The Flow State of Strength Training

The Flow State of Strength Training (FSST) is a term used to refer to the state of mind experienced during intense strength training. The FSST refers to the combination of mental and physical exertion which occurs when one trains intensely with little rest between sets, exercises or movements. Some have described it as “the blissful state” or “a mystical experience”. It is generally believed that the FSST results from the release of endorphins, a neurotransmitter found naturally in our bodies. Endorphins are released when an activity causes pain relief and pleasure.

There are several theories about why some individuals experience a state of flow while others do not. One theory suggests that there may be genetic factors involved in determining whether someone will experience flow or not. Another theory suggests that the state of flow is related to the level of intensity achieved during training. A third theory suggests that the state of flow is due to a psychological factor such as confidence, optimism or positive mood.

Flow state is commonly referred to as “the zone”, “flow” or simply “flow.” It can be compared to meditation in its effects on the body and mind. Meditation involves focusing attention on a single object for extended periods of time; it typically requires concentration and focus.

The state of mind experienced during flow is extremely beneficial. It makes the mind more alert and focused, while also being more creative. In addition, it decreases our anxiety, improves our memory, increases our attention span and improves our problem-solving abilities. Those who train with weights are more confident and less stressed.

The state of flow is a healthy state of mind for all individuals.

What is the neurological role of endorphins?

Endorphins are endogenous opioid peptides that are chemically similar to the opiates morphine and codeine found in opium. Endorphins are often called the body’s own opiates because they bind to the same receptors that opiates like morphine and codeine bind to. When binding to these receptors, endorphins can decrease or prevent pain as well as inducing a sense of comfort and well-being.

Endorphins are released when we exert ourselves physically or are involved in something that we find pleasurable such as fun, laughter or even socializing. Some individuals have higher levels of endorphins than others resulting in a higher threshold for pain and a greater sense of well-being or pleasure. It is believed that this is one of the reasons why some people can endure more pain than others and why some people can experience more pleasure from activities than others.


PMID: 17239907

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The Flow State of Strength Training - Image

Endorphins at Wikipedia

Sources & references used in this article:

Development and validation of a scale to measure optimal experience: The Flow State Scale by SA Jackson, HW Marsh – Journal of sport and exercise …, 1996 –

Flow by M Csikszentmihalyi, S Abuhamdeh, J Nakamura – 1990 –