What makes a good bodybuilder a great bodybuilder? What separates the winners from the losers? People can argue it is knowledge, genetics, what he takes, or determination.
Some can argue it's all four which to a degree is right but without determination no matter how genetically gifted you are you will not get anywhere without determination.
I'm now six weeks out from my first show and I have developed such respect for serious competitive bodybuilders. I have always had a lot of willpower but training for myself and dieting just to look good for the summer is so much different than training for a show. I find it takes a lot more out of you and really tests your willpower to the max.
For people wishing to take their willpower to the max start training for a show and you will see what it takes for competitive bodybuilders to compete.
I have actually found that keeping a diary with the days counting down to the day of the show and list all the things on the day such as 48 days before the show start trying out hair removing products and 28 days before the show start on sunbed.
If you plan it out like this beforehand you will know exactly what needs to be done and when. By doing this it has also made my life easier as all I have to do is look in the diary and see the next step I need to do.
I'm sure a lot of you that have ever entered a bodybuilding competition and told everyone around you they would have probably laughed in your face. This happens to me all the time especially when I'm sitting with them at lunch and I'm tucking into my rice, sweetcorn and tuna and they are enjoying roast potatoes and steak while drinking coke.
These are the ones with the huge guts who have the nerve to laugh at you for keeping in shape. When this happens it's your determination which kicks in which is what separates us bodybuilders from the rest.
Determination separates the men from the boys and is especially important in bodybuilding. A skinny 110 lb kid who stepped into a gym for the first time and says, "My goal is to compete in the Mr. Olympia," needs some determination to get there.
You hear all the time about people who COULD have been good. Could being the key word. These are people which have showed signs of developing a good physique or had one but did not have the extra determination and willpower to go that extra mile that it takes to become a champion. This is the most aggravating thing.
People always say I wish I was as big as Ronnie Coleman or as successful as Arnold but they must realize it took a lot of willpower to get where they are.
They would not have got there without the determination to become a great champion.
For example, you see a 16-year-old walk into a gym for the first time with dreams of being big enough to compete and three months in says, "I'm seeing no gains," then gives up. This shows his strength of character. He expects gain to appear overnight. It's the people who are in the same position seeing no gains but persevere they will be the ones with the 18" biceps in the end with hard work and dedication.
I like to think of myself as a determined person especially when it comes to bodybuilding. When six weeks from a show you walk past all these sweats shops (and I'm sure my family sticks all these sausage roles and eat burgers and chips in front of me on purpose) but without a lot of willpower I would have failed weeks ago.
Determination can be used for motivation throughout your training. When people say they cannot get motivated this is through a lack of dedication. If you were dedicated to something and carried it on you will naturally get motivated to continue. In most peoples' case it's the diet.
I find most people are happy with the training and enjoy it but the nutritional side of bodybuilding is the most important part along with sleep.
Without determination I'm sure none of you would have ever gotten past the pain barrier or stuck with your boring diet day in day out. The diet I find is the worst part and takes a lot of willpower to overcome. The part I like which comes with having strong determination is the reaction from other people I get.
When I explain to them about my diet and what I am deprived of especially when I'm dieting most of them don't know how I do it and anyone who has the willpower to stick with a strict diet especially when they spend a lot of their time around food must be dedicated.
I work part time in a hotel where there are all sorts of cakes and pastries which they make me set up for the guests and what's left, which is normally most of them, I am allowed to eat if I want but I have developed the willpower to stay away from these foods and watch everyone else around me develop a huge beer belly and love handles.
What you need to remember is what your goals are. If your goals are to become fat and weak go ahead and eat junk food and go drinking every night, but if your goal is to put on size or lose body fat step away from the pastries.
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John Le Mare