The ups and downs of a bodybuilder’s journey
It was a few years ago when i decided to grace the stage after just turning 50 it was a long life quest to hold a title of Mr Australia in my division,not only did I do that I ended up winning the Mr Australia Asia and here are a few tips I learn’t on the way.
It’s been my experience that mindset is not given the attention it deserves-and not just in bodybuilding. It’s the same thing in business or whatever your career is. If you are not obsessed with it, you will not be the best. Nowadays, “obsessed” is often used with a negative connotation.
Why is being obsessed a bad thing? It’s not.
Take a look at any super successful person-whether in business or bodybuilding. Look into what their life was like before they reached their highest level of success. The trend you’ll start to see is that these people ate, slept, and breathed their goals every single day. Bodybuilders build their life around it. Successful businessmen and women worked 15-18 hour days more often than not to get where they are, and usually continue even after they’ve reached their goals. Imagine that!
1 Write Out Your Goals
Every. Single. Morning.These can be your long-term goals and your short-term goals. It doesn’t matter if you know them by heart, which you should; write them down anyway. This will reinforce it and align your body and mind to get you focused on what needs to be done each day to achieve success. I used a fit book to also track all my training and nutrition a great tool to keep you on track.
2 Have A Plan
Whether it’s the night before or each morning after you write your goals, have a plan for the day and know what you’re going to spend time doing from cooking to cardio to resting. Far too much time is wasted when we don’t know exactly what we should be doing and as the old saying goes plan to fail or fail to plan.
- In terms of bodybuilding, have a plan on what you’re going to do in the gym. Know what exercises, how heavy, rep ranges, visualise it etc… all ahead of time. This will ensure you make the most of your workouts, because after all, if you want to be the best, no workout can be wasted.
- You should also do this on a macro level. That means you should have a long-term plan mapping out progressions, phases, and recovery periods to ensure you maximise your growth potential over the long-term as well as day to day.
- Get a Personal Trainer I did and was a great way of keeping myself accountable.
3 Wake Up!
If you’re yawning as you walk into the gym you have a real problem. Make sure you get into the correct mindset before hitting the weights. Whether it’s a pre-workout, coffee, cardio warm-up, motivational video or something else, make sure you get yourself in the right frame of mind mentally before beginning your workout. Why? Being in the correct mindset will make sure you give the necessary effort throughout your workout and not just go through the motions and we all know that.
Working hard is one thing, and in general people can often get away with minimal sleep and more caffeine, but it’s imperative with bodybuilding that you get enough sleep. Everyone is a little different, but I recommend no less than six hours per night. Most of your growth actually happens out of the gym and while you’re asleep. Less sleep means less muscle growth right !
5 Be Consistent
This is one of the most important things you can do. Being consistent is absolutely critical if you want to be the best or even one of the best. Those treats here and there because you ate well for a few days won’t cut it. Going out and partying every weekend won’t get you where you want to be. Hitting the gym hard for two weeks then dropping off because it’s hard to find time won’t either. Tap into resources like family and close friends let them know your journey and help them keep you accountable and on track…
My top-rated foods!
Here are my personal favourites, broken down into proteins, fats and carbs. There are many more .Come up with you own list of basics that you will incorporate each week, it doesn’t have to be boring!
- Proteins – Eggs, salmon, chicken, steak (I have sirloin) and whey protein
- Fats – Almonds, Flax-seed Oil, peanut butter,
- Carbs – Porridge , sweet potato, brown rice, all vegetables, Green fruit,
How strict was I?
During a competition prep (between 12-16 weeks) I am very strict and always stick to my plan and consume good, clean foods. However off-season is slightly different and I do allow myself treats, as long as I still hit my daily targets of protein, fats and carbs.
If you have a plan I believe you are far more likely to stick to it and for many people the changes you make need not be drastic or difficult to follow. Planning is the key in my opinion.
If I could go back in time, I wouldn’t have done it any other way. It took a long time to love truly love myself from the inside and to figure things out. For anyone who is reading this and is dealing with body image issues or struggling to develop a healthier relationship with food, know that you are not alone.
I promise you that you can get to a better place and also remember that it is your journey.
While becoming the best and living your dream (whatever it may be) is sexy, the process to get there is certainly not. Nine times out of ten it’s not glamorous and it’s actually really difficult. It’s supposed to be. That’s why mindset and passion are so incredibly important. You must love the journey just as much as you love the thought of achieving your goals, because the journey to get there is, for most, ridiculously long. If you are obsessed with it you’ll make it. If you’re not, if you don’t want it quite that bad, you’re more likely to throw in the towel and never get there.
It’s decision time! What’s it going to be? Are you willing to create the lifestyle necessary to make your dream physique a reality?
There will be peaks, and valleys, and times of uncertainty. But if you stick with it, you can make lasting changes. I hope that by being transparent in my progression, that I may help others in theirs.
Thanks for Reading and stay strong.