What do you need to be a professional bodybuilder? Is it ‘good genes’, or is it something else?
Some people might tell you that your genes or body type disqualify you from becoming a bodybuilder, however, the truth is anyone can become a bodybuilder. The only question is, can you win bodybuilding competitions?
To win a competition you need perfect symmetry, proportion, mass, and definition. Also, how you pose matters. The bad news is genetics affects all these things, but you can change that. Look at Arnold Schwarzenegger. When Arnold started lifting, he had an enormous chest and back. However, as you can see from this picture, he had relatively weak legs.
What if he decided, “I’ll never win anything; I have bad genetics”?
in his words:
“The unique thing about bodybuilding is that when I compete it is just me on a stage alone. There is no field, no bat, no ball, no skis, no skates. All other athletes must use equipment like a football. But I don’t use anything in competition except myself. It’s just me up there. Me alone. No coach. No NOTHING”.
This quote from Arnold brings us to the first lesson of the day.
If you don’t find satisfaction in what you are doing, motivation will run out fast.
Brain Tricks That Build Motivation
Not many people have the drive or motivation to become a bodybuilder, in fact, close to 60% of people who try out bodybuilding give up in the first two months, why?
Bodybuilding is hard work and your muscles are not used to it.
Also, your brain can, according to psychological researchers at UCL London, hurt your goals by making you fantasize, how?
According to the researchers, positive fantasies allow us to anticipate success here and now. What these fantasies don’t do is alert us to the problems we are likely to face along the way. That can leave you with less motivation.
On top of that, your brain will only focus on the worst parts of bodybuilding. I am talking about the pain and other things that might make you procrastinate.
The Role of Dopamine and How To Build Motivation
It all starts in your head. Dopamine is the substance in your brain that plays a major role in the motivational component of reward motivated behavior. To keep your brain from working against you, you should:
- Create a to-do list and record small accomplishments.
- Stay focused on one task at a time. if it’s lifting, lift!
- Boost your diet with dopamine filled foods such as fruits and glucose.
- Acknowledge your achievements and reward yourself.
Remember, dopamine is released every time you achieve something. So, the important thing here is to believe in yourself.
Focus on Improving Your Health, Not the Competition
To some people, bodybuilding is the unhealthiest sport on earth. According to them, bodybuilders fear harsh judgment, you must make huge sacrifices, there is the use of drugs, and they assume that you decided to become a bodybuilder because you are insecure.
Let me ask. What does the average 70-year-old look like?
Grumpy, frail and out of shape, right?
Wrong! At 83, Ernestine shepherd is the poster child of good health in old age. she runs 5km in 20 minutes every day, she lifts four days a week, and she teaches aerobics classes. You can’t manage that at your age, right?
FYI: she started lifting at 56, what’s your excuse?
The point is, bodybuilding is not just about aesthetics, there is much more to it. Also, if “they” are going to talk, let them talk. You know what you are doing and why, so opinions should not bother you.
As a bodybuilder, your focus should be on improving your health every single day.
What are The Benefits of Bodybuilding?
- Weight training and cardio improve cardiovascular health.
- Bodybuilding helps weight control.
- It improves muscular strength, endurance, and metabolism.
- Slows down the aging process (promotes longevity).
- Bodybuilding improves your mood.
Bodybuilding Requires and Builds Discipline
What is discipline and why do you need it?
“Without self-discipline, success is impossible”. I’m sure you’ve heard that somewhere.
Discipline means to obey rules and regulations.
You must create a strict code of conduct that will point and drive you towards success. What do I mean?
Discipline brings structure and stability into your life; it teaches you responsibility and it pushes you out of your comfort zone.
To become a bodybuilder, you don’t have to change everything you are. You simply must create some rules that you can’t break no matter what. To do that you should:
- Identify your weaknesses or what’s holding you back. Don’t assume that your vulnerabilities won’t affect your progress
- Remove temptations: bodybuilding is about sacrifice. You might have to give up some foods, favorite activities and lots of other things.
- Work towards something: set clear goals and realistic expectations, don’t fantasize.
- Create new habits: we recommend consistency in workout, drink plenty of water, get enough sleep, eat enough protein, and use supplements as they are intended.
Remember, as Jim Rohn put it, “don’t wish it were easier. Wish you were better”
Being Competitive Keeps you Motivated
Here is the thing, bodybuilding is not the same as weight lifting. The sport focuses more on aesthetics as opposed to weightlifting that focuses on how much weight you can handle.
Bodybuilding is a very competitive sport. That tells you that to succeed you need to be a competitive person. We recommend:
- Do your best, don’t make it about winning.
- Always go the extra mile (give it 110%).
- Compare yourself only to yourself and compete against yourself.
- Get more connections and surround yourself with people who motivate or help improve you.
- Recognize your strengths and work on your weaknesses.
- Don’t fear failure.
The Importance of Positive Thinking
At some point, we all experience defeat. What matters is how you react. If you let defeat stop you, you have no business being a bodybuilder.
It is also true that some days you won’t feel like sacrificing your time and energy. If you let bad days sow the seeds of procrastination or laziness. You will fail.
My advice. Get something done every day no matter how small it is. Complaining is for the weak.
Quitting is Both Bad and Good
Are your goals working against you? That is the question we must always ask ourselves from time to time.
See, there is a limit to how much your body can endure, for example, if you’ve just started a new workout routine that is negatively impacting your health. There is no harm in rethinking your goals and starting a new plan.
I am not telling you to quit. what I am telling you is, find a routine that works for you. Remember, if you push yourself too hard, the result might be life-changing injury or you might give up prematurely.
We recommend you stick to lifting routines that are beneficial and tolerable (not too little and not too much).
Motivation comes from within us, you can’t buy it or get it from someone else, the trick is to find something that you enjoy doing. If its bodybuilding, you will have to push through the pain in the first few months of training. Once you are used to it, motivation will flow organically.
It’s up to you to put in the work, you have the energy, why wait?