If you’re trying to get better results in the gym, or excel in your sport, mental training isn’t something you should passively get involved in. Neither is it something you do once in awhile. It should be practiced every single day. And while you are in the gymnasium it should happen right along with every exercise you do.
From the book Peak Performance authored by Charles Garfield:
They discussed government-funded athletic programs that integrate sophisticated mental training and vigorous physical training. One study evaluating these intensive programs suggests their potential. Four matched groups of world-class Soviet athletes diligently trained for many hours each week. The training regimens were as follows:
Group I – 100 percent physical training
Group II – 75 percent physical coaching, 25 percent mental training
Group III – 50 percent physical training, 50 percent mental training
Group IV – 25 percent physical coaching, 75 percent mental training
When the four groups were compared shortly before the 1908 Winter Games in Lake Placid, Group IV had shown significantly greater improvement than Group III, with Groups II and I following, in that order.
In short the more mental training you do the better results that you get! Of course we do not know the specifics of what precisely they did for physical training and mental training. Maybe Group I-III were overtrained. But I don’t believe that accounts for everything.
There are times for precise mental training tactics. Like sitting and visualizing outside of the gymnasium. Also you can blend tactics pre-, post-, and during workouts the entire time. The more that you do the better you will get.
If you would like to get instant results you need to engage in mental training at least as much as you do in tangible physical training. This may involve many different things like visualizing, using anchors, working on beliefs, hypnosis and lots more.