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Mind Power: Isotonic vs. Isometric Mind - Setting Goals and Endurance

Your mind power during your training is one of the most important aspects for the success of your workout. Your drive and motivation for a workout is critical to its success. But do you approach every workout with the same mindset? What is your mindset for a set-based workout vs. a time-based workout? Let's observe.

When doing an exercise of an isotonic nature, you mentally prepare yourself for a series of roadblocks. You have an ultimate goal which you seek to achieve, perhaps 5 sets of 15 reps, so each set that you do is preparing you to move closer to your next goal. Upon finally reaching that goal, you celebrate with rest, a meal, etc. What does this mean for your lifestyle? This kind of mindset will help you to understand how to prioritize and reach your goals in life. When faced with a big problem, simplifying it and approaching it stages can maximize your success with the problem at hand. A famous Chinese proverb says: "The person who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones."

Yet, what if taking the problem in stages isn't enough? What if the problem confronts you before you can prepare for it? The isometric mindset helps you to always be prepared for it. For instance, consider an isometric push against an immovable object. There are no sets or reps, so your only indicator of completion is your muscle exhaustion. Time seems to slow down, the movement begins to burn, yet you push through because your reward for your endurance will be strength. You have no room to fear failure because your only option is to reach your goal. 

What does this mean for your lifestyle? One mindset is not superior to the other; in fact, incorporating both into your life can help you to live your life to the fullest. The isotonic mind can help you to visualize even the most insurmountable tasks as manageable. The isometric mind can give you the courage to strive for your goal, no matter the circumstances. Attaining both minds in your daily life can make you a mental warrior, because as Arichilochus said: We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training.