I used to be a personal trainer for World Gym, so I've seen impressive physiques and guys with great strength come and go. And I've seen guys who are hardgainers or average guys but have something different ... the burning desire to be the best. These guys ... no matter what are about as unstoppable as Bill Goldberg! They make the best of what they have. I had a 160-pound weight set which I outgrew in the first two months of consistent training. Even though I didn't have nor could I afford any more weight, I made the best of what I had to get a great workout. This was back in my "wannabe bodybuilder days." But then after training in the school's weightroom, I met a powerlifter, Steve Beck, who armwrestled me and beat me with ease. I didn't have ego ... heck back then I didn't know what it was. I was more impressed with the guy's strength and how he got it. Once he told me he was a powerlifter, I became determined to be as strong as he was in powerlifting. So I was on a mission. I stopped training at home and started training at the school's gym for a while and I started to train heavier until I found a trainer who was doing some work at a YMCA in Columbus, Steve Grill. He was a trainer at World Gym in East Columbus and was a former powerlifter himself. He started to teach me about powerlifting and the more I knew the more that "flame" inside of me became a inferno. When I did my first contest in 1997 (such a long time ago!), I was amazed at how many powerlifters there were ... especially my age. From there I guess you can say the rest was history. To this day, if I hadn't armwrestled that guy, I wouldn't of discovered powerlifting.
OK, I'm off my case ... but you see the point. If you have a desire for something, nothing else should matter. Take a look at the Westside Barbell Club. They train from a garage! My best friend, Jon Houts, a beginning powerlifter, is a jiu-jitsu martial artist and he does his training anywhere, just as long as he gets a chance to grapple. No matter the location, your desire should be greater. If you have just a bench, a bar, dumbbell bars, and 300-pound weight set in your basement or garage, you're good to go!
Desire should never make you stop training. My other best friend, Brian Whittington, is so desired to workout, that he doesn't remember the last time he took a break from it! Now that's desire. Even though I take breaks, I take no more than one week once every three to four months at a time. I've seen strong guys who have the potential for powerlifting, but do other things (like clubbin', girl chasing, etc.) and workout every two weeks. These guys make their workouts like a chore. Trust me, guys who have the desire to get stronger or to get bigger and leaner, will get the girls! And these guys would sleepwalk into a gym and workout.
Drug users ... DAMN them! Lifters on a quest won't let these guys affect their training or mindset. Even though they do amazing things, it makes it hard on those who are NATURAL. But ... it's possible to do what they do the natural way. That's what makes up their intensity. Look at Ron Harris, would of never guessed that he's natural by his physique. Here's another example, Back when I was training to be a bodybuilder, I was comparing myself to professional bodybuilders and thought you need genetics to be one. Now today, people say that I have good genetics for a 21-year-old as well as good strength. I can tell you for DAMN sure that I'm not genetically gifted, I just had pure desire to get stronger. To me, that's all you need to succeed at any sport.
Desired lifters always to find things that work and use them in their regimen. Their workouts are incredibly intense and their nutrition is always in check. Take look around Bodybuilding.com, you'll find lots of physiques that are grafted from pure desire. Also, they are FOCUSED on what they are doing. It's OK to talk between sets with other lifters, and I'm guilty of it, but I keep in mind that I have to workout and I have to be intense. I have to take each workout like its going to be my last and use it as a stepping stone to be stronger at my next meet. Your desire to workout should be contagious and addictive like a drug. I've noticed this when I was a trainer at the gym. When people see you workout, it should motivate ... even the slackers, to push the intensity to the next level. Missing a workout to me make me feel like something is missing, even when I take a break prior to a meet. It feels odd and the more you see people workout, the more you want to get back in there and train.
Nothing should impede your progress in the gym. I have found ways of getting the things I want for my training. Desired lifters would do this and they will never give up on their training, no matter the situation, the money, or anything else for that matter. They also don't see a lost as a failure rather a part of a process that is their journey. To me, if I can bench more than I ever done, I won in my own mind. Worrying about my placing comes second to this and sometimes I don't care! I just want to get better.
One last thing I want to touch on is people who pretend to have that desire. Again, I've seen this from time to time like a telepath sensing liar. I can tell when I person has that "flame" or not. How? In their actions. Their words are like a sheet of blank paper with no words on it. Desired lifters can't see them, but can tell more by their actions. Anyone can say they want to compete in bodybuilding, but if you don't know they have the desire ... then what's the use. They also try to do too much too fast and this I've seen a lot. Not taking the time to learn, they want to rush to their destination rather than taking a journey to it. And they make "countless" excuses for themselves. Desired lifters don't do this and they are always training to get better so they don't have to make excuses for themselves. If your one of these people, ask yourself this ... "Do I have the flame inside?" If you do, "sh!t or get off the pot!" and be patient.
In conclusion, In my own mind, I'm a champion because I have the desire be a powerlifter and to be stronger. I do everything I can do in my training to be stronger by getting stronger from exercise to the next. Like Fred Durst, I just keep on rollin' and you should be too. Do this and you will be a champion!
Until next time, stay big