By Team Beachbody

We've all visualized ourselves doing something successful. It's a process that we start as children when we dream of winning a gold medal or a spelling bee. But the act of visualization is much more than just daydreaming - It's a powerful performance tool that we can use to help us in our day to day lives, including getting the most from a fitness regimen like Power 90® or Slim in 6®.

Specifically, if you are struggling with swinging through your leg from the "plank" to the "runners pose" in the yoga phases of our programs, or having a hard time seeing how you could look when you truly "transform your body", you could use a little visualization to reinforce in the brain what the body is trying to achieve.

Visualization is not simply a process of thinking about something (although that is a decent start); it's an organized process of mentally working through weaknesses and seeing improvement in order to make progress.

Visualization is also referred to as "guided imagery", or the process of creating a scene in your mind of what you want to happen. An Olympic athlete will create images, like pictures or movies that recreate their best performances or envision desired outcomes so that imagery becomes a "normal" part of the psyche. While imagining these scenarios, the athlete actually imagines every detail and the way it feels to perform the way they want.

These images can be visual (images and pictures), kinesthetic (how the body may feel), or auditory (creating sound triggers to stimulate repetitive performance). Using the mind, an athlete can call up these images over and over, enhancing skills through repetition or rehearsal, similar to physical practice. With mental rehearsal, minds and bodies become trained to actually perform the skill imagined. A layperson would apply the exact same techniques to improve on push-ups, yoga positions, finishing a desired number of repetitions, or just about anything.

Such repeated imagery can build both mental experience and confidence in one's ability to perform certain skills or achieve a certain outcome.

Three Phases of Visualization
There are three main steps that lead to complete attitude enhancement. The first is "Tary Relaxation", which teaches you to achieve the ideal balance of energy and relaxation. Next, "active visualization" to create positive expectations, to master certain techniques and tactics, and to improve confidence. Finally, "attitude enhancement" is where you're able to mold positive thoughts, feelings, and emotions into an unstoppable mindset. This has an almost instantaneous and involuntary effect on the muscles and organs of the body.

How It's Done
Here are six steps to help you begin to visualize like the pros:
  • Visualize from your "minds eye" or as you would see the scenario you desire.
  • Visualize with as many of your senses as possible. Try to re-create as many feelings and muscular stimuli with each visualization as you can.How will you look? How will it feel? What will you hear? Etc.
  • Visualize as many times during the day as possible, when you get up, before training, after training and always before you fall asleep.
  • Visualize all the various situations that you will be facing. See challenges and opportunities.
  • Visualize those situations that are the most difficult for you. It is important that the images you create are as perfect as possible. Include as much of the physical feeling of doing these techniques as you can. Here's where you get to perform like a pro!
  • Repeat each image in your mind as many times as possible. Utilize every opportunity to reinforce neuromuscular patterning.
This technique is proven. It's what you see athletes doing before they compete. It's what dancers do before they take the stage. It's what achievers do before they set out to tackle their next challenge.