Hardcore Livin'

When it comes to bodybuilding, hardcore is more. It's a mentality, a way of living. For hardcore lifters, it means training as hard as you possibly can without all the fancy trimmings.

Reprinted with permission from Animalpak.com.

Intensely loyal. Die hard. Dedicated. That's hardcore if you looked it up in a dictionary. When it comes to bodybuilding, hardcore is more. It's a mentality, a way of living. For hardcore lifters, it means training as hard as you possibly can without all the fancy trimmings. By fancy trimmings, I mean nice, clean, pretty new machines; the latest trendy tunes piped in from the gym's expensive sound system; stationary bikes that are connected to the internet so that you can check your stock portfolio; racks that feature magazines like... hell, magazine racks period. If you got time to read between sets, you need to train harder.

Hardcore Trainers

Listen, if you want hardcore, take a look at Ron Coleman's video. It's shot in a no-nonsense gym in Texas. That gym is bare bones. The floors are concrete. The bars are rusty. But let me tell you, it's a great gym. It's as hardcore as you get. If you watch Ronnie train, he relies on basic, super-heavy movements. That's it. He trains his balls off. Yeah, sure he's got great genetics. But he also trains like an animal. If you don't train like one, you're not going to look like one.

Take a look at Dorian Yates. His gym, the Temple Gym in England. Man, it's a friggin' dungeon. No rugs. No stereo. No bullshit. It's all business. You got bars, plates and some serious lifting equipment. Locally, there's Bev Francis' Gold's Gym in Syosset, New York. It's a big building with lots of equipment and its crawling with champions. A lot of blood and guts have been spilled there.

I'm talking about being halfway through your leg workout and feeling sick to your stomach. You know you got to run to the bathroom and aren't sure if you're even going to make it that far before you puke. And maybe you do, but you come back and finish the training. In hardcore gyms across the country, this is just another guy training hard.

Don't get me wrong. Being hardcore is not about the gym you train in. Like I said before, it's a state of mind, it's a drive a very few guys have. This mentality separates the men from the boys, the wannabe punks from the true champions. Here and example of what I'm talking about. I can't tell you how many times some a-hole has complained about the music in my gym.

I remember one night I was in the gym and everyone was happy as girls, lifting their little weights. We were having this big-ass thunderstorm see, and the radio stopped playing. Well, a couple of these girls were complaining, "Aw, we can't work out without any music. We have to have music." I was thinking, who gives a shit about the music?! When I train, I don't even hear the friggin' music. Why? Because I'm thinking about my training. All I can hear is the blood pounding in my ears. Not what's blaring on the stereo.
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Then there are the guys who train at the gyms where there are lots of women. Yeah, that'll win you a title. Here's some advice, how about you leave the women alone until after you finished your last set of heavy-ass squats, and you feel like puking? Now that's sure to get you laid. Leave the socializing for dinner and drinks. That's when you can work the babes, Romeo. Right now, stop jerking off and hit the weights.

I think back to the days of Schwarzenegger, Columbu, and Haney. Man, they were the shit. In their gyms, they didn't have all that fancy crap like they do now. What they had was drive, hunger. They wanted to be the best. They trained like animals. Hardcore. And they got results. They were the best.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm not saying you can't discuss the day's events with your training partner or nod to the people in your gym. Just don't get into long-ass conversations with everybody and his best friend. Save the chatter for later. I've been training for a long time now. I still have that burning desire to be the best. I love the gym. I don't even mind suffering through twelve ferocious weeks of dieting. Yeah, I consider myself hardcore. If you ask anybody who sees me in the gym, they'll tell you the same thing. Train hard and don't screw around. In the gym, make war, not peace.

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