Your Brain Muscle Connection for Improved Muscle Mass Building Results


Tyrone Bell Learn How To Strengthen Mind Muscle Connection

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How To Improve Your MIND MUSCLE Connection

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Mind Muscle Connection Research

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4 tips on How to improve your mind-muscle connection to build more muscle fast

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How To Improve Mind Muscle Connection (Chest Activation!)

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Mind Muscle Connection And Time Under Tension For Muscle and Strength

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How To Improve The Mind-Muscle Connection

Video taken from the channel: Mind Pump Podcast

Mind-Muscle Control For Improved Results in the Gym Having a strong mind-muscle connection gives you the biggest advantage over less experienced weightlifters: muscle recruitment. Recruiting more muscle fibers during the concentric (lifting portion) of an exercise requires intensity, strength, and concentration. The Mind Muscle Connection for Better Muscle Building Results One of the misconceptions of bodybuilding is that it’s just about moving around heavy weight. I would say that many approach the sport with two main misleading mindset.

Based on these findings, it would appear that the mind-muscle connection could help a lifter build more muscle faster. But it wasn’t until recently that the lifting community actually had proof that the mind-muscle connection actually enhanced muscle growth. Internal focus, i.e. the “mind muscle connection”. External focus, i.e. external cues you use to improve your form on exercises. To maximise your results you should be using both: Prioritise the mind muscle connection on light isolation exercises (<60% 1RM).

Use lifting “cues” for heavy compound exercises (75-90% 1RM). Now it’s over to you. The mind muscle connection is real, and backed by science.

You can improve yours with tempo work and isometric contractions (slow eccentrics and flexing) A conscious effort to activate the target muscle before and between every set (flexing and posing), while actively visualizing it’s action and desired appearance intraset will absolutely help to develop this connection. Muscle activity in the lats, as measured by EMG, was significantly increased in sets performed with a mind-muscle connection. In other words, simply concentrating on the target musculature resulted in greater activation of this muscle. What Is The Mind-Muscle Connection? As you know, movement is controlled by the brain.

The first step towards muscular contraction is a signal sent by the brain to your muscles telling them to contract. You might say that the mind-muscle connection (MMC) occurs at something called the “neuromuscular junction”. This is where the mind meets the body.

The Mind-Muscle Connection. It’s been a utilized body-building theory for decades, but increasing research to determine its validity has made what was previously just a theory, a crucially important aspect of weight lifting results. The idea behind the mind-muscle connection is simpl. Some research suggests that strengthening the mind-muscle connection can help you build more strength and improve your workouts. And other studies have shown similar results for biceps, pecs and glutes too.

The research is pretty clear that mind-muscle connection ‘enhances’ muscle activation. And that the bodybuilders were right when they suggested that it could influence the way in which your nervous system delivers a muscle-building stimulus.

List of related literature:

A ton of research shows that thinking about the working muscle—that is, using the mind-muscle connection—increases activation, and one study shows that it leads to greater hypertrophy.

“Glute Lab: The Art and Science of Strength and Physique Training” by Bret Contreras, Glen Cordoza
from Glute Lab: The Art and Science of Strength and Physique Training
by Bret Contreras, Glen Cordoza
Victory Belt Publishing, 2019

Although subjects were not employing a specific attentional focus, the findings nevertheless indicate that greater activation can translate into greater increases in muscle mass.

“Science and Development of Muscle Hypertrophy” by Brad Schoenfeld
from Science and Development of Muscle Hypertrophy
by Brad Schoenfeld
Human Kinetics, 2020

Palmerud et al. [95] showed that subjects are able to reduce trapezius muscle activity (using sEMG feedback) while maintaining the arm in an isometric, abducted position.

“Surface Electromyography: Physiology, Engineering, and Applications” by Roberto Merletti, Dario Farina
from Surface Electromyography: Physiology, Engineering, and Applications
by Roberto Merletti, Dario Farina
Wiley, 2016

This in turn makes you feel stronger, even though little change has occurred within the muscle structure itself.

“Complete Conditioning for Tennis” by Paul Roetert, Todd S. Ellenbecker, United States Tennis Association
from Complete Conditioning for Tennis
by Paul Roetert, Todd S. Ellenbecker, United States Tennis Association
Human Kinetics, 2007

As a result of these acute findings, Tipton and colleagues (194) and Rasmussen and colleagues (164) theorized that a person who consumed EAA before or after (or both before and after) every resistance training session Over a period of weeks would experience greater changes in muscle mass than with training only.

“Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning” by Thomas R. Baechle, Roger W. Earle, National Strength & Conditioning Association (U.S.)
from Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning
by Thomas R. Baechle, Roger W. Earle, National Strength & Conditioning Association (U.S.)
Human Kinetics, 2008

To contest the paradigm that muscle undergoes many age­related composition changes, Wright and colleagues are currently conducting a study that investigates the role of chronic high­level exercise in preventing the loss of lean muscle mass and strength.

“Encyclopedia of Sports Medicine” by Lyle J. Micheli, M.D.
from Encyclopedia of Sports Medicine
by Lyle J. Micheli, M.D.
SAGE Publications, 2010

The effect is so striking that we speak of muscle remodeling, that is, reorganization of muscle structure and function, in response to training.

“Exercise Biochemistry” by Vassilis Mougios
from Exercise Biochemistry
by Vassilis Mougios
Human Kinetics, Incorporated, 2019

The classical skeletal muscle responses to resistance exercise training (e.g., hypertrophy, changes in muscle fiber type, increases in neural activation) are described in detail in this chapter.

“Physiology of Sport and Exercise” by W. Larry Kenney, Jack H. Wilmore, David L. Costill
from Physiology of Sport and Exercise
by W. Larry Kenney, Jack H. Wilmore, David L. Costill
Human Kinetics, Incorporated, 2019

Many other studies support this conclusion, demonstrating that resistance training has positive effects on both neural and skeletal muscle mechanisms, leading to strength gains.

“Exercise and Physical Activity for Older Adults” by Danielle R. Bouchard
from Exercise and Physical Activity for Older Adults
by Danielle R. Bouchard
Human Kinetics, Incorporated, 2020

Wee Kian Yeo et al., “Skeletal muscle adaptation and performance responses to once versus twice every second day endurance training regimens,” Journal of Applied Physiology 105, no.

“Peak: The New Science of Athletic Performance That is Revolutionizing Sports” by Marc Bubbs
from Peak: The New Science of Athletic Performance That is Revolutionizing Sports
by Marc Bubbs
Chelsea Green Publishing, 2019

Alexia Lewis RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Heath Coach who believes life is better with science, humor, and beautiful, delicious, healthy food.

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  • Mike I like doing the following 4-5 times a week (focusing on progressive overload with weight once weight feels easy I focus on time under tension on that weight until I’m ready to increase weight)

    Weighted pull ups
    Weighted dips
    Weighted press-ups (plates on my back, doing narrow hand position and regular hand position)
    Bodyweight squats
    Weighted inverted row
    Shoulder (DB raises + laterals)
    Isolated bicep curls
    Isolated tricep extensions
    Hanging leg raises

    Above done while following an OMAD diet that suits my lifestyle.

    Will this approach build up muscle?

    (PS does listening to music while training interfere with mind-muscle connection?)

  • You first got to understand what proper form is before you can ever even think about mind muscle connection… most people have horrible form… they are doing a exercise with all the secondary muscles come into play! Whether it’s a compound exercise or a isolation exercise… they jerk, yank and use body English! Mind muscle connection is not possible! Ego lifters have no mind muscle connection… they have a mind weight connection connection!

  • As expert, I believe Custokebon Secrets is actually good way to lost lots of fat. Why don’t you give it a shot? maybe it can work for you too.

  • definitely agree about lat pulldowns… hard to stimulate… ive learned best with resistance bands how to stimulate lats better… no gripping, only letting the loops wrap around my wrists. great tips, good vid!

  • Already missing your podcasts Matt! This one is amazing!! (As always) but a very key one to understand how we progress in strength training! Thanks for all mate

  • Great video. I have this exact problem with lateral raises so i’ve started going light and slowing them right down and you can really feel the difference!

  • Becoming your best without the stress Matt, you always overdeliver AND keep the details as simple and easy to follow as possible. Keep it going brother! ��

  • I just press thumbs up before I even start listening. What I am now doing, as I have tried everything at my age, is I just Keep doing the exercise and not counting reps. I concentrate on feeling the muscle, tension, work. I focus so much harder when not loosing focus by thinking of reps. I only count reps once a month to monitor my progress and to see if it is working. I am totally going for focus on tension. I have gone for reps so long that I am finding it more difficult to focus on feeling tension, mind muscle connection. REPS WAS JUST A DISTRACTION FOR ME. Mind connection is most important, less distractions the better. Visualization???

  • If you seriously want to build muscle, you should do a Google search “Atomic Max Muscle”. They will help you get the body you deserve.

  • Matt, I’ve been trying to fit the big six into a twice a week routine format. Trouble is, pushups and hspus are really incompatible if i go too hard on one, the other suffers if i do it on the same day or the next. Do you have any ideas for a routine that doesn’t place them close together? Something that fits all of the big six 2x a week would be nice.

  • how do i develop mind muscle connection on back,chest? im having trouble i have tried lowering the weights but still cant feel the muscles work

  • MMC is the best, its broscience only to those who havent experienced it. In my expiriance to get it you also need to have a closed kinetic chain. I got it in my legs/glutes after a long time, but still cant get it in my pull ups, and I think its because I cannot close my chain due to weak grip and abs.

  • Matt what should we do on the days when our MMC is off? In other words what should we do when we have poor MMC due to rough days? I seem to be getting them from time to time. Thank you for not dispelling the importance of MMC. You are a Calisthenic legend!����

  • Love your videos Gary but if I can suggest that the background music be dubbed in afterwards, competing with it isn’t helping you get your important messages across clearly. Keep up the great work mate!

  • based on your theory of mind muscle connection im devoloping a similar method of training, but expanding it to a spiritual level, using some meditation cues. i know it seems bullshit but its working outstandingly well for me. Just wanted to share and thank you for making it possible through your theory.

  • Imagine this, i would tell my mind to flex my bicep but my bicep flat lined and it stopped working lol. that’s my example of that HNPP. dont worry i’ve somehow “repaired” my neural connection to my bicep didnt think it was possible but im cured almost:)

    vids are exactly what i need to hear right now i was complicating my training so much this thought process simplifies it all.


  • Yup. And more importantly it’ll keep your ego in check so you arn’t the one douche staring at himself in the mirror the entire time your at the gym

  • I like your work Matt but I really think you are over playing the role of T.U.T. I was doing various push-ups for sets where there was plenty of time under tension to high fatigue, my chest got a decent amount of stimulus. Since then I went back to doing singles in the inclines and in a few short weeks my chest was significantly bigger and stronger and even though the bar can move slow at times I was always looking to train as explosively as possible in a controlled manner. That’s always been my experience in terms of results.

  • We just finished working out at the calisthenics park and I discussed MMC with my friend: You can do an exercise by simply moving your body or you can activate your muscles and push them to complete the exercise. Same exercise but way better feeling overall.. tension control is still challenging at some point but we are getting better and thus stronger! �� thanks for the podcast Matt! Will share it

  • This is so true. Videos like this one help me refocus on my weight training. Sometimes its good to take a step back and consider ‘am I just banging the reps, sets out? Am I truly focused on each rep?’.

  • Second way with half the weight is the proper way to do side laterals. With the exception you should not pause and rest at the bottom. An even more effective way to do them is to use a cable machine. Cable machine WILL NOT lose tension threw out the range of motion like a dumbbell will. 

  • Seriously dude, as a psychologist myself, I can say that your videos are pure gold.
    Your content reminds me a lot of Elliot Hulse’s, way back when he was sane, but put with a more grounded rhetoric.
    It would be interesting to hear your opinion on mediation btw

  • The gym i go to is 1/2 hour away, somedays i just can’t make it. So what would be a good dumb bell workout to supplement my missed workouts? Thanks

  • Another quality advice from you Gary.
    Mind and muscle connection is like a proper tool to achieve your goal sooner and most importantly without risking injuries as you control the weight and not the other way around.

  • Flex the muscle throughout the rep. That’s mind to muscle. Easy example, flex your bicep. Keep your biceps flexed while curling up and down. Now do it with a weight. Follow that process for every muscle you train.

  • I can relate to the engine, transmission, wheel analogy. �� Glad to hear about 2 years into training that MMC. I thought there must be a short circuit somewhere, training for front levers.

  • No problem, I love your videos, I’m 63 years old and I look incredible. Your advice is always good solid advice for a no-go like me. I just didn’t know if you knew about the noise I should have known you did. Have an awesome day and thanks for all the great advice.

  • Tnx. Here are some of my tips: 1.Tense the muscles at the starting position, cause that area is the least MMC-ed during reps 
    2.For chest push arms together to get a better MMC
    3.For back push arms away to get a better MMC
    4.For biceps rotating palms outward puts more tension on the biceps than on the forearms 

  • After watching this podcast about MMC, I asked myself: Is this what Mr. Rogers meant when he rapped? “��All you have to do is think, and they’ll grow��”.

  • Hey matt, a little update/advice/question all in one here. I have kept track of what I’m currently capable of and my progression. But I am finding that adapting workouts to how I’m feeling on the day is really winning for me. Also a situational approach as well. Like today I can’t get my dips done so I’ve just done a 100 incline 100 decline press up in sets of 10 workout on rings as I’m off work but working out somewhere else today.

    Then when I go back to work I’ll do 5×5 workout for dips, D press ups and I press ups. Same for pull ups chins and rows. Some days I’ll do 100 rows in sets of 5 or 10 other days. I find when doing 2 different movements sets of 10 gets better quality work but When its 3 different movements or maybe 4 I’ll do sets of 5 to not compromise form. I’m really not following a strict program of I MUST do these sets and reps today. Or I HAVE to get this workout I’ve planned done today or I’m failing. I feel it has bred a LOT of negativity in my training and probably many others.

    I have a rough base and a set amount of targets I’m aiming for in strength gaining and movements where I wanna be. But I’ve stepped off the gas in terms of mental stress and making it work around my life to avoid the dreaded. Oh I haven’t even got 45 mins today to finish workout. Instead I’m like well I got 20 mins let’s get some dips done and bridges instead.

    The rings have definitely promoted a more relaxed approach to my training as pretty much 95% of everything comes from them now and saves time and increases TUT by 10 fold imo when you’re zoned in and focused on what you’ve mentioned above. Plus injuries are a lot less.

    Do you think we all spend too much time over analysing rather than just adapting to a situation and DOING! would like to hear your thoughts. I realise this is a long winded rant lol. Just picking up knowledge weekly and more so thinking for myself and putting things into action rather than being set in my ways. I think constantly switching reps and sets keeps it less monotonous and helps the mind muscle connection as well cos I have a fresh target to aim for in nearly every workout. I think I’m on to a winner, but not a 100% sure lol Thanks in advance on any thoughts or advice you have.

  • Guys. lost lots of weight does not need to be hard (I used to think it did). I will give you some advice now. Get a popular fat loss system called Fenoboci Diet Plan (just search it on google). Thanks to it I’ve lost crazy amounts of weight. I shouldn’t even be speaking about it cause I do not want a lot of other guys out there running the same game but whatever. I am just in a excellent mood today and so I’ll share the wealth haha.

  • Excellent video again man..�� I have been doing flex hold on top of the bar when I do my pull-up holding there four 10 seconds and lowering with a 10-second and it’s helped me a lot more with my pull-up strength. Really interesting about the mind and to muscle. �� keep up the good work.

  • What you just described is the crux of human movement. Amazing explanation of an incredibly simple yet infinitely complex phenomenon.

  • Every time I do shoulders I strain the hell out of my neck and the rest of my body tenses up like its hard to feel the muscle when its not as toned. Im defiantly going to use the tip to cut the weight in half and make sure I can feel it.

  • My coworkers laughed when I told them I would bulk up with “Rapid Muscle Booster”, but then I showed them the results. Go and Google Rapid Muscle Booster to see their reaction. (You should see their faces!)

  • Amazing video!! quality information always!
    Hello Matt! I practice pull ups that I read in convict conditioning 1, my level is that I manage to make uneven pull ups 2 sets of 12rep each hand. the problem is that i can’t move from uneven pull ups (step7) to 1/2 one arm pull ups (step8) for several weeks I try but I do not get there, and it frustrates me a lot. Please can you give me a solution?
    thank you very much

  • Hello everyone I’ve been lucky enough to learn from how to build strong muscle with very simple steps. lean muscle growth without fat

  • This video is 10x better than those “programs” that have all the results you want. This is it guys! and if you remember the S.A.I.D principle even better!

  • 2018 UPDATE:
    A whole lot of new research has come out on mind muscle connection since this video. Click on the link in the description to watch my 2018 version. Recent research suggests that it can activate muscle EMG activation by up to 20% for certain muscle groups. Here is a link to the 2018 update video:

  • Next time they should use experienced user(the one that can leave ego and really focus) and isolation movement something like rear delt fly… For me personally smaller weight, proper contraction and thinking of activation and at the same time relaxation of other muscles will always make my muscle more fatigue. Because the moment when i realise how to relax my back and only focus on shoulder my rear delt start growing really nicely

  • Love your stuff Paul! My boyfriend told me about your channel and Its helped me better understand working out, and is helping me reach my results!

  • Awesome, awesome advice and you and I have difficulty with the same movement: lateral raises. Your message was just what I needed exactly when I needed it. Thank you.

  • Matt, magnificent man, you’ve simplified this for us. Thank you. I’ve just gone and started my training using the basics and I’m good! A couple sets and I’ll progress as I do it.

  • Hey believe it or not man that’s actually a common practice for bodybuilders who are having trouble stimulating the right muscle group. There’s something about actually touching that area that helps your mind focus on contracting it

  • Hey man,

    Want to learn how to get BIGGER pecs… lifting less weight?

    I know… it sounds crazy, right?

    Well this WORKS. And you’ll be amazed when you try it. Comment below and let me know what you think!

  • Hey @***** awesome tip and useful because I tend to do the same body movement when doing lateral raises.
    Also I have a question for you: Is it bench press 8-8-6-6 reps with big weight actually good for volume training? I’m asking this because my gym monitor made a program for me because I asked for help

  • Hey Lee could you give me your thoughts on intermediates doing fullbody workouts, 3 days a week? Currently doing muscle and strengths intermediate are there any adjusts ( reps, sets, exercises,etc) you would make? My goal is to build muscle. Thanks!

  • Its also better lowering the weights down slowly, full concentration about the movement.
    I see people in the gym just throwing up the weights as if they are trying to flying away. We know we can’t fly!

  • Damn i love videos like these! Btw during dumbbell flyes, is it normal to protract at the top? I cant feel any squeeze if i retract entirely! Also, could u do one on the lateral delts? I really just cant seem to connect with them at all. Thanks!

  • Hey Lee, as usual thanks for the suggestion! In your opinion/fact, putting aside supplementation and nutrition, what is better for actual muscle growth; moving heavy weight to failure or getting a good blood volume pump? I’ve heard a few body builders say that they rather focus on higher reps and volume as opposed to using really heavy weights for the most part.

    A good reason I ask is that I watched your recent video about the home leg workout and at the end when you do calves, you mentioned to do body weight raises 100 times. Your calves are pretty huge so if you can build a muscle that massive on just volume as opposed to heavy weight, then I need to switch up some things. Thanks!

  • Dude I bench 3 plates with the best form with pause! and my chest still looked like shit idc what anyone says. Once i applied mmc with less weight I swear on my life my chest has never looked better. Is it any wonder Jason Blaha looks like shit?(he pretty much says it’s bullshit and only proper form) Is it any wonder most bodybuilders here on youtube and even the newbies look better than him(albeit they’re not really strong in contrast)? This guy even doesn’t believe in eccentric training and that it’s useless. It’s good to do research sometimes and not listen to everything someone says.

  • You, sir, are fantastic. You really get your point through, you have great speech, and your tips are helpful. I can’t wait for more videos in future!

  • im working out for 4 months now and still havent developed a good mind muscle connection for eg i can only contract my biceps in certain positions but when im hold a wait eg dukbell and performing a dumbell curl i cant contract that muscle at all i tried several times pls help me

  • Mate, i have been subbed to your channel for about a month now and i can only say how much i appreciate your videos man. Your voice is in my head during my workouts lol…you have improved my gym form tremendously. Thanks so much brother! ��