Most of us have heard stories about how some little old lady lifted a car when someone she loved was trapped underneath.
In all cases, the event was a 1-shot deal and could not be repeated without the surge of adrenaline powering the superhuman feat of strength.
Yes, the body is capable of doing a lot more than we normally believe it can. But how do we change what we believe so we can break through our physical limitations?
Here's how I did it.
Before I started this experiment, I had been lifting weights for a few years. I wasn't trying to be a professional athlete or anything, I was just playing around and feeling good about being in control of my own body.
I was in high school, and at the time, I could bench-press a maximum of 150 pounds. Some of the football players could bench 220 pounds, and I wanted to see if I could do the same.
So I decided to "trick" my mind into believing I could lift a lot more than I had been lifting. Rather than trying to do it all at once, I decided to "sneak up on it".
So I started with something I KNEW I could do, which was 130 pounds. That was easy enough. The next day, I added 2.5 pounds to the stack and lifted that. Once again, a very easy lift. Day by day, I added another 2.5 pounds, and for the first two weeks, the weights were easily lifted.
When the time came to lift 152.5 pounds, it again was an easy lift since I had developed a belief that I could easily add 2.5 pounds to what I had lifted the day before. The following day, 155 pounds was again an easy lift.
Keep in mind that during this time I was not working out, but only doing one lift each day.
Eventually, there came a day when I failed to lift the weight. Most likely because I was beginning to doubt my ability to continue the process. However, I focused my mind on the fact that I had grown in my ability to lift heavier and heavier weights day by day, and resolved to try again the next day. When it came time to try it again, I was successful.
Over a period of several weeks, I eventually reached the point where I lifted 202.5 pounds. This happened on the last day of the school year, which gave me a tremendous feeling of satisfaction.
Considering that I had performed a single lift each day during the whole experiment, the only possible explanation for the increased ability to lift heavier weights was my belief that I could.