough. The problem was that I was trying to do finger push ups and thinking negative thoughts. The next time I only thought about the exercise and my breathing. There were no thoughts about pain and failure. I just did 4 repetitions. That is not a lot but I could not do any until I changed my thinking. There was very little time between the failed attempt and the successful one. The only difference was my thoughts.


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