School Survival!

I get asked quite a bit how I managed to get in the gym time I do during these difficult years when the books are calling, the girls are drinking, and the bars are everywhere. Learn how to overcome these obstacles!
I think weight-lifting changes a lot over the course of a person's life. I don't have a ton of experience with that theory, as I am still young yet. But I do know that there was a massive change in weight-lifting from high-school to university, and there is a lot of work involved in the game at the level I'm at now. I can only imagine how much harder it will get down the road. I get asked quite a bit how I managed to get in the gym time I do during these difficult years when the books are calling, the girls are drinking, and the bars are everywhere. Well I'll try to help you get into my mind-frame and hopefully help your build muscle during the hardest years I've experienced so far.

Training To Grow

Weight lifting during high school I think was an easy start. In high school I never studied and there was more free time than I could deal with to put towards weight lifting. There were frequent breaks during school to eat, I would be home by 2pm, I could weight lifting mid-afternoon and I had all evening to eating an grow. University is much different. First of all university is always changing.

From term to term I never know when I will have class, I have some classes at 8:30 in the morning, I have some that run until 9:30 at night. And somewhere in there I need to find time for regular meals, time for friends, the gym, and myself. Any time I'm not in class I have a few term papers to write and at least half a dozen books to read.

Once the exam time starts books are all I see for about a month, and the gym gets harder and harder to get to. But I always get to the gym, but that's because it is the way I set my priorities. I have friends that go to the gym with me all the time, but once exam time comes around that bail out for almost a month. This just doesn't cut it. Your body doesn't give a rat's ass if you have a book to read, all it knows is that it needs to be punished to grow, and you are sitting in some room lifting a book at most. So the muscles will decide to take off until you decide to get serious again, which means once you do get back in the gym you are making up for some of that lost time instead of building new and improved muscles.

Setting Priorities

I have set my priorities simply as follows; I go to the gym, and then I will read. It's so simple. If you just wake up and go to the gym, it's done! You have taken like 45 mins out of your day to make a major improvement in your life. 45 mins of reading won't make much difference. Get your lazy ass in that damn gym and lifts some heavy ass weights, then go home and read books until your mind overloads. I never could understand the person who says, "well I have exams in a few days, I don't have any time for the gym" but that same person will watch a TV show sometime during that day, or go for a walk or something, that is all time you could have used in the gym. The difference between the somewhat muscular guys and the freaky huge guys is consistency. They know they need to get in the gym, and do what they gotta do to get there.

Sleep is a big problem I find in university as well. I have it worse than most as I live in an apartment on residence with 3 other guys. This is my second year in a row being put in with the football players. They have to be the loudest people on the face of the earth. They have frequently kept me away till 3am with they damn yelling and whatever else it is they do over there so late at night. My only way around that is to nap. They are gone almost all day, and I have class in the morning and at night, so I sleep during the day when they are gone. A lot of people recommend naps to catch up on sleep if you just can't pull off 8 solid hours in a row, I almost got to nap to hit my required amount of sleep, but it's what I gotta do and I do it, problem solved.

Eating can get difficult as well as anyone who lives on residence knows. Cafeteria food leaves a lot to be desired. I am lucky at my school as chicken is served almost every day and the café opens very early in the morning and closes very late at night. I have heard of schools that have much stricter times of operation, and serve food that a bodybuilder would starve on. Combine this with that fact that at least one of my friends orders a pizza every other day and it's hard to keep the body in top physical form. Being surrounded by people who don't know the difference between a protein shake and a pizza as far as nutrition goes eventually melts away at a person's will-power and I have found myself eating one or two slices of pizza here and there.

But if you can't get too healthy food all the time there are ways around it. Get yourself a good multi-vitamin. This will make sure you pick up where the pizza leaves off in the nutrients you need for the day. Get yourself a good protein powder as well. As long as you have access to milk (or even water) you can inject yourself full of as much protein as you heart desires.

The Parties

Parties take their toll on bodybuilders as well. Non-stop drinking is just a way of life here in my apartment. If at least one person isn't wasted in my room it just means that they are off trying to get more alcohol. And you can only watch so many parties go on around you before you give in a join in a bit. But that's all right. Drinking a few beers here and there has actually shown to be somewhat healthy as they contain anti-oxidants, which are actually useful in the body. Just don't go overboard.

Too many beers lowers testosterone (which is what you need high to build great muscle) and your testosterone will stay low for up to a week. So don't binge drink, but a few beers at a party won't kill you either. It is all about balance. You don't wanna be a wasted wreck anymore than you wanna be sitting home alone every Friday night. It isn't impossible to have the best of both worlds if you know when to draw the line.