The Performance State: How to Develop Athlete Self-Awareness

Bob Takano
Olympic Weightlifting

A scene from the great documentary Pumping Iron comes to mind when considering what has become known as the mind-body connection. The documentary is centered on the rivalry between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno for the Mr. Olympia Crown.


The scene takes place in the New York gym where Ferrigno trains. As the central moment of the scene about Lou competing comes to an end, the camera pans in on an average-looking guy standing in what was previously the background. Mr. Average is doing dumbbell curls, and from the look on his face he is concentrating neither on the movement nor his muscles. This is in direct contrast to the tremendous intensity displayed by the two titans of the film.




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