Name: Roger "Rock" Lockridge
Occupation: Bodybuilding.com Contributor and
Domestic Abuse Awareness Advocate
You are moving along with your training. You never miss a workout. You bang out each step of cardio religiously and you log every thing down like you're keeping CIA files. But you aren't sure if it's all working or not.
You don't notice any new definition, your clothes still feel the same, you aren't any closer to your goals than you were last week. You're thinking about just throwing in the towel, cancelling your membership, throwing away your supplements, and just flat-out giving up. You've begun to wonder why you ever started this anyway.
Now let's take the time to think about this thing rationally before you do something you will regret. Are you sure you aren't succeeding at this?
I understand it gets tiring looking at the same thing in the mirror day in and day out. I know all too well how frustrating it is to miss that big lift week after week after week. However, are you absolutely certain that you aren't succeeding and making progress right now?
It could be that you aren't measuring your success as accurately as you could be. You are looking at the big picture only. Do you think buildings get built that way? It is done steps at a time. One step, then another, then another after that and so on. This is what gets that building built.
You want all the muscles, numbers, body fat, and clothes sizes right now. What you might not realize is that although you aren't at those big goals yet, you are hitting little accomplishments every day that aren't visible to the hottest chick at the gym or the top lifter in the weight room, or even to that expensive personal trainer you hired awhile back.
Take the time to look at your successes a little differently, and I think you will find motivation and improvement at every turn.
How Can I Tell If I Am Improving?
Every sip of water you take in, you are improving. That water is keeping you hydrated and helping your systems work efficiently. Water may not be the best-tasting stuff in the world, but your body needs it as much as anything else you are doing.
Were you drinking it before you started on your bodybuilding and fitness journey? OK, then. I think if you were sticking to it that well, you should be as proud of that as you would be for not cheating on your nutrition program.
Every healthy calorie you take in, you are improving. Not only did you help your training by providing proper nourishment, you won a battle against cheating on the nutrition plan.
You pass multiple fast-food joints on the way to the house or the office. It would have been nothing to stop and order something off the dollar menu or study Wendy's "3conomics." But you didn't, did you? You went on and got that protein shake or tuna sandwich. Be proud of that.
Every bad food you pass on, you are improving. Refer to the above.
Every pedal on the cross trainer or every step on the treadmill is improving. You are succeeding with every calorie you burn, every drop of sweat coming off your brow, and every inch further you move. You made a commitment, and whether the cardio is fun or not, you are doing it. You do what you say you are going to do. That proves that you are a person that is good for their word.
Every inch you move that weight on that final rep is improving. Eventually you are going to get that final rep, and then you will work on the next one. The spotter didn't pull as much as last week. You almost had it. Next week could easily be your time to succeed. As bad as you want it, it is only a matter of when you will succeed, not that you failed today.
Making It To The Gym
Every time you walk in the door, you are improving. You could have stayed at the house easily by telling yourself there was too much traffic, the gym was too busy, or that you would make it up the next day or maybe next week. No excuse was good enough for you to miss that day. You went in, tightened that belt, turned on your iPod and busted your ass. That is something to hold your head high for. Once again, you met a commitment.
Every time you walk out the door after that brutal training session, you are improving. You did what you were supposed to do that day when you could have skipped. That is something a lot of people can't say that they wish they could have. You also could have gone on overkill and overtrained, but you were smart and knew when to say when. That is an intelligent move on your part.
Every time you say good job to someone that is improvement. You are encouraging someone else and pushing them as well. It is amazing how those two words mean so much to someone that needs it. Pushing someone else and inspiring them to succeed can equal success for you.
Every time you look in the mirror and tell yourself "I will do this." That is improvement.
Every time you look in the mirror after you did it is improvement because next time you will say "I will do better." You say it with confidence in your eyes that was not there before you started this journey. It wasn't as prominent before you started that lift. It is there now, though.
Posing & Flexing
Every pose, flex, and stretch makes you better than you were beforehand. Those little muscle contractions and stretches could be what makes the difference between 16 inches and 17 inches. Others may think that you are being narcissistic, but as long as you know why you are doing it, that is all that matters.
Updating Your BodySpace Account
Starting and maintaining your BodyBlog or training and nutrition logs so you can have accountability to yourself and to others. That is improvement. Showing others what you have done and plan to do inspires others.
Tell me that isn't success and I will tell you that you don't know the true meaning of the word. Someone somewhere is seeing you for the first time, and your success may determine their success with their journey.
Getting Your Sleep
Every time you skip out on the late-night TV shows and go on to bed is a step in the right direction and is to be considered a success. They do encores of "The Daily Show" three times the next day. You can see "Tonight Show" clips online. Sleep is especially crucial to success in this sport and you understood that and made yet another sacrifice to meet your goals. Be proud of that.
You see there, we are all so concerned with seeing the definition, the muscle mass, the extra strength, the smaller number on the scale, and the endurance, that we don't take the time to appreciate the little improvements that are all around us every day.
Every move you make toward your goals is an improvement. It is a move or a set of moves that you wouldn't have made before you started bodybuilding. You know that someone else is working just as hard as you are, and if you want that same success, you must do the little things.
Now that we have shown the true improvements you make on a daily basis, get motivated again. Get psyched up again because tomorrow is another day of improvements on your journey to your ultimate bodybuilding destiny. This is your time to succeed. This is your time to shine.
No one else is going to do this for you, and even if they would, they can't. Knuckle up and go do what you said at the beginning you were going to do. Just remember to take the time to appreciate all the small improvements you make on a daily and even hourly basis, and the bigger ones you want to make won't be far behind.