Big, buff and bad ass. He is pretty rad. But when I started training for my bodybuilding competition, I wasn't totally certain what to expect. Everyone kept telling me that the training was the easy part. What? OK, I'm in! Well, they were right. There is something much more rewarding and challenging than the workouts.
To excel in any sport, there must be a combination of physical and mental strength. Physical comes from conditioning, practice and performing the techniques your sport or game requires. How do good basketball players become great? They start with fundamentals. If a ball player cannot dribble, how can they possibly get the ball down the court to score a basket?
In bodybuilding, physical strength is a foundation of weight lifting and cardio. Yes, that includes my dreaded cardio. To optimize body condition, bodybuilders find balance of targeting muscle groups and increasing volume and weights over a period of time. To continue tightening the muscle mass developed, incorporate plyometric movements and cardio.
I find this part fun! It is exciting keeping my body on it's "toes" and changing my workout routines and movements over the weeks and seeing my strength increase. The physical strength that I have developed comes with practice and precision in my workouts. However, it cannot be accomplished only through training. The body needs fuel.
To reveal the muscularity and toned physique, appropriate diet must be part of the equation. A meal plan is in place for consistency and prove that science can make regular people look like super heroes! It starts out exciting. But after 17 weeks, food options are restricted and boring. This is where it gets tough.
If there is one thing I have learned about myself through this process, it is that the key to having successful training as a bodybuilder is self discipline.
This mental preparation is also the most challenging and rewarding part of the process. Nowadays, may people (including myself) are coached online. I do not have a personal trainer at the gym I use. I do not have a roommate to hold me accountable. It is all in my head.
This is all on me.
It is definitely mind over matter in the process of setting a goal, changing habits and fulfilling it. You know what? Many people have told me "they could never do what I'm doing". With that thought in your head, you are probably right.
You can't and you won't.
If you want something bad enough, do you have the self discipline to work your butt off and make it happen?
Hop to it.
Until then, I'll just keep making gains and ignoring the mental "pains". Those little Devil's inside my head saying cookies are good for me are lying...