What gets you out of bed in the morning? Is it that morning wood, or something deeper inside of you? Everyone needs to have a purpose, a set of goals, and something to aspire towards. Whether its playing family man and raising a family, or trying to become a professional bodybuilder, its important to have something to work towards and to keep us motivated.
From time to time however, we lose motivation. It happens to everyone. It happens to me, it happens to pro level athletes, and I’m sure you’ve experienced it to.
It’s important to not let this lack of motivation turn from a speed bump in the road, to a road block completely.
I’m now in my 2nd year of competitive bodybuilding, and whilst I’im certainly no Lee Priest, it’s definitely that level of success I’m aspiring to achieve. There have been times over the last year and a half where I’ve thought about pulling out of a show, taking an unscheduled rest day, not sticking to my supplements, or cheating on my diet. What keeps me on track though, is my aspiration to achieve something better, and not just fall in line and conform with the ‘norm’.
Here are some of the things I do, and that I’ve done, to help stay motivated, and keep on track with my bodybuilding journey.
Set Realistic Goals
Becoming Mr Olympia isn’t a goal. Its a dream.
Appearing on a billboard for the trendiest underwear isn’t a goal. Its a dream.
The sooner you realise this, the sooner your motivation won’t keep dropping faster than Kim Kardashian’s underwear.
In the back of every bodybuilders mind, the opportunity to appear on the Olympia Stage will be there. Much like everyone who plays college football would like to ultimately become pro. Every high school soccer player would like to be signed by a professional team.
These aren’t realistic goals though, they are dreams and aspirations.
If you’re serious about bodybuilding set a realistic goal. For me, my goal was to actually compete and step up on stage at a show. This was after I had a few years of experience under my belt. My goal wasn’t to win the show, and it wasn’t to place. It was to just actually compete.
Setting a realistic goal like this, something that requires work, but is achievable, will help keep you on track. You won’t be disheartened when you’ve competed. The goal isn’t too far away to seem like its a dream. Its the perfect thing to keep you motivated.
After this you may want to then focus on another show, maybe 6 months down the road. During those 6 months you can set mini goals. These could be things such as dropping x amount of weight. Increasing your squat poundage, or your 1 rep max on a bench press.
My goals for competing in 2013, following my first goal, was to add size over the summer, without adding too much fat. Once competition prep started, my goal was to be leaner on stage than I was in my first show. This helped me out a great deal, and I was able to place 3rd and 6th in my 2 shows this year.
Turn Bodybuilding Into a Lifestyle, Not a Hobby
In order to be successful with anything in life, it demands more than a few hours a week. No professional at anything, whether its sports, academia or entertainment would consider what they do as a ‘hobby’. Its a lifestyle.
For me the gym stopped being a hobby when I was a teenager. It became a lifestyle. My life revolves around getting to the gym, preparing food, and eating at certain times. When this becomes part of every day life, its hard to mess up.
Sure it can sometimes be a drag, but there will always be a way to add some passion or excitement into whatever you’re doing.
I created my protein discount code, blending my passion for bodybuilding & supplements, along with my Masters Degree in Marketing, and Undergraduate degree in Business Management. This website allows me to review supplements, and share my thoughts with the entire world. I couple this with my Youtube channel, sharing information about my training and workouts.
All of this makes up my lifestyle. So for me, training, eating right, and nailing my supplement plan is as natural as waking up, going to work, and eating dinner.
Aspire To Be Someone
This may sound cheesy, but one of my biggest fears is simply ‘existing’. The thought of being average or mediocre is quite a scary thought.
Growing up I was a huge fan of WWE. I looked at these larger than life characters, and saw them as figures I’d like to be. In fact, wrestling is why I first got involved with weight lifting and bodybuilding.
I’m now in my early 20’s and follow Bodybuilding far more closely. By following the careers of Lee Priest, Dorian Yates, Ronnie Coleman, Dexter Jackson and other top level stars, it helps to motivate me.
Dorian Yates came from nothing. He was an unknown from Birmingham England. He wasn’t born as Mr Olympia, he worked for it and earned it.
When you position yourself against top level stars, and see how much work it’s going to take to get there, it’s easy to get demotivated. It could be years or decades before you resemble a physique such as the idols you look up to. However if you take a step back and look at where they came from, things look a lot more feasible and realistic.
How Bad Do You Want It?
After following the above, if you still can’t stick to a diet, or find yourself continually skipping leg day, you need to ask yourself a simple question.
“Do I really want this?”
Weight lifting is different to bodybuilding. Just because you go to the gym, or lift weights, doesn’t mean you actually want to become a bodybuilder. Sure you may want a 6 pack. But that doesn’t mean you have to go to the extreme of what bodybuilders do.
If its too much of a struggle to follow that lifestyle, then maybe deep down, you just don’t care enough about it. If that’s the case, treat the gym as nothing more than a hobby. Set yourself the goal of working out 3-4 times a week, anything else is a bonus. Don’t beat yourself up if you have a dessert, or if you skip a meal.
Instead, enjoy your time in the gym, and put your efforts into something you are more passionate about. This could be education, building a business, progressing in your career path, or building a family.
Over To You
These are just some of the ways I help keep myself motivated. The most important thing to remember is to keep your focus and balance. There will always be things in life more important than lifting weights and eating protein.
Regardless of how ‘serious’ you take bodybuilding, I hope you can take some of the tips I’ve outlined above, and apply them to an area of your life, to help you achieve success, in whatever you choose to focus your efforts upon.
You can follow my bodybuilding journey over at:
by Adam Foster (Guest Post)
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