What Motivates You? The Best Motivational Tips From The Bodybuilding.com Forums!

Motivation, by definition is the wants, needs, and beliefs that drive a character. In this article, I will explain how to get motivated for workouts, cardio sessions, and dieting... Read on and be motivated!

There are tons of motivational stories floating around the forums these days from people gaining thick slabs of muscle, to people losing a whole person in terms of weight.

You can pretty much find anything you can imagine on the forum. Here are just a few things that motivated our forum members. Take a look... Maybe something from this page could be your new motivation!

Forums: Motivation Stories & Tips

Hollywoodfw - BodySpace

"I just think of everyone telling me how skinny I am, that's plenty of motivation."

Ripped_King46 - BodySpace

"I don't have a spotter (I workout at home), so either I drop the weight on myself or I do the last rep."

Wanguin - BodySpace

Motivation: The Key to Success
By: Emmit Visconti

What Is Motivation?

We are bodybuilders, people who spend many hours a week working toward physical goals to better themselves. There is something built into each and every one of us that helps us crawl out of bed each morning and hit the cardio, squeeze out a couple extra reps through complete exhaustion, and select a can of tuna over a bag of potato chips.

I'm not talking about something you can touch, but rather something in your mind, something ever-present in us all. Motivation, by definition, is a summation of the wants, needs, and beliefs that drive a character. Whether it be to improve our self-image, our overall health, lose fat, win a competition, or attract the opposite sex, bodybuilders have motivation.

Without it, we would go nowhere. In this article, I will explain how to get motivated for workouts, cardio sessions, and dieting, as well as changes you may need to make to your routine to help stay motivated long-term.

What Is Your Goal?

As I mentioned, all of us have a goal or some purpose for bodybuilding. Each bodybuilder has a unique goal. I believe that the first step to getting motivated is to determine your goal.

Perhaps your goal is to get 'cut up' for the beach this summer; maybe you are training for a particular sport, or even if you train just because it is fun and it feels good, you need to pinpoint your goal and always keep it in mind. You must plan every step you take in bodybuilding to bring you closer to your goal.

What's Your Goal? What Is Your Goal?

Is Your Goal Not Listed?
Click Below To Learn More About Goal Setting.

It is also important that you set realistic goals that you can achieve. As humans, success is one of the greatest things that we can experience. It boosts our self-esteem, our confidence, and it helps us stay motivated. Once we start seeing results from our training and fitness programs, we get motivated to continue until we accomplish our goal.

This is true of everybody. I believe it is the way we were designed. This is why something to work toward - a goal - is essential for all bodybuilders to have. So I encourage you to ask yourself, "Self, what is my goal?"

Avoiding Monotony In A Workout Program.

One important aspect when it comes to staying motivated, and ultimately sticking with a fitness program, is variety. It is a difficult task to complete a program, get in shape, or add muscle to your frame. These are things that take time and patience.

It is perfectly normal to get bored doing the same thing several times a week, but with motivation and proper variety in your routine, you can pave yourself a road to success.

It is extremely important to change-up your fitness routine occasionally. If you are performing the same workouts in the same order on the same days for months at a time, you are likely to get bored. The workouts become very stale. I recommend changing your routine every six weeks, if not sooner.

A variety will increase your motivation by preventing you from getting bored with a program and having it ultimately become something that you dread.

Variety does not only come in forms of changing an entire routine; performing variations of an exercise that you already do regularly can be something new and fun. For example, take a simple barbell curl, a movement that most of us perform, and try an extremely close or an extremely wide grip.

Not only will this help to avoid monotony, but it will also stimulate a more holistic growth of the bicep by targeting different parts of the muscle. Another simple, yet effective way to add some variety to your program is to change repetition amounts.

On a given workout day, decide to try doing a very high amount of repetitions. Even changing the speed of your reps will add variety and help fight boredom! Try extremely slow reps, fast reps, and slow down-explosive up. The point is, try something new!

Try performing a dumbbell bench press - something that many of us lack in our routines. Heck, it may even give your muscles the extra shock they need to promote more growth! Do you really want to miss out on that?

General Tips to Stay Motivated.

Log your progress:
Keeping a log or workout journal can be an excellent way to build motivation. You can look back in it and see how far you have come. Bodybuilding is a journey. It is about dedication. I strongly recommend logging your progress.

Get a training partner:
Training partners are excellent. You can keep each other motivated by encouraging one another and helping each other along through this lifestyle called bodybuilding. A training partner should be a friend, somebody you trust, and preferably someone with a similar physique to yours.

Get a mentor or idol:
This person will give you something to aim for. A real life example of what you want for yourself. My idol is Marcelo Caraveo. I have pictures of him posted on my walls to remind me of my goal and keep me motivated.

Listen to music:
I really believe that music can make the difference between an excellent workout or cardio session and an average one. Music affects our mood, and it comes out in our training. It can make a workout much more enjoyable. I suggest bringing an MP3 player to the gym with you every time!

Take a break every so often:
It is important to take a week off once in a while, perhaps in the transition from one program to another. It will not hurt you. It is a time for resting and recuperation of the body and mind.

Keep your goal in mind:
This is the most important and effective of all motivation techniques. At times, you might feel like putting the weights down, skipping a cardio session, or eating junk food.

At this time, I encourage you to stop, close your eyes and visualize your goal. What is it that you are working for? Reassure yourself that you can succeed with proper will power and perseverance.


Of all the aspects that come into the physical side of bodybuilding, I believe that a more powerful force decides whether or not we will fail or succeed in accomplishing our goals. A mental force called motivation.

If you lack motivation in your life, I recommend that you make it a top priority to obtain it. It could make the difference between good overall results and excellent ones!


ANI[I]AL - BodySpace

The Official Motivation Thread:
I've noticed a lot of you guys asking for things to motivate you/pump you up for the gym recently. So, other than a freezing cold shower (which actually works pretty damn well), here's some things i chucked together for you guys...

Superman.1987 - BodySpace

    "...for me it's seeing the look on the faces of the people who doubt you."

Andymuscle88 - BodySpace

      • Heavy Music
      • Sports Competition
      • Girls
      • Pushing my strength and my body

SPAM - BodySpace

The following phrase motivates me: "I will overcome any everyday genius with hard work."

Skelooth - BodySpace

What motivates me? The undying challenge of change. Knowing that every day will be met head on with the force of a raging bull. Purpose, direction, knowing where I stand physically amongst my peers.

I thrive on and love being the big guy, I love compliments from strangers about my muscles. I love the unwavering dedication that spills over into all aspects of my life.

Dedication Vs. Obsession.
I want you to avoid obsessive interest because only then will you actually have the chance to achieve your natural physique and strength potential. Learn the difference between dedication and obsession...
[ Click here to learn more. ]

I want to be a monster, no, I am a monster. This is not about losing weight for me, this is about survival of the fittest adapted to modern lifestyle. This is me being better than people who have been disrespectful in the past.

What drives me? The fight to exceed all known boundaries.

Skelooth (Again) - BodySpace

Motivation To Lose Fat
Copyright © 2006 Patrick Avella

You're overweight, you hate what you see in the mirror, but you can't seem to stop shoving food down your pie hole. What you lack is motivation. Motivation is that little voice in your subconscious mind that helps you stay the course of whatever you are dedicated to.

Dedication is that little voice in your subconscious mind that makes you keep doing it. It's one thing to say out loud that you'd like to whip your @ss into shape, but it's something entirely different to actually do it.

There's a lot of ways to get and stay motivated. Some are good, but some are bad. Some people may argue that whatever works is best, but this is not always the case. Many times I have come across people on the Internet who are sick of their bodies and are desparate for some type of motivation to get them to stay the course.

Unfortunately, many of them are looking for negative motivation. They think that if people call them fat, or make fun of their physique, they will be able to draw on that for motivation. Not only is this not the case, but this is a counter-productive measure that will only serve to further pummel your mind into the submission of a negative self view.

Good motivation comes from within. It is not something that someone can give you, it is not something that will come as a pill, and it's not something you're going to get out of an article. (No, not even this one.)

Motivation has to be of your own free will. It needs to be a burning desire deep within your stomach. It's a frame of mind that alters your course of life forever. A self-provoked epiphany.

Here's the difference between good motivation and bad motivation. A bad attempt at motivation is saying how much you hate yourself. This is bad for an incredible amount of reasons. First of all, you can not rectify the situation of hating yourself, because you can not change who you are.

If you do not like yourself, then how can you expect anyone else to? What does this attitude say about your general take on life? It's all very negative. Here's the same grain but with a different and much better perspective: "I hate my situation." Why is this so much better? Because you can change your situation. It's something that can be accomplished that is not hopeless.

Some people find their long-term motivation in different things. I know for a lot of us guys, the motivation is girls, girls, girls, and more girls. Some of us find a desire in athletic accomplishments, while some of us find the motivation in being able to play sports with our children. Unfortunately, finding this motivation is not as simple as saying you want to get laid, win a race, or play catch with junior.

Here's an analogy that deals with smokers. You can tell a smoker that they should really lay off the tobacco and they probably aren't going to pay much heed. Yet when a doctor tells that same person that they have lung cancer, an epiphany occurs.

Suddenly they realize the evils of smoking, and will most likely never touch another cigarette for as long as they live. Your desire to lose weight is the same way. When talking to people who have made amazing body transformations, you will find that the majority of them can trace what started it all to one epiphany invoking event or series of events in their lives. A time when they felt a cold dose of reality smacking them upside the head.

So then, how do you realize such a life-changing event? Chances are that you haven't yet, otherwise you wouldn't be in such short supply of motivation. Here's the deal - if you want the women, go hit on some women. If you want to win a race, go sign up for a race. Go for it, and try your hardest.

One of three things will happen. Either you'll do great and realize you were looking for motivation in the wrong area (remember your motivation will come from a situation you feel the need to change), you'll do moderately well, feel a sense of accomplishment, and realize you're looking for motivation in the wrong area, or... you will get your @ss kicked, feel moderately embarrassed, and find a burning seed of flame in your stomach that tells you to rectify the situation.

That's just one attempt to grow some burning desire. It's not guaranteed to work, but attempting something is better than doing nothing. What your life of fitness really comes down to is that you either have the balls to change your life permanently or you are stuck in the unhappy life you are currently living forever.

Neurological Link Programming.

For such a black and white question, it's amazing how hard it is to answer through your actions. Other things you may want to try are different forms of NLP (Neurological Link Programming). There are 3 types of very popular NLP that can be a powerhouse when combined:

      • Visualization
      • Negative Thought Diets/Reframing
      • Goal Sheets

Visualization is possibly the easiest and most popular form of NLP. Every day, find a quiet location. Take a few deep breaths, and visualize yourself the way you'd like to be in great detail. Visualize how you look, how you eat, the people by whom you are surrounded.

Visualize your perfect self, surrounded by your perfect life. We become what we think about. Think about it long enough and frequently enough and it will be permanently burned into your subconscious mind. Once there, the theory is that you will naturally progress towards those goals and situation.

Negative Thought Diets are great fun and can do wonders for your self image. The idea is simple... you are not allowed to have any negative thoughts. None! If at any time you catch yourself thinking something negative, it is your task to reframe the thought into something positive.

For example, if you find yourself saying to yourself that you're fat, you immediately stop the thought and replace it by telling yourself something positive like how fortunate you are that you carry your weight well or how great you look in your favorite outfit.

Even if it's a lie per se, that's okay, because the theory is that we become what we think about. With time, the hope is that you will cease having negative thoughts, and only have positive ones. This doesn't relate to bodybuilding directly, but changing your self image can have a large impact on how you conduct your life.

Goal Sheets are great for bodybuilding goals. Take a piece of notebook paper, and write down all of the things you'd like to accomplish in present tense. For example, you may want to write something similar to:

      • I have a great physique.
      • I'm the most valuable employee at my job.
      • My abs look like a washboard.
      • I love doing cardio.
      • I can bench press more than anyone else at my gym.
      • My diet is flawless.

You can literally go on for as long as you like when writing this list. It's very important to write it by hand and in present tense. Once you're done, great! Read it to yourself. In fact, take the time to read it to yourself 3-4 times evenly distributed throughout the day.

Fold it up, and keep it with you at all times. It will be your burden to carry this goal sheet with you, the very notion of having it on you will have a psychological impact on your behavior. Rewrite this list once a week, adding or changing the list however you feel is best. The theory behind the goal sheet is that you will burn these commands into your subconscious mind in the same manner as visualization.

You can not expect immediate results with NLP, nor is it guaranteed to work at all - but if you give it a serious effort for 6 weeks, you just may find that this psychological hocus pocus actually works. If it doesn't, then here's the mantra: Doing something is better than doing nothing.


If you still haven't found your motivation, there's still other things you can try. Here are some ideas: Find a diet and/or training partner, hire a personal trainer, join a support group, look at other people's progress pictures, or anything else that may have a focal point of keeping you inline.

Once you've found your burning seed of desire, hold onto it, cherish it, embrace it. With time, your burning seed will sprout into a flame that will eventually consume you, and dictate your permanent lifestyle. If the spark ever goes out, try to find that motivation again, and reclaim the flame. If you truly want to live the life you want to live, then you will do it without regrets.

You don't die until you give up and let it happen. You can attain anything within reason that you work for. Embrace that burning flame, hold it close, and take a long consistent ride into the future. The future looks good, because you're going to make it that way!

Blast_ - BodySpace

Quoting Dante, "I get a lot of emails and hear a lot of personal stories from guys that are bummed out, depressed, feeling like they won't ever be that bodybuilder they want to become. I also see some personal accounts on these boards and I want to respond to some of the guys who are 140 to 210 lbs. and are really trying in bodybuilding, but that I see are giving up hope.

Don't ever doubt yourself! Don't you ever f***ing doubt yourself! If you put your nose to the grindstone and be persistent, consistent, and driven, my promise to you is that you will make it to a very elite bodybuilder in the not too distant future.

I went 3.5 years once without missing a meal (6 a day) - if I did miss a meal, I set my alarm clock at 3 a.m. and got up even when I was dead tired and cooked it and ate it. If you really want this bad, and have that "I'm going to get this sh!t done" attitude, I guarantee you that you'll end up where you want.

Will you be a pro? No, and neither will 99.99% of everyone else out there. But if you push the limits and do what I have been trying to do with everyone for the last 4.5 years on the 'net (turn yourself into a fat-burning, muscle-building, blast furnace), you will get there!

I am no one special but I had people calling me "stickboy" and laughing about how skinny I was in the beginning when I told them I was "trying to become a bodybuilder" with my everpresent shopping bag with all my meals in it so I could eat every 2.5 hours.

Screw those people! Guess who kisses my @ss now when I go back to my old home town on the East Coast and go into my old gym. I don't want to see anyone in this forum thinking, "Man, I'm never going to make something out of myself as a bodybuilder..." Bullsh!t!!

Yes, you will - and don't let anyone tell you otherwise! Prove them wrong. Pick the bodyweight you know you need to be and eat up to that bodyweight while doing cardio and carb cutoffs to keep lean. Eat like a massive 300 lb. monster, and cardio like a guy who is 8% BF, and you're going to end up at 250 lbs., jacked!

This is your life, so don't listen to those people doubting you, they are going nowhere themselves and want to keep you at their level. Shore up all holes in your regimen:

Consistency in all of those is the key.

There is no doubt in my mind that I can turn anyone (and I mean anyone) into something special if they are willing to be meticulous, steadfast, and stay the course 100%. A lot of you keep jumping around and doing different things but if you really sit back in your chair and think it all out - you already know exactly what you need to do!

Almost every single guy reading this right now can turn themselves into one of the 5 best bodybuilders in their gym. Do not take 'no' for an answer! I had a pack of friends when I was 20 years old that I used to hang out with. They dwarfed me. I had by far the worst genetics, but I had 50 times the willpower of those guys.

One was muscular and naturally shredded, one had incredible genetics and looked like a bodybuilder anyway but when he lifted he got pretty incredible looking, one was 250 lbs. and a big monster with very limited lifting (lazy), one had slightly better genetics than me and he was also pretty determined.

I bypassed all of them in spades, every single one of them, because I have a "no ****ing way am I going to fail" drive to this sport. So, the next time you look in the mirror and doubt yourself and get bummed out because you're not where you want to be, I want you to remember this post.

If you want something bad enough and go at it with the best of your abilities and smarts, you might not become the best, or pro, or top of the class at it, but you will become pretty damn incredible at it, because of your fortitude and hard work. Don't let any son of a bitch tell you otherwise - this is your life. Get in that freaking power rack, make that logbook your bitch, and get it done!"

Pureiron1819 - BodySpace

My motivation is thinking about 2nd place, and how I will not become the 1st place loser. My motivation comes on every heavy squat, every heave bench, every heavy deadlift... I say, "this is what separated 1st from 2nd, and there's no effing chance I'm going to stop now!"

Clevertd - BodySpace

My motivation is to avoid my dad's fate: double-bypass surgery, a stint, and a few heart attacks.

Eggy_wont_grow - BodySpace

Knowing that, in time, I will be stronger than most people twice my bodyweight, and once I reach a bodyweight close to them, I'll have the looks and the strength to go with it.

Knowing that with every workout I am getting stronger, and that progress, no matter how small or slow, adds up to big changes at the end of the year.

Knowing that the more sacrifices I make now, the better the reward will be in the end. And knowing that one day I will be better - physically, mentally, and aesthetically - than 99% of people around me. That's my motivation.

Mirror_6996 - BodySpace

"I have a friend who lost both his parents in a terrible car accident. He also had one leg amputated from the thigh down, broken ribs, arm, etc. Rather than live a life of misery, he has turned it around and hits the gym harder and with more passion than anyone I know.

He has an excellent body, considering what he has been through. I always think about him when I don't feel like lifting weights. I hit the gym shortly after."

Cssprophet - BodySpace

I lift for myself, because of what I was, what I am, and what I can be with hard work, determination, blood, sweat, and tears. I fear the man in the mirror staring back at me - taunting me, daring me, belittling me. I lift to be stronger than him, bigger than him, faster than him... better than him.

Kumdie - BodySpace

First of all, I am a big fan of motivational sayings - they are taped on my door and I see them every time I enter my room and every time I workout.

Hopefully these will motivate others, too (maybe you should even throw 'em on a t-shirt):

      1. Shut up and train.
      2. Life is a mental game you just got to know how to play it.
      3. Pain is the best instructor, but no one wants to go to his class.
      4. When in doubt, knock 'em out.
      5. Get busy living, or get busy dying.
      6. I can sleep when I die.
      7. Curls for the girls.
      8. They call me a bully... but I only pick on bigger kids.

And... my favorite one:

      1. Every time you stay out late,
        Every time you sleep in,
        Every time you miss a meal,
        Every time you miss a workout,
        You make it that much easier for me to beat you.

Also the music I listen to, which is all rock and rap (being loud helps me crank out those extra reps!) - without it my workouts would suck.

And, last but not least, seeing and hearing what my brother and dad used to look like at my age and wanting to get bigger then them.

Jdiritto - BodySpace

Some cool quotes I've collected...

"That which your mind can perceive, you can achieve."

"Nothing was ever done without starting."

"I keep running... because it gives me more than I give it. No matter how much energy I burn, it gives me back even more energy. I don't know how it really works. I don't want to waste any energy questioning it."

"I don't smile when I am working out. It is not fun and I don't really enjoy it. In fact, sometimes it can be painful and make you want to throw up. But I will continue to do it everyday for the rest of my life. Sometimes, the body is all we have in this life."

"Arrogance is thinking you are better than everyone else and telling them so; confidence is knowing you are better than everyone else, and keeping your mouth shut!"

"If you lift weights but don't squat, quit kidding yourself... You are not tough. You don't have the balls to handle physical or mental pain. You laugh and joke through your workout, hitting on chicks who will **** you over anyway, talk big sh!t, and just get in other people's way. Well, I'm tired of you, you skinny little pretty boy - so get off my battlefield, quit pretending to be rough, and stay a little pussy your whole life."

"Passion is training endlessly to line up against the best in the game." --Carlos Rogers

"You don't really know what the human body can do, until you force it to do something." --Priest Holmes

"The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses - behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights." --Muhammad Ali

"It's not that I can't stop. It's that I won't stop."

"The more I sweat in practice, the less I bleed in battle."

"The body walks the walk, it doesn't stop with that. The body is where it starts... The brain is where it's at. No matter how big and strong I get, my physique will always remain the weakest chain in the link. I want everything else to be even better than the body I present, 'cause life is about more than the appearance, I know that's true. I always leave my ego at the door."

"I'm just a climber halfway up the mountain looking up and down... Sure, there are a lot of people climbing up below me, but to get to the top, I, myself, still have some serious work left." --Mr. Aries

DAv3 - BodySpace

"Rome wasn't built in a day! Remember that."

ItsurboyS - BodySpace

1. Look Backward - Sometimes the best way to drive yourself to future gains is to note how far you've come. (Assuming you've made some sort of gain).

2. Look Forward - You need to have long range goals in order to maximize your gym time. Make your goal challenging but realistic.

What's Your Goal? What Is Your Goal?

Is Your Goal Not Listed?
Click Below To Learn More About Goal Setting.

3. Keep A Journal - Have specific targets for each workout. A journal will help you both monitor past progress and plot your personal best.

4. Change Your Workouts - It is difficult to keep your enthusiasm up if for months you do the same exercises in the same order every time you train. Either add a new exercise, or bring back an old one you haven't used in a long time. Many successful bodybuilders change something every workout.

5. Change Your Environment - It is hard to stay motivated if you regularly have to wait in like to use the equipment. If the equipment and overall ambiance of the place are not up to par, maybe it is time you consider switching gyms.

6. Eliminate The Negative - Often the things that hurt your training occur outside the gym (i.e.,money problems, work problems, relationship problems, etc.), and these can rob you of your will to work out.

7. Watch The Best - Watch DVDs of accomplished bodybuilders before a workout. This will "psych" you up for a workout.

8. Read The Best - And of course, read as much as you can to gain knowledge. There are many sources available to you, such as BB.com, and other BB forums and websites - magazines and books, as well.

Jflballer - BodySpace

It's crazy how much music motivates me in the gym, or when I'm trying to accomplish anything. It's usually about 20-30 tracks that I listen to for a few weeks that keep me motivated.

Badrymz - BodySpace

I hated every minute of training, but I said, don't quit.

"Suffer now and live the rest of your life a champion." --Muhammad Ali

1dayIWillBeBig - BodySpace

"If not now... when?"

"Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved."

TDW586 - BodySpace

"Show me a guy who's afraid to look bad, and I'll show you a guy you can beat every time." --Lou Brock

"If at first you don't succeed, you are running about average." --M.H. Alderson

"Power is not revealed by striking hard or often, but by striking true." --Honore de Balzac

"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will." --Mahatma Gandhi

Bodydropped96 - BodySpace

Wake up, walk to the bathroom, and look in the mirror. What do you see? I see another chance, another 24 hours to get it right, another chance to win the day. So there you have it... 24 chances with every new day. What a gift. Stop stalling. It never gets any easier.

The weight never magically gets lighter. Cardio never gets easier. Dieting never gets fun and you will never be big enough. That's not the point. Those are all good things. That's what makes membership to the club so special. If it was easy, what would make it special?

That's the reason you carry yourself as a warrior, a champion. You have pride because, "Glory belongs to the one who runs when there is no race." Your time is this minute, this day, this week. So keep running even if there is no race. The clock is ticking. Stand up now. Attack now. Destroy now.

Fogerchini - BodySpace

My motivation is my 8-month-old son. I am 36 and I want to see him grow up and I also want to be able to play with him when he gets older, so I am trying to stay in shape. Plus, I don't want to be one of those couch potatoes with a belly when I get old. I want to be the sexy old guy that all the women look at. (Ha ha!)

Bradford - BodySpace

My motivation is my 18-month-old son. I am 37 now, so I'll always be an older dad, but I want to be in good shape to throw a football around and play basketball with him when he's in high school and I'm in my 50's.

Plus, this year I've really decided to get into good shape because of my 20-year high school reunion! I was about 6', 135-140 lbs. when I graduated high school. At my 10-year reunion, having grown to 6'3", I was one of the three tallest people out of my class, but I still only weighed about 155 lbs.

It's only since I hit my mid-thirties and got married that I've been able to gain any weight, so this time I don't just want to be tall and skinny, I want to be in the best shape of any guy at my reunion!

Rippedboy - BodySpace

In summary, I weighed around 135 lbs. at my high school graduation. I wasn't like a geek or anything, just was always extremely thin. I guess I first started working out somewhat during college, where I graduated at around 155 lbs. or so. Then through my 20's, I got more into it and my weight got up to around 165 lbs. or so.

But, at that time I didn't really have a clue about the whole protein thing or anything - I just worked out with my buddies for something to do, and I was getting a little results, which was cool.

Fast forward to 1997, in my early 30's... I blew out a disc in my neck and had surgery to remove it. I had the whole neck brace thing for 6 weeks, etc. After that, I was pretty pathetic - I only weighed about 150 lbs., and lost any size that I had during that from not eating good or training.

Then I started working with a trainer who educated me on proper diet, supplements, etc. I already had a pretty good training regimen, but it got a h*ll of a lot more intense. Anyway, I ended up at 195 lbs., ultimately, by the following year, where I was even a bouncer for awhile at my buddy's club in the city.

I am only 5'8", so being at 195 lbs. was pretty impressive for me. And I was pretty solid at 195 lbs., not a big gut or anything. By that time, I had come to love training and just kept taking it to different heights. Keeping in mind that I got married in 1996, and we had our first child in 1999, where the bouncer thing had ended; it was just a side job to keep me out of trouble while my wife was pregnant.

The moral to this story is that I am now 39, and possibly in the best shape of my entire life. I really started a "personal mission" about 3 years ago, right before our second child was born. Maybe because I knew 40 was approaching, or just due to my chiropractor always getting on my case about lifting heavy weights, etc. So I began to dabble with dieting, and here I am 2 months from the big 40, and I weigh a solid 165+ lbs. - pretty tight and defined.

I can't begin to tell you how cool it is to have people now looking up to me because of my accomplishments. I realize that I am nowhere near perfect, nor will ever be, but I don't look too different from any 20 something dudes at my gym. I now work with a lot of people that I know to help them get in better shape, etc., and I love it.

Also, seeing people that I went to school with and stuff, now the tables have completely turned. I have the body that people envy, whereas in the past I used to almost obsess over others.

I am so humble about it all though, since the most important thing to me is my family and my spirituality. (I teach 8th grade Religious Education), but bodybuilding is like a passion that I hope to carry on for years to come, like so many of you on this site. I tip my hat to you all who remain working out and keeping fit!

Good luck to you! Nothing is impossible with dedication and hard work!!

Bignbuff - BodySpace

"Rocky." "The Karate Kid." Those are my two favorites for motivation.

Cbjewelz - BodySpace

"Pumping Iron." I probably watch it about once or twice a week (w/ special features and all - ha ha)! It makes me want to hit the gym so badly.

Mad Dog162 - BodySpace

Some tunes that get me pumped:

5 Minutes Alone - Pantera
Alive - P.O.D.
Always - Saliva
Bodies - Drowning Pool
Cochise - Audioslave
Come On - Waterproof Blonde
Cowboys From Hell - Pantera
Dirty Magic - Offspring
Defy You - Offspring
Enemy - Sevendust
Fight Music - D12
Glass Shatters - Disturbed
I Want To Conquer The World - Bad Religion
It's My Life - Bon Jovi
Last Resort - Papa Roach
Lose Yourself - Eminem
My Way - Limp Bizkit
Out Of My Way - Seether
Remedy - Cold
Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana
Song 2 - Blur
St. Anger - Metallica
Step Up - Drowing Pool
Superstar II - Saliva
Whatever - Our Lady Peace

Corpsedub - BodySpace

Respect... That's what pushes me.