OK people, I have seen the need. The most recent nutrition article I wrote has been getting a steady response from readers. Guess what though... it's mostly females. I am impressed by this. You women are taking the time to learn what you need to learn and seek out help when you don't know what to do. Very good.
What I have noticed is that people can have all the knowledge in the world, but most people lack my favorite word... you know what it is? Oh come on, I know you do.
So I could be a jerk and tell you all to suck it up and be adults, but that isn't the best way to help people in every situation. People, including myself, need practical solutions. I know your pain. I have also overcome your pain (it's a fight every day) which makes me qualified to try and help you. Now I will share how I live my bodybuilding life from a practical standpoint. Now we shall begin!
How I Live My Bodybuilding Life
I lift on what I'd like to call a "3-day split". Technically that's not really the right term so I'll explain. I used to lift like this:
- Monday: Chest, shoulders and triceps
- Tuesday: Legs
- Wednesday: Back and biceps
- Thursday: Chest, shoulders and triceps
- Friday: Legs
- Saturday: Back and biceps
- Sunday: Rest
This routine was so intense that I almost always missed at least one day around the end of the week and I'd have to find a way to make up for the lost workout by sacrificing the completeness of another workout.
Squats just wore me out so much that the next day all I wanted to do was sleep. Willpower is one thing, but your body will tell you when it's doing too much. Mine was telling me every week. Guess what? I learned! It did take a while though, much to my chagrin. I know "chagrin" is a big fancy word so I looked it up to make sure I was using it correctly.
cha·grin (she-grín') n. Disappointment; Annoyance
Thus, I annoyed myself by taking so long to revise my training routine. Learn from me and please listen to your body.
Now my workout routine looks like it should have from the beginning:
- Day 1: Chest, shoulders and triceps
- Day 2: Legs
- Day 3: Back and biceps
- Day 4: Rest
- Day 5: Repeat of Day 1
- Day 6: Repeat of Day 2
- Day 7: Repeat of Day 3
- Day 8: Rest
Notice how I have to label my routine by numbers instead of naming specific days of the week. This is because my workout days keep changing because there are only 7 days in a week and my routine is 8 days. That's the way it's gotta be.
I used to train a WHOLE lot differently than I do now. My results are a LOT different now too. In a good way.
I train only with compound-type lifts now. My workout life is centered around:
- Overhead barbell presses
- Triceps press-downs
- Straight-bar curls
I needed more muscle, and this was the most efficient way to BRING IT! And it brings the PAIN too. HAHA! It's manly and it rocks!
My routine changes in terms of rest periods and total repetitions per exercise about every 6 weeks. I have found that this provides much needed joint relief from the heavy training I constantly undergo.
- Universal Presents: Animal Flex
- NOW Presents: Glucosamine & Chondroitin Plus MSM
- NOW Presents: Glucosamine 1000
This is based on what my trainer tells me. I also have a nutrition trainer. Both trainers are incredibly knowledgeable, far more so than I. That's why I seek their advice! Go to those who know, that's my motto.
Bodybuilding Is Simple
There is really something to be said for desperation when discussing the lifestyles of champions. I am desperate to not fail in my pursuit of becoming a fantastic natural champion, and I realize that I have ABSOLUTELY NO EXCUSE to NOT become a most-amazing champion. Bodybuilding is simple. It really is. I'll explain—The Aaron equation:
This sort of equation changes when you throw in drugs, genetic pre-disposition and corrupt competition politics. That's precisely why I compete in the natural leagues.
First, I don't wish to develop in an unnatural fashion because of modern pharmacy and second, I don't like what money does to a sport.
Money & Sports:
When a sport starts involving a large amount of cash, then strange things can happen. Greed seems to take people over. My reward is my physique. I like big muscles, plain and simple. Always have and always will.
I have only spent money as a bodybuilder, never once have I won money directly from a bodybuilding competition. I will turn my successes into lucrative businesses for myself however.
There, I used another big word again: lucrative. The word means "moneymaking" according to dictionary.com.
So my motivation comes from within and not from without. Money is not why I like muscles. Pushing myself to become the possessor of a magnificent physique is why I constantly sharpen my discipline.
Your final goal will give you the means to hone your own discipline. Think of it this way (I love thinking about everything this way): IF YOU DON'T IMPROVE, YOU CAN'T WIN. HOW CAN YOU IMPROVE IF YOU DON'T TRACK YOUR PROGRESS?
So when you want to eat that favorite piece of junk food, think first. Will you be improving upon your progress if you eat it? If doing what you are currently doing has already achieved your goal, then well done. If not, then you must improve upon what you are doing. This is where you must become better.
This is the sort of stuff I think about. This is why I write everything down. I write down everything I eat and at what time I'm eating. I write down all of my workouts and my progress. I have normal scheduled sessions with my nutrition guy that I pay in advance. This is what really achieving my goals requires from me.
I do fail sometimes. It's hard. But I'm getting better.
I like to think of what my grandfather went through as he studied at West Point, the Army Academy. They had a rule at West Point called "No excuse". Whenever something went wrong, no matter how it happened, you were responsible and there were no excuses.
My grandpa was late coming back to the academy after being home on leave one particular time. He was late because his plane flight was delayed. When asked why he was late, he was forced to reply, "No excuse sir". He was punished by being forced to walk around the courtyard of the academy for hours. No I don't know how many hours. In life, none of us have excuses.
I have no excuse for not being up out of bed on time and having my meals ready to go for the day. I have no excuse for not training to my full capacity on time, every time.
Just think about it when you're going about your business. As the famous natural bodybuilder Skip La Cour says,
So every night I force myself to consider what I must do to succeed the next day. I usually pull out my George Foreman grill and my chicken breasts and get to cookin'. I season the chicken with steak seasoning (tastes great on chicken!), put my Foreman grill on one notch above medium heat and cook five chicken breasts at a time for about 7 minutes. They turn out perfect!
Then comes the Gladware... or Tupperware... whatever you wanna use. I cut up my chicken breasts and portion out each meal.
I also pack my Louisiana style hot sauce with me just about everywhere. It allows me to down my mountains of chicken with relative enjoyment. I don't eat a lot of beef, though I used to. I stay away from large portions of red meat. I figure that can only help me and not hinder me when considering my long-term health.
My supplements travel with me everywhere. I'm almost always carrying my duffel bag of supplies.
Think about what you need to achieve, and make the plan on how to get there. Follow the plan while learning as much as possible. Your success comes meal by meal, workout by workout. It just takes thought and tracking.
I think the mistake a lot of people make is not considering fitness and/or bodybuilding to be a 24/7 lifestyle. To win and look like you want to look and be healthy at the same time, you must make it your lifestyle.
No sense on making things hard on yourself though right? So...
- Remove temptation (stop buying bad food).
- Constantly review/remind yourself of your goals.
- Track everything you do and improve when you lack.
Remember, no excuses. EVER.