Something all bodybuilders,
weight lifters, power lifters and other athletes share is a certain
degree of dedication and devotion to there sport - whatever it may
be. Only the levels of that dedication alter.
people regularly visit there local pub to socialise and drink with
there friends. Within this close atmosphere a unity is generally
established between the patrons. The way this unity is expressed for
one and other and of course the "local" is through team activities
such as football, darts, pool, rugby, tug 'o' war the list goes on
and definitely alters depending on where you live. As you will have
all noticed at some point or another, there are certain characters
that stand out in these local teams for either being completely over
the top, like every game they are playing is for there own life, or
your regular “Mr. Couldn't give a....... “ but is always there for
the team even if they can't be arsed. What you have there is two
types of people who are both devoted and there for their team mates,
but the level of dedication is different. What would also be
noticeably different would be there own personal sense of
achievement. Win or lose, Mr. OTT feels strongly about his own
personal performance, “Mr. couldn't give a......” may be a bit
pissed off with a loss or happy with a win but generally couldn't
give a .....!
Bodybuilders are very much
alike. There are the devoted and truly dedicated and there are the
devoted and not so dedicated. I personally have been both at
sometime or another, I believe we all have, but getting through
those low times is what separates the men from the boys, and if you
haven't experienced it yet, you will! Absolute dedication and
devotion is required in bodybuilding to make any significant quality
gains. Dedicated to the gym, to your diet and devoted to yourself.
If you don't share the same view, you may feel this is a very
selfish attitude, and I would be in complete aggreance with you.
However getting the balance between your life and your training is
the key, bodybuilding has altered my life and the way I lead my life
but not completely took over it. If this was to happen, bodybuilding
wouldn't be a pleasure it would be a problem, one must keep an eye
on this to make sure training doesn't become "TOO" obsessive. It
happens. Find the balance, stand back and be amazed.
play a big role in everybody's lives. We all get distracted at some
time either from our training, work, household chores anything and
everything, usually because at the time something seems better than
what your already occupied with. I am nineteen years old, due to be
twenty in August (the 26th actually.....just a hint) and as a
bodybuilder I believe I have come a long way in a short time, but
had to overcome a lot in that short space.
Many of you,
whether your an old or young bodybuilder will have had your
dedication and devotion pulled and tugged at sometime or other, it
may be happening right now. A word of advice, stay strong, stick
with it, it'll pass, for Gods sake don't let whatever it is drag you
away, because when you stand in front of that mirror and hit a side
chest, POW! And people turn there heads. I don't think theres any
better feeling of self satisfaction.
When I first started experimenting in the gym I was
about sixteen years old. I have a training history behind me but
this involved punch bags and contact mitts not barbells and benches.
The reason I started training was purely for "pulling" reasons, to
make myself more aesthetically appealing to the female eye (but
don't we all) and I wanted it yesterday. So I trained my arse off
with no set routine, just a general circuit, for about two weeks.
When I had finally recovered and the soreness had gone away, I
realised that I liked the feeling the gym gave me, at that point I
could feel my devotion to the sport growing, and so could my Dad. He
sat me down and gave me a few pointers, demonstrated good, clean,
correct style exercises and put together a training system for me to
gradually introduce me to the gym. Even though this was the
beginning for me in my own training, the gym wasn't somewhere
completely alien to me so I had a pretty good idea of what was for
My first training
system was based on a very common structure, but never the less
Monday - Chest + Biceps
Wednesday - Legs +
Friday - Back + Triceps
As you can see three days a week
was all I was training, this was for various reasons.
1. I was
new to the sport so introducing me steadily to the gym was
important, for safety and to prepare the body for the onslaught
2. Three days a week was easy to adjust to, and
didn't effect may life to dramatically which is very important to a
young potential bodybuilder, as sudden change at a young age or any
age for that matter can be hazardous in any pursuit, especially for
a young whippersnapper like myself who used to get bored of his
presents by Boxing day. Gradual is the key.
3. The routine
was simple and easy to get along with, which is vitally important.
If you are new to the sport and have been reading all the top pros
training routines and are trying to follow them, heed this advice.
Providing you have good style, technique, attitude and enough
dedication and devotion you'll get along fine and make some
fantastic gains. The pros have been at this game for a long time and
have developed there style to such an extent that every inch of
movement either on a machine or with free weights is utilised
correctly and used to there advantage, you to will develop these
skills, you already may have but until then try and keep it
My diet was never a
real concern to me before I made the decision to compete, however I
always realised the importance of eating good wholesome food and
plenty of it. A good breakfast, dinner and tea and trying to avoid
to much crappy snap and ale was about the extent I went to. This
again was to try an avoid complications and keep away the monotony
of a regular strict diet. Complicated may have been my down fall in
the sport. Nobody wants to be counting calories, protein, carbs and
fat especially at sixteen, I mean I don't do it now and have no
intention to, as long as I get in five to six good balanced meals a
day in I don't mind (some of those being meal replacement drinks of
I have always supplemented my diet, this being
through my own personal understanding of the body. Everyone whether
athlete or non athlete should take some type of supplements at the
VERY least a multi vitamin, and for bodybuilders this should be
imperative. Continually hammering the body with weight assisted
exercises, the muscles and organs of the body are working under a
certain level of stress. Because of this, extra nutrients are needed
in the body to feed us and allow biological functions to take place,
without the right nutrients we can not work at our optimum rate thus
leaving us with allsorts of disorders, fatigue, acne, illness etc.
ENJOYING IT ALL!
Enjoying your training is
vitally important. The only way to succeed in your goals is to enjoy
what you are doing. However, training may make you feel great, it
may make you feel alive and young again (to those it may concern),
but everyone needs a break, and without a break you may be holding
back some quality gains. I personally like to take at least 3 good
breaks a year, probably one every four months. A good week lay off
to give the muscles, joints, ligaments, generally the whole body a
well deserved rest. The stresses of work may "strain the brain" and
for this a holiday is booked to get away, recover and help keep the
monotony of the job at bay. Don't you think hammering the body
continually with weighted exercises stresses the body some what, to
such an extent that a holiday is warranted? I think so, and so far
it has only helped in my training.
Another good reason to
take a short break is to keep ones dedication and devotion focused
on the task ahead, and a chance to look and reflect on what is
important in your training. Example, your routine, diet, symmetry
etc etc. Symmetry for example can be and is a worry for many
bodybuilders. The thought that the body is lacking in certain areas
can really be disheartening and a hindrance in the gym. Use the time
allocated to rest and recuperation to asses what is required from
YOU, this way the next time you walk into the gym, you should have a
clear and focused mind on the job ahead.