Motivation and Bodybuilding

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Frank Zane, Jay Cutler, Ronnie Coleman. These are just a few names that come to mind when one thinks of bodybuilding's best. Any person who is trying to pursue a life in bodybuilding knows all the hard work it takes to achieve greatness. The rigorous weight training, cardio sessions that seem to last forever and especially dieting, the part of sticking to a strict eating regimen is the hardest thing a person can put themselves through. But there is one other key component, that without can be the very down fall of a person, it separates a champion from a loser, it gives you that extra edge to keep moving forward no matter what the obstacles may be. It is of course MOTIVATON. With the proper motivation anything is possible, any obstacle can be overcome. This is what Arnold Schwarzenegger and Kai Greene and Ronnie Coleman and many other bodybuilders all have in common that made them the best at their craft. Motivation guides everyone everyday whether it's getting out of bed or going to work or yes even bodybuilding. It is the mind that controls everything and every great bodybuilder understands that.

First, one must understand the reasons for having low levels of motivation, then finding the source and turning it into something positive to work from. One reason may be pure laziness. Being a procrastinator is one of the worse things a person can be, which can lead to other bad habits one being depression. Not caring about one's appearance, going through life with a "whatever attitude", endlessly sitting in front of the TV, wanting and knowing what must be done to change but simply not putting any effort forward to do so. When a person is like this they are stuck in their "comfort zone" and are too afraid to alter from it. It is a fear of change that feeds this fear. It can grip a person by the heart and mind and keep them from experiencing all of life's joys. This is a toxic way of thinking that makes a man afraid of walking into that gym, afraid of others laughing at him or thinking he are is weak. It can be very discouraging and daunting on a person who has a weak mindset to have these fears but to have others such as family members, friends, girlfriends, co-workers constantly put them down and give them bad advice about pursuing a change in life such as bodybuilding, can hurt a lot more. Another reason may be not doing nothing but doing too much, stressing oneself to the point of exhaustion. Stress is another factor that can bring a person down. Over training the body can fatigue a person, have them losing sleep, give them cramps, diminish energy production which can lead to delusions of false views of themselves, which is also called muscle dysmorphia. This disorder is basically the equivalent of anorexia in women but for men. They constantly look at themselves in the mirror hating what they see, thinking they are always "small and weak" and must continually improve on their physique despite the fact that they are in amazing shape to begin with. Sacrificing relationships, jobs and family to achieve an unrealistic image they have embedded in their heads. Eating is a big dilemma which can hurt people a lot, not knowing what to eat or having a cheat day instead of a cheat meal or starving oneself can truly destroy a person's mindset.

But, of course, there are always two sides to a story, a solution to every problem, light where there is darkness, and there are many ways to achieve motivation and confidence, which can drive a person to endless heights. One great way to add success to your fitness goals is visualization.. Visualization is a great tool to use that lets one see not an unreachable dream but a preview for what's to come. This technique is great to use right before your workouts outs, seeing every rep, every set performed and achieve that almighty pump that every bodybuilder strives for. But to keep proper concentration while in the gym one must do what's called," leaving your baggage at the door". This means to keep ones priorities straight, by not putting energy into problems that can't be changed at the moment, to just be you and not dwell on petty matters. A healthy spiritual relationship can help one get their mind right and help one understand that we are all made for a reason and we must find out that reason.

Music can lift one's spirits; open up ideas or memories or dreams that one would have. It can change ones state of mind instantly and create intensity and focus for a workout, which might not be there without it. Some examples of music that is good for a workout are any loud, fast and intense beats, Metallica or Linkin Park and many more, but the all time favorite songs of every bodybuilder are the Rocky songs. The theme music can create such visuals in one's head of training just like Rocky that it is almost spiritual and to accompany music are movies. Movies are also very helpful and motivational, especially action movies, all the fighting and explosions and car chases can really bring a person's adrenaline up. These movies can create a fictional world where a person can be the main character and this goes back to visualization. There are many movies that can inspire one not just to get up out of their seat but actually get their lives moving in the right direction. It can be for fitness reasons or taking up a sport or martial arts or even bodybuilding and they don't even have to be action movies, a great story can motivate a person. There are so many out there such as Braveheart, The Pursuit of Happiness, Conan the Barbarian, Crank, Any Given Sunday, Pumping Iron (great documentary on bodybuilding) and of course the Rocky movies. They are by far the most popular and for a good reason they show all the hard work and determination of a man that has an unbreakable will to step up to any challenge. There is one speech in the last Rocky movie Rocky Balboa where Rocky tells his son about life that can motivate and put into perspective one's life and how to believe in oneself:

Rocky Balboa

: "The world aint all sunshine and rainbows, it's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You me or no body is gonna hit as hard as life, but it aint how hard you hit its about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward, how much you can take and keep moving forward...THAT'S HOW WINNING IS DONE! Now if you know what you're worth there go out and get what you're worth but you gotta be willing to take the hit and not pointing fingers saying you aint where you want to be because of him or her or anybody...COWARDS DO THAT AND THAT AINT YOU!"In reading this small speech it is obvious why the Rocky movies are the most motivational movies when it comes to helping a person workout. Now movies can only bring a person so far it also takes planning and organization to keep a person's priorities in order and bring balance in all aspects of one's life. There are many motivational techniques that can help a person obtain organization in life and fitness such as: writing down your goals, create a fitness action plan, set a goal date, hang around fit people, make a diet and workout log, hire a trainer or become a trainer, test your max pushups and pull-ups, read inspirational stories.

In conclusion, when you're perusing a life in bodybuilding there are many objectives to look out for and understand. There is the day after day of body destroying weight training that needs all the focus in the world and the strict eating regimen that many have the most trouble obeying, but most important factor that without can leave a person empty and without reason and that is motivation. All the great bodybuilders that have come understand this more than most people. It takes a strong mindset and self control to obtain greatness in this mind over matter sport such of bodybuilding, because without the mind a person is lost. But motivation is not something that can found at local corner store or on online shopping and can be hard for some to discover. Many outside influences such as jobs or family and friends or a weak mindset can set a person back and having them standing still while the rest of the world passes them by. But there is always a way out of the fire, always a light at the end of tunnel and there are people among us that are willing to help. So if you're feeling low on motivation there are ways to improve that are available everywhere, whether in music or movies or online or other people, but if the will to change is not there then life will stay uninteresting and repetitive.

Always Achieve, Always Evolve, Never Give Up

Pasquale LaTorre

NASM Certified Personal Trainer

National Personal Training Institute Certified Personal Trainer