In this article, I am going to talk about what I perceive as necessary 'Success Factors' that helped to guide me to achieving my ultimate goal, winning an overall championship!

Training Rules

In this article, I will talk about the "rules" I have defined for my training. These rules I use to govern my training regiment.

-> Avoid Time Robbers:

    First let me tell you what I would consider a time robber. A time robber is someone who will not hesitate to interrupt your intense training session with pointless conversation or questions. I heard it described once by a bodybuilder interviewed in a magazine in relation to being asked questions while working out as, "Being asked how to perform heart surgery in the middle of performing heart surgery".

    I could not have described it better. How many times have you (my peers) experienced the constant and seemingly endless flow of questions about your diet, training regiment, etc. during or between sets. Yes, I said "during". I have actually had persons ask me questions while I was performing an exercise. Don't get me wrong, I love to provide help to others and don't mind questions or discussions while I'm not preparing for a contest.

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    However, during contest preparation I take my training seriously and gym time is my time. To avoid the robbing of your time, don't feel uneasy about shortening discussions or answers to questions while you are working out. I have at times had to tell some persons that I will contact them later and asked them to give me their email address. This seems to help avoid a lengthy discussion without causing hard feelings.

    Everyone has very different goals in the gym and many of the interruptions are in reality a sort of compliment. Being asked advice is an appreciation for what many of these "time robbers" see in you. Don't be angered by them and remember their goals are totally different, however, maintaining your training intensity is very important and should not be sacrificed.

-> Positive Energy ONLY:

    As I mentioned in article #2, it is very important to maintain a positive atmosphere around you while training. No negative thoughts or doubts should be allowed to interrupt your focus during training. If you want to press those 100lbs dumbbells for 12 reps today, then see it, say it, and DO IT!! Positive thinking will make you push yourself when no one else can.

    Believe that you are a winner and that you are the best and it will show. I had someone ask me in preparation for a contest if I thought I would win. My response was, "I train to win and if the other guy doesn't, then that's his choice". That is the mind-set that helped me stay positive and never doubt myself without sounding arrogant or over-confident. I resolve myself to always be prepared No Matter What. When you do that, you will never regret a loss.

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    "If I would of..." statements must be removed. If you have a partner, it is even more important to stay positive. I guarantee that you will have days when you help your partner to focus and work harder purely because they saw how hard and focused you were. The reverse will be true for you. Leave the bad day at work, school, or home at the gym door. Redirect the negative into a positive and get ready to HIT IT HARD!!!

-> Lead By Example:

    Bodybuilders possess leadership qualities. By defining an objective or goal, creating a plan to achieve that goal, and invoking action to attain that goal are all qualities of an effective leader. Some will realize this and look to you for inspiration. Always remember that whether you want to or not, you will be noticed. With this in mind, it is important to always set the example in the gym.

    I always enjoy hearing someone comment that they noticed how hard I train, or how much I have improved. To me this means I have accomplished not only personal achievements but I have possibly lit the fire inside someone else. It is amazing how easy it is to inspire others by just setting a good example.

-> Be Flexible:

    Being flexible means that you always have a contingency plan when working out. Many times I have went to the gym and I was prepared to hit squats first. I had my mind focused on getting to that rack and..."BOOM"!!.. another explosive leg workout.

    Well, sometimes that rack is in-use by others. I have seen people sit and wait for a piece of equipment for 10, 15 minutes or more. Not me, I always have a backup plan. In situations like that I will hit the leg press first or any other press type machine.

Do You Wait For Equipment At Your Gym?

Come Back To It Later.

    In many ways this is actually a good strategy because I work much harder when I return to the squats I bypassed initially. Never limit yourself by being too rigid. Always be flexible in a changing environment. Adapting to a changing environment will help you to reach new heights in your training regime.

-> Mentally Prepare:

    Mental preparation is necessary throughout each and every training day. I mentally prepare many times during the day. During mental breaks at work, many times I will visualize the workout I plan to do that evening.

    I will see myself, in my mind, doing an exercise. This type of meditation is extremely helpful on those days when you don't feel like going to workout.

-> Be Strong:

    "Be Strong. We have hard work to do and heavy loads to lift. Shall not the struggle for this is GOD's gift. Be Strong." This is a rule to live by as well as to train by. Never give up the struggle to realize your dreams. It may take longer than you expect but it can happen.

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    Winning an overall championship was my dream and it was a special victory. As I had mentioned in my first article, my father's passing, due to stomach cancer, inspired me to compete in bodybuilding.

    The competition that I won the coveted overall championship, donated proceeds to the American Cancer Society. It gives me chills each time I think about it. The strength of mind that enabled me to continue my path allowed me to finally reach that golden shore.

    "Failure is only a temporary situation; Giving up is what makes it permanent."