Getting Pumped in the Mental Weight Room

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Meet Matt Mikesell, 26, of Denton, TX, a self-proclaimed fitness fanatic who is not only passionate about living a fit and healthy lifestyle himself, but has also dedicated his life to a career helping other athletes achieve their competitive dreams.

Matt is currently in a doctorate program earning a PhD in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Sports Psychology and he specializes in helping athletes of all levels learn to mentally train to be the best athlete and person they can be. His take-home message to his athletes is simple: you give power to what you focus on, good or bad. In other words, if you focus on negative thoughts, you will naturally achieve negative results, but if you learn to focus on positive thought processes, you can learn to mentally trai
n your brain.

In his work with high level collegiate athletes who are focused on transitioning into professional athletic careers, Matt’s goal is to help them learn to master having positive mental conversations with themselves. Matt focuses his training on the mental component of athletics, which he calls “getting in the mental weight room.”

According to Matt, “In the mental weight room, we focus on things that will help them, not hurt them.” For many athletes, the hard mental training involves developing confidence. It is natural to have negative thoughts, especially when things don’t go according to the plan. The challenge is what are you going to do about it.

A collegiate two-sport athlete himself, Matt knows first-hand the importance of physical training and how to achieve muscle memory, but what he helps athletes learn to understand is how to take a naturally occurring thought and consciously make a decision as to what to do with that thought. What happens to an athlete when things don’t go well on the field? How do you take that fumble and the negative thoughts that come from it and turn it around? Matt understands that there are many different ways to address these naturally occurring thoughts, but the key is to decide what you are going to do with it and then follow through.

Originally from Wisconsin, Matt moved to Colorado to earn a Master’s in Sports and Performance Psychology from the University of Denver. In Denver, he worked with middle and high school athletes involved in school and competitive sports. It was in Denver also that he discovered Max Muscle when he started researching supplement stores while he transitioned from a collegiate athlete to a lifetime health enthusiast.

Matt knew that this new phase of his life would be different. In the past, he had coaches planning his workouts; the when, where, and what of his training. As a busy graduate student, he had to find new motivation to ensure he continued to consistently work out and make time for healthy choices.

At Mile High Max Muscle, Matt encountered a staff of highly trained individuals who were first interested in getting to know him and his goals before making recommendations for supplement products that would help him achieve these fitness goals. He found the experience very refreshing.

Matt was initially looking for a quality protein to take post workout for the times his schedule prevented him from eating optimally. MaxPro (chocolate) has become his go-to protein and he has now added FBX 2.0 as his pre-workout and ARM for his top quality recovery choice so he can go strong in the gym the next day. Currently, Matt is focusing on building lean muscle and since incorporating Max Muscle products into his training routine, he has seen great results, going from 180 pounds to 195-200 pounds with a much leaner, muscular look in just 18 months.

Why does Matt choose Max Muscle for his go-to source of quality supplements? “For me, Max Muscle is different and unique because the staff knows the products, they use the products, they know the customers, and they care about you as a person beyond a client,” he said. “I think the reason the products are the best is because I have seen the results. Scientific results can say everything about a product, but at the end of the day, it is about the results – and I have seen the results.”

This fitness fanatic says it best: “Ever since that first stop inside a store, I have been impressed with everything Max Muscle – the products, the results, the magazine, and the authentic conversation I am able to have with workers while in the store. Consequently, I have been advertising the brand to everyone I see.”

Matt’s Favorite Max Muscle Products:
MaxPro Elite Protein
FBX 2.0 pre workout
Max A.R.M. post workout

Matt’s Tips for the Mental Weight Room
1. You can do a workout and get nothing out of it or you can do a workout and get everything from it. If I am squatting and I am zoning out, I will get one result but if I am really focusing on the muscles engaged, I could get much better results. Stay focused and stay present.

2. Try something different! Sometimes people get in the gym and have to get this angry face on and feel they have to grind through it mentality … but if I am spending an hour and half of my day grinding through it, I am not enjoying the experience. If you hate what you are doing then find something you do like. Have fun. Be active.

3. Find ways to be confident in the gym or find something you enjoy and can be confident in and do it. Remember that everyone has to start somewhere and that is OK. There can only be one strongest or skinniest person in the gym and it doesn’t mean everyone else doesn’t matter. Everyone else has the same right to be there. Everyone is worthy of being in the gym. Always remember, your self worth does not come from how much you can lift or how fast you can run.

By Jackie Classen