Bradley J. Steiner, Mental States (1972)


The mind, as I’ve said thousands of times in articles and books, is your master! If there is a singlesource of great power within you it is in your mind. Learn to control and direct mental energy and power, and you have but to set your mind on what you wish physically in order to attain it.

Medical science has accepted the fact that the state of a person’s mind can have as direct an effecton his body as an actual administration of medicine in the treating of disease. Time and time again doctors encounter individuals who, through the force of their resolve and willpower conquer illness within their body. There have been cases where medicine has failed and where the will of the patient has destroyed disease within the body.

There have been thousands of recorded instances – in every field – where the proper state of mind has decided victory for an all but totally lost cause. The power of the mind must not be overlooked.

Aside from whatever religious beliefs you may hold there is a very practical aspect to mind control. It has application in art, science, business, in every field of human endeavor. In physical training it is half the battle.

What is the “right” mental state for the individual bent upon achieving greater physical power andmuscular development? It is a state of expecting to succeed. One must continually hold in one’s mindthe vision of the goal one wishes to achieve, and then one must apply the principle of confidently expecting to attain that goal. It is a state of mind that will not admit negativism. This last part is all- important.

Mental states are tricky things. On the one hand, your mental state is under your full control. But, on the other hand, living in this gosh-darn crazy world, your mind is subject to continual bombardment from others – others who, because of a less than fully satisfactory life are only too glad to pour out their negativism on you. So you must learn to be on your guard, always.

Is it selfish to always be concerned with your own interests like that? Yes, it is. And what is wrong with being selfish? If you are not selfish, pray tell, upon whom are you supposed to turn for your welfare? Your family? Your neighbors? Your friends? Who? And why are they qualified to look out for your interests while you are not? Nonsense! Be selfish! If you are not selfish you will merely live thelife of being a timid, idiotic follower. When people snarlingly, that’s right, snarlingly accuse you of being selfish what they are really whining is: “You should be serving my self-interests instead of your own – doing what I deem ‘right’ or ‘appropriate’ or ‘suitable’ or ‘proper’ or ‘acceptable’ instead of what YOU deem thus.” No, people will never admit that this is what they mean – but it is nevertheless what they do, in fact, mean.

Learn that you must take control of yourself by learning to accept your mind as your own “boss”.Think in terms of how you can serve your own positive self-interests. Your success in training (or in anything else, for that matter) lies in that direction.

Optimism is just as easy to maintain, and a hell of a lot more comfortable to experience, than is negativism! So start to think fully, optimistically and positively.

Speaking from the standpoint of pure results, remember this: being gloomy, sulky, negative, bitter, hostile and generally down does nothing but reduce your efficiency unless, of course, you are a pro fighter, a deadpan comic, or an artist who finds no thrill in apple pies cooling on the windowsill after a summer rain. Anxiety creates a vicious cycle of internal self-destruction within you, and, always, the result is awful. Burning up energy by working cheerfully towards your goals is one thing. Burning up energy by sitting in a corner with a frown of hatred on your face after realizing everything you say, do, create or love will one day be dust, forgotten dust at that, is another thing, indeed!

Strength, muscles, physical-mental efficiency and happiness await the optimistic, cheerful and positive person who has advanced to the level of doing without reason, meaning, or petty need for religion. Learn to be such a person!

2 thoughts on “Bradley J. Steiner, Mental States (1972)

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  1. Interesting post! These days it is rather hard to get a hold of Bradley J. Steiner’s older writings on weight training and bodybuilding, as the books have been out of print for years. At the time he also wrote a lot on martial arts/self defense, and these days it appears that his focus is mostly on martial arts, and he still runs a dojo in Seattle, WA, USA. It seems that he became disillusioned with the direction bodybuilding took from about the mid-1970s onward.

    1. Hey Josh,

      How’re you getting on?

      It’s difficult isn’t it? Last I found of him he was indeed working mostly on martial arts – It’d be interesting to know what stopped him producing books on weightlifting as he had a great style of writing.

      I’m lucky enough to have some PDF copies of his weightlifting works so if you’re ever interested shoot me an email and I can pass them on to.

      As always keep up the great work on your own website – it’s always a joy to get a notification about a new post!

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