“The Body Is Very Important, But The Mind Is MORE Important Than The Body...” 
- Arnold Schwarzenegger 

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There’s a lot of research done on what’s called the mind-body connection. Most of this research is done for understanding gender roles and gaps in the workplace, student behavior in graduate programs, and alpha roles in nature whether it be humans or animals.

I believe, and as some recent research suggests, there’s a correlation between self-esteem or self-confidence and performance in the gym. I believe that people are misinterpreting Arnold Schwarzenegger’s quote to believe that the mind, while focusing on the muscle, can help to create more muscle. 

My theory is that it’s the mind focusing on how you look that boosts your confidence and sense of power, and that it’s the boost in confidence and power that creates more muscle. 

But there’s a problem with my logic: I’m sure most people would accept that your mind can change your mood (to include confidence and self-esteem), but what’s the link between your mood creating more muscle?

How the hell can your mood, or your confidence, or your self-esteem create muscle? 

Testosterone. 

In researching the ideas behind the mind-body connection I came across some very interesting research being done by social psychologist Amy Cuddy. Amy’s research is about how your body language shapes who you are.

Amy probably, more than likely could care less about bodybuilding. Amy has probably done 0 research with athletes in a gym. But, what’s very interesting is that Amy’s research is resulting in exactly what every bodybuilder or gym-rat wants to know. Amy’s research gives Arnold’s quote validity.


Amy is analyzing how body posture and body language affects what we think about ourselves in relation to how powerful we feel (and or confident). Amy’s research has proven that people who spend minutes standing in what she calls a “power pose” (wonder woman pose) will actually increase testosterone production and decrease cortisol production.

In Amy’s research, people standing in a power pose for 2 minutes increased Testosterone by 20% and decreased Cortisol by 25%.

Let me repeat that: research is proving that body language increases testosterone and decreases cortisol. This is very important and explains why working out in front of a mirror in a tank-top with proper form works! 

The idea of seeing yourself in a ‘power position’ and in doing so increasing your testosterone makes a lot of sense to those of us that spend hours in the gym, in front of the mirror, wearing tank tops, searching for that vascular induced pump. By seeing ourselves looking big, and feeling big we are in essence putting our bodies into a much more ‘powerful position’ body-language wise. And in doing so, we can effectively boost our testosterone levels – naturally.

Understanding this research, and practicing it will change your life. Not only in the way you interact socially and at work, but it will also make you a better competitor!