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Four-time Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler lives with unbridled consistency and dedication. His life is a regimented combination of eating, sleeping, and training. He lives large, works hard, and trains harder. His physique wins contests—and he's gunning for another Sandow September 28, 2013, in Las Vegas—but his mentality and determination make him a true champion. Take a cue from Jay's life to enrich your own.
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Building muscle takes more than physical fortitude. It takes a certain mindset and drive to create an elite body. Even if you lift big, you won't get big if you don't know how to think big. That's your first lesson from Jay Cutler.
"I always say that the mentality of a bodybuilder isn't normal," Jay explains. "Something has to be triggered inside you. You always want to push yourself beyond the limits. Honestly, you have to be a little crazy. There are some people who have the potential to have the best physiques in the world, but they don't have the mental capabilities to push themselves."
You can't be one of the world's best bodybuilders if you don't have the mental toughness to work at it, day in and day out. To build your body, you must master your mind and tune out distractions. Jay knows this all too well. "It isn't an easy thing being Jay Cutler," he says. "I'm recognized everywhere I go, and everybody wants a piece of my time."
Jay has a business to run, travels constantly, trains often, eats more often, and tries to leave some time for fun. He lives in Vegas, which offers even more temptations, but Jay wouldn't have it any other way. "It gives me more drive being in a place that's so distracting, and I'm still so focused."
The Large Life
Aside from being absurdly busy, Jay struggles with little things most people do with ease: "You don't understand the benefits of being a normal person until you see someone like me who can't buy clothes off the rack, can't eat normal places, can't ride in certain sized cars, can't ride in some airplane seats, can't stay in certain hotels with small beds, or fit in small showers. It's hard to shop, it's hard to go out to eat, it's hard to travel."
On the plus side, it's easy for him to build more muscle than most people can fathom. They stare, but he doesn't care. "I don't try to hide it," he says. "I don't wear big, baggy clothes." Jay has spent the last 20 years turning his body into a work of art; he knows how to appreciate it. "When you're my size, you never think you're small. I like the way I look now. I'm always checking myself out, flexing, admiring the physique."
Although Father Time is now perhaps his biggest bodybuilding adversary, Jay still accepts nothing but greatness from himself. "I don't think I'm 'past my prime,'" he says."I'm a four-time Mr. Olympia champ and six-time runner up. I still want to compete at my best, even at the age I am."
5 Tips to Live Large
1 Master Your Mind
The mentality needed to be a competitive bodybuilder can be applied to many aspects of life: relationships, business, training, working, and more. As Jay says, "You can't be normal. You have to have that satisfaction of never being satisfied."
The drive to better yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, or even financially can make an enormous difference in the success you have in the gym and life.
2 Find Balance
Although work is important and part of your path toward success, you can't forget to enjoy the ride and have some fun. "I never look at myself and think, 'I'm obsessed,'" says Jay. "I always try to have some balance. This is a career. If you go at it full-tilt all the time, you're going to burn yourself out."
Achieving equilibrium is easier said than done, but it will help you become a healthier, happier person.
3 Own It
Success should be measured by how you see yourself, not by how others see you. Jay Cutler can't hide who he is. "I'm pretty much always visible," he says. "You just can't hide the physique." But Jay isn't ashamed, regardless of what others think. He's proud of who he is and what he's accomplished.
No matter what you've done in your life, or what you're trying to do, it's important to feel a sense of pride.
4 Work Hard
Whatever you want to do with your life, you won't get there without hard work. Jay Cutler knows how much time and effort goes in to being a champ. "When it comes time to get down to business, we have no time for fun," he says.
Enjoying your life is important, but so is the exertion you put into your goals. You can't just want; you have to earn.
5 Believe To Achieve
Even if you're not headed for the bodybuilding stage, the success of your endeavors depends almost entirely upon your will to win. "You don't want to go into a show just to stand up there. That's not how an athlete or a champion bodybuilder trains or thinks," Jay says. "You always want to think about winning and being your absolute best."