Man's proper stature is not one of mediocrity, failure, frustration, or defeat, but one of achievement, strength, and nobility. ~Mike Mentzer
I've dedicated a good chunk of my life to fitness. I have a lot of respect for natural bodybuilders (Please note: I'm referring to "natural" bodybuilders in this post, as opposed to those who take steroids and other artificial doping agents. They must summon up strength of character without relying on the cheats of their sport).
In my 20's, I was not your ordinary gym rat, cardio-and-girly-weights kind of fitness fanatic. I lived a natural bodybuilder's lifestyle. I studied exercise science and got my Personal Training Certificate. I trained hard, next to competitors in the Bodybuilding industry, and I gained valuable insight for life in general.
I learned that "effort" is a BIG deal. You're breaking out into a sweat aren't you? I said, "effort"! Most people want what they want without all the hassle of effort. I know you've dreamt about overnight success, simple solutions, fast fame, one magic pill, something to suddenly click for you, or notions of get rich (or get anything) quick.
The world is full of easy. But "easy" is another word for empty promises. Think of how much time you've wasted chasing easy. Multiple "easy" strategies only bring us back to where we started...repeating this cycle for years.
You could make a few concentrated efforts and enjoy a bigger, lasting payoff.
For instance, if someone applies the basic knowledge and willpower of a healthy diet and consistent activity in the first place, they wouldn't have to trudge the path of 200 failed diets plans, often getting heavier with each "easy" approach.
And still, effort is practically an archaic notion...
"Competitive bodybuilding presents one of the most challenging lifestyles, if not the most challenging lifestyle, of any sport in the world. Every minute of every day is important, with the idea and ultimate goal of being the best each of us can be..." (Machak, Jim. Do you have What it Takes to Compete in Bodybuilding? Bodybuilding.com 2011).
Besides effort, Bodybuilders have dedication, patience, motivation, persistence, and discipline. Most of us would do well to take note of the tactics they utilize for achieving personal success. Lucky for you, I know their secrets! I want to share them with you bodybuilding principles can be applied to a variety of aspects in life.
I've used several of these techniques in my career and personal life. I can't think of one time they've failed.
1. HAVE A ROUTINE BUT CHANGE IT OFTEN:
Routine is for everyone- you can't say you get bored with routine if you change it regularly. Routines make hard work easier. A routine is a plan you don't have to think about.
There is less chance for error in thinking when you have a routine to rely on. Believe me, error can be seen immediately on a bodybuilder's physique. Too much salt and your 6 pack is swallowed up by belly bloat.
Everybody's body and mind needs challenges and changes, but set those changes to a routine as quickly as possible.
If you're mulling over the minutiae of life, you're wasting energy. Set up a routine and adhere to it like your life depends on it. Once it becomes like second nature, you'll see how it clears your mind for important stuff. Don't forget to change the routine from time to time. Change in routine is also necessary when major life changes occur (new job, changing careers).
2. YOUR LIFESTYLE SHOULD REFLECT YOUR GOALS:
A bodybuilder's goals are extremely specific. Every little (and big) muscle is scrutinized in front of a mirror. In other words, they "review" their goals nearly every day!
Concerning lifestyle, If you want to be a _______ (fill in the blank), then you must live the life it takes to get there. If you aren't attached to your goal it will become apparent because your lifestyle will reflect how "sold" you on your goals.
Lifestyle is just another way to live your goals into a reality.
For the serious, natural bodybuilders, you can't go out and splurge on alcohol or chum around with a bunch of slobs. That's not a lifestyle conducive of bodybuilding success. Novelists are avid readers- they read, write, and maybe breathe only periodically.
Lifestyle is this: If you want to be a potato, do as a potato does. If you want to be a bodybuilder, do as a bodybuilder does. That goes for anything...Goals and lifestyle go together, hand in hand, and don't forget that!
3. REDUCE DISTRACTIONS:
Bodybuilding is a self-sport or head-sport. They live inside their heads, which was ideal for me. I'm a loner type (great with people...but don't need 'em...sorry). Anything outside of our heads can become a distraction.
I've got two small children. I've got an iPhone! Oh I wasn't done...I've got a TV in nearly every room of the house (not my choice...hubby). I work from home. I know distractions and with technology today, this is more problem than progress.
What we want to do versus what we ought to is also a distraction of the mind. ADD is like the default syndrome in everyone born after Facebook and Apple were created.
Reducing distractions also entails simplifying. That might be a welcome word after all that "effort" discussion we began with. This helps you focus on what's important, leaving time for rest because bodybuilders know, you don
't grow unless you rest.
Simplifying is a process of cleaning out all the junk (in the form of mental and psychological or even people, and material clutter) in your life that doesn't lead to a better you, better life.
And one last thought...or two...I've never known an "average" bodybuilder. I'm willing to bet you know what average feels like. Imagine going beyond that point. Go beyond average every time you go out there into the world.
All of these tips tie in together. And they work really well- 'It's so crazy, it just might work'.
I'm passionate about no-nonsense self-improvement. Too many of us are plagued by faulty thought patterns- I aim to change that!