Welcome once more friends. After I talked in my previous article about what factors of your mind power determine what will make you a very good bodybuilder, or just an "average" Joe, today I will talk about what you can do, and what steps you have to follow, in order to improve your mind power.
THESE ARE THE 10 BEST STEPS THAT YOU NEED TO FOLLOW!
Ninety percent of the people that give up bodybuilding do so because they have unrealistic plans. They are getting frustrated fast because they could not be as good as they wanted to be. But don't forget that if it was so easy to get a good body, then everyone would look great!
Think more deeply and ask: "How many people have I seen in REAL life that have a good bodybuilding body?" Maybe one friend of yours, maybe one guy who lives in your neighborhood. Maybe 2-3 more guys in the gym you belong to. And what about the vast majority?
Do they look like they want to? Or is it that most of them can not apply the right principles in order to reach their dreams? You have to follow some small (but extremely important) steps in order to be on the level that you want to be.
Let's see each one of these 10 steps, and what you can do in order to have your mind balanced with your body.
Step #1: Keep a diary!
I know that maybe this sounds boring to you, and maybe some of you are saying now: "C'mon John, I am a bodybuilder, not a 10 year old girl! I don't like to keep a diary of whatever I do!"
But keep in mind, that every world class bodybuilder is doing that in order to have as accurate information about himself as possible. You should have specific plans BEFORE, and AFTER your workout, till your next one. You should write EVERYTHING that you do in order to have the best results possible.
I know that maybe this sounds boring to you. To help you realize the importance, think about something. When do you have the best results in your school/college or work? When you have everything prepared and you always know what to answer about anything that your boss or professor asks? Or when you don't remember what you have to do and you are just trying to figure out what you SHOULD have done?
The same things that you should do in your work or in college, you should apply to bodybuilding.
Isn't it better for you to know your personal records? Isn't it a useful weapon for you to know how many reps and pounds you can lift in every exercise? There are more than 100 exercises for all your bodyparts.
Even if you have not done them all, from time to time, you change some exercises. Don't you think that it would be almost impossible to remember for every exercise, how many pounds you can lift, and how many reps you can do? And your personal diary is not stopping there.
You should write even some other important factors that affect you. It is good when you make a personal record, to write everything that had happened to you the last couple of days. (What you ate, how much you slept, what new supplement you were taking, and generally what other factors had psychologically affected you that day.)
In a few words, a prepared and organized bodybuilder, has a much better chance to succeed than some other bodybuilder that has no clue what he has to do.
Step #2: Don't rush things!
As you might have heard, a 10,000-mile road starts from just one small step. Apply what that means to bodybuilding. Simply, your life dream bodybuilding plan should go step by step.
Never think "I want 20-inch arms, a 50-inch chest, 30-inch legs, and a 31- inch waist." Always say, "I want to increase 1 inch in all my bodyparts in the next 6-12 months, and to decrease 1 inch in my waist."
From a psychological perspective, it would be much easier for you to have short term plans, and to do your BEST, in order to make your long-term plan come true.
Step #3: Stay focused!
I talked about this in my previous article, but since it's one of the most important factors, I want to remind you again. Go to the gym ONLY to train and not to "socialize." When you lift weights, NOTHING and NO ONE should distract your attention.
Visualize that you have Dorian Yates back when you do exercises for your back, or Kevin Levrone's shoulders when you train your shoulders, etc. Just think about your favorite bodybuilder when you lift weights. Maybe you can not lift the same weights, but be sure that you can have the same intensity. The higher the intensity the better the results.
Step #4: Think positive!
You will never reach your goals if you think you will never reach your goals. You should always feel confident before each workout session. You should always think that you will have a great workout no matter what
Avoid any person that affects you negatively, and welcome friends that can motivate you to be one step closer to your personal goals. Also, a good training partner in the gym is an important weapon. One more rep, when you have your training partner saying to you "Don't stop now, you can do one more rep" is not something meaningless.
Also, a good training partner knows how much should help you with your last "impossible" rep, or how much should let you rely on your own power.
Step #5: Determine your desired objective!
It has happened many times in the gym where I am working. Some new guy is coming to me and telling me: "Hey John, I want to get as huge and as ripped as possible!"
Sorry, but bodybuilding is not working like that. You should determine what you want to do first. Do you want to get bigger? Sure!
Make a 12- week (or more) plan, increase your caloric consumption, and avoid cardio. You want to get ripped? Make again a 12-week (or more) plan, reduce your caloric consumption, and include some cardio workouts each week. (For more info about how you can do each one of them read my 5th or 6th article). As you see, one contradicts the other. You can not do both things at the same time.
Remember always that you should be patient. No one can get a great body in just a few months (or even years) of weight training.
Step #6: Control your desires!
Maybe this is the most difficult thing that a bodybuilder MUST do in order to have the desired results.
As I have said in my previous article, it is not easy to say "no" to some friend (and even more difficult to some girlfriend), when he/she asks you to go out to have some fun. Also it's not easy at all for people that live with their families to see the other people in the house, eating a delicious pizza with extra cheese or a mouth-watering chocolate cake, when they have to eat another "boring" chicken breast with some rice and lettuce.
But remember, that's why you will never find many guys having a great body. That's why most people have an "average" or "awful" body. They can not control their desires. That's why you have to make some sacrifices since you want to be the exception and get a great (and healthy) body.
(Hey also don't forget that you will always have one junk day per week and to do whatever you want to do, so you should not feel too bad!)
Step #7: Find the optimum balance between your mind and your body!
Training hard is good, but training way too hard is not good. Mind power does not mean that you have to train 7 days per week with 101% intensity.
You want to train hard but you don't want to overtrain. (You should always avoid overtraining like the plague). In a few words ... listen to your body. Never stay in two totally extreme sides.
It's not good to say: "Hey I feel too sluggish to train today. I trained 5 days ago for the last time, I will go again to train the day after tomorrow." Also it is not good to say: "I trained like a real warrior 5 times this week. I feel very tired but I will go again to the gym tomorrow because I want to continiously train very hard."
In the first case, you are undertraining because your mind is not giving you enough "motives" in order to train more. But in the second case, your mind seems like it does not know where it should stop. Also learn you have to avoid training when you have some small or big injury. Believe me, it is totally worthless to go train when you have some minor, or even worse, major injury.
Doing that, what you do is to injure your body more and more every time you train, and the end result will be to stay away from your gym for weeks, maybe even months.
So train smart. Listen to your mind, but don't forget to also listen to your body's limits. Don't exceed them, if you want to always have good and productive results.
Step #8 Don't try to find excuses!
I am sure it had happened to you. You had an unproductive workout and you were blaming anyone else but yourself. I hear people saying "I did not sleep good, I did not eat right, I had a bad day at work, I was very tired, I fought with my wife/kids/dog etc."
You should analyze everything that has affected you. The best judge is always yourself, and you should be as honest as possible with yourself. You did not have a good workout for A or B reason? OK, it happens from time to time, and you should do what you think is best in order for this not to happen again.
Don't blame others for your poor results. Be responsible, take some action, and try not to make the same mistakes again and again. Correct everything you think is wrong about your training, nutrition, recuperation and supplementation.
Step #9 Don't believe everything you read or hear!
You are out with some "bodybuilding" friends, and you talk about (what else?) bodybuilding. One of you is saying: "Hey man, I read in the latest issue of one bodybuilding magazine that Lee Priest is doing 35 sets for his biceps, in order to make them always pumped! If it worked for him, it should work also for us!"
Sure Priest is a great bodybuilder, but don't even think that so many sets can have a good effect in 99% of the cases. Don't even think to follow any professional bodybuilder's program. You will get overtrained in no time!
Or maybe when you read your favorite bodybuilding magazine and you see some advertisement of some supplement with "before" and "after" pictures. The guy always seems "miserable" in his before picture, looking only one step away from committing suicide, but after a few weeks with taking the new "be in 30 days like Coleman" supplement, it seems that he has a totally new and perfect body since he appearead that he lost 30 fat pounds, and he got 20 muscle pounds.
Also he has money, girls, friends, and anything else he might desire. That guy claims later that his testosterone levels increased by 1000% and his growth hormone levels increased by another 1000%.
Your mind is always tempting you to take this new wondrous supplement. It says: "C'mon, go and get it now, and you will be just like these successful guys!" But remember, the more "outrageous" results you see from some ad, the less you should believe it.
Supplements do play an important role in your bodybuilding goals, but never count solely on them. And don't spend your hard earned money to buy any supplement that's advertisement is more than exaggerated. It's 99% probable that it's a "bogus" supplement.
Step #10 Try to do everything right!
That means that you have to follow all the previous 9 steps in order to succeed. The best results are always coming with the best program. A great bodybuilding body is not something that you can have from one day to the other as I said. You have to have the desire, the motivation, the mind, the plan, and many other factors that can affect your life.
Bodybuilding is a way of life, and what you do affects it. (And the opposite. Everything that happens in your life affects also your bodybuilding goals.) Keep the good, leave the bad!
I hope after you read the 10 steps to success friends, you will be able to better control your mind power. And as I promised you, in my next week's article (which will be the last for this year), I will talk about some good mind and memory enhancers on the supplement market. Stay tuned!
Take care all,