A paper named the ‘Expectancy effects and strength training: do steroids make a difference?’ written by Maganairs in 2000 and looked at how expectancy can effect strength training. They distributed placebos to 11 power lifters explaining that they were anabolic steroids. The power lifters saw great advancements in their programs, until halfway through, they informed 5 athletes that it was actually a placebo and their performance largely dissipated resulting in poor lifts (not even hitting PR’s they set before the program). The other 6 athletes all hit new PR’s, this showed first hand that expectancy played an effect, both ways. Another paper way back in 1972 by Gideon Ariel called ‘Anabolic steroids: the psychological effects of placebos’. 15 male lifters were put on a strength program and those who date the best gains in bench press, shoulder press and military press would be chosen to go on a 4 week steroid program. 6 guys, who gained an average of 11kg between the three lifts, were chosen to on a 4 week free and legal steroid program. After just 4 weeks of a placebo pill, they gained an average of 45kg between the three lifts.
It is fair enough to say that the mind has a large role to play in our performance, our daily performance has a direct effect on our progression and our results. So my top tops would be, to pick a form of resistance training/strength training that you enjoy and will not total dread and even more importantly, learn to appreciate you have the health to walk into a gym and be active, understanding that people would give anything to have the option and health to take part in exercise. You are lucky enough to exercise, so take advantage and enjoy it. This will have a great impact on your performance, and therefore your results.
Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re probably right!