Nearly every bodybuilder that I have ever met considers themselves “Hard-core᾿ or the many dedicated, knowledgeable, or hardest instruction athlete in the gym. Over the two decades I have spent in the sport I have already been asked many times what does it really take to be successful in the sport? My solution might surprise you but without a doubt it’s a question everyone has to ask themselves. What’s more is the answer you give yourself reflects regardless of whether you’re a Real Bodybuilder or Just another Wannabee!
Most magazines, scientists, plus competitor’s are quick to point out genetics as the deciding factor. During the surface there seems to be some truth to this when a person looks much deeper into the sport this is not necessarily the situation. In fact in every contest I have ever competed in, or watched You will find rarely seen the person with the greatest genetics win the show.
I asked my friend, legendary bodybuilding trainer Scott Abel the same question about what he believes makes a true bodybuilder successful, and Scott’s answer was pretty quick. He summed up in one word᾿ “Heart᾿
Now Scott has trained over 200 titled winners on all levels from amateurs᾿ right up to Olympia contenders including myself to a National Title as well as a birth into the Mr. Galaxy contest. He’s also had a chance to work with the broadest range of personas, genetics, and mental aptitudes so his opinion carries a lot of weight.
I tend to agree with Scott. Through my own experience coaching thousands of bodybuilders around the world I feel the real successes are the guys/gals who understand that muscle building has more to do what’s going on within the mind than anything else.
Winning Is available in Many Forms
Winning and success come in many forms and so many people equate a trophy or a name with success. Considering how many from the top professional and amateur bodybuilders in the world have serious health problems plus rather chaotic personal lives it’s hard to equate success with their professional status or their drug-swollen body. That being said, there are a handful of professionals that embody the ideals of correct bodybuilding but they are definitely few and far between.
Naturally , you have all kinds of guys/gals in the fitness center coming up with a host of reasons why these people haven’t stuck with their diet, adopted through on their training schedule, and just not made the gains they desire. Even though both cases represent opposite finishes of the extreme; everyone fits someplace in between and many are still left inquiring the question᾿ What makes a “True Bodybuilder? ᾿
While everyone has to look for the answer for himself, my own definition of True Bodybuilding is significantly distinct from “The Hardcore᾿ Version portrayed in the top Magazines. Although at one time I actually aspired to be like the “gargantuan᾿ individuals who grace the pages of the periodicals, I had a change of heart as soon as I reached the National Championship Level. Here’s why.
Drug PACKED Bodybuilding – The Fast Track in order to Self Destruction
You see I realized almost the entire competitive bodybuilding scene had almost nothing to do with “Real Bodybuilding᾿ In fact it was more like body devastation. Many of these athletes I was competing along with and against, had become ingested by the desire to build massive muscle tissues and resorted to using massive amount of drugs that damaged their particular health.
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While their physiques plus muscles are definitely impressive, they had built them at the cost of their health as well as the personal lives.
I personally consider this to be a psychological condition of illness similar to anorexia, or obsessive-compulsive problem and indeed some psychologists have tagged the condition “Muscle Dysmorphia᾿ Many “hardcore᾿ bodybuilders have become so obsessed with competitions, muscular size, body fat levels, diets, etc . that every other aspect of their own lives has shrunk smaller then their testes on a 10 season cycle.
I know how this dysfunctional psychology can limit one’s life because for 10 years I took place that path. Fortunately, I flipped the corner and saw “the light᾿ so to speak, and recognized that there was obviously a lot more to life than a 20-inch adjustable rate mortgage. I understand how the pressures of sports excellence lead some athletes to turn to drug usage. I am not really condoning the act however I simply recognize how athletes rationalize drug usage and get caught in the “machine᾿ of high performance sports.
Although it seems things are getting worse in the athletic world as opposed to better with the increase in volume of high profile athletes testing good for drug use; I believe the particular increased awareness of what’s going on in sports will eventually change the course of athletics, including what I call the return to True Bodybuilding.
Don’t Enjoy Russian Roulette With Your Health
Now what’s even crazier than having drugs for athletic performance, may be the sheer number of individuals, who use muscle building drugs thinking it a short reduce to an impressive body. Countless scores of young men and women in muscle building are resorting to any number of medications to change their appearance.
These misguided people who often purchase these drugs in the underground market from “dubious sources, ᾿ are playing Russian roulette with their health. Often these medications are fake, veterinarian, or “home made᾿ drugs not intended for human being consumption.
Many of these men/women delusively believe they will stop taking drugs once they add that extra inch for their arms or lose that next percentage of fat. As soon as they will stop the drugs, the muscles have passed away, the fat comes back, and they start looking for the next “fix᾿ This units a vicious cycle of enslavement to the drugs, as the individual has unconsciously linked drugs to a much better physique and built a dependence on them to improve the cosmetic look of their body.
What’s worse is the fact that ever cycle of drugs damages the delicate balance within the body’s biochemistry, making it harder to improve, along with setting oneself up for problems later on. One only has too glance at the rate of top professional and amateur bodybuilders who are dying too early or contracting severe disease to illustrate the true cost of short-sighted considering.
True bodybuilding is about self-improvement. Developing muscles, losing body fat, and framing or defining the physique, tend to be more about expressing one’s essence compared to an absolute outcome.
Everybody’s ideal body is a little bit different and the just judge that matters is the a single looking back at you in the mirror. Interestingly, what one views in the mirror has more to do with the program in one’s head than the true-image reflected in the mirror.
When Sports activity Becomes Art
I feel that any time a human pursuit reaches the highest form it becomes art. Artwork transcends boundaries, both personal plus cultural, and cannot be defined by traditional linear models of thinking made famous by mainstream culture. Titles, dimensions, accolades, or even social approval do not reflect one’s inner journey or personal experience and expression.
Definitions or belief systems have no inbuilt meaning other than what is ascribed to them by various social groups. Interestingly, each social group will ascribe a very different value on a subject, and each group tends to think that its opinion is the correct 1.
Art transcends all of these standard explanations and conveys a feeling or an emotion that is hard to contextualize with words. It is this essence that makes art fascinating. Often times a certain skills in the subject matter is essential to fully appreciate the experience. In other words, the more someone becomes familiar with a subject, in this case bodybuilding, the more one can recognize, genius, greatness, or the artistic.
Watching Tom Platz blast out 20 plus reps with 500 pounds goes beyond physical accomplishment. The process becomes art. One more example would be a football receiver scuba diving through the air, to catch the pass with one hand, in between 2 defenders, while simultaneously dragging each feet before flying out of bounds. These types of moments or events go way beyond the physical achievements or quantitative description.
These “defining moments᾿ are what millions of viewers watch out for daily in sports. The event could stage that presents an opportunity for your athlete to transcend the normal meanings of their chosen sport. The thing is, in order for an athlete to get to the “sporting promised-land᾿ or at least the highlight fishing reel, years of practice, failures, unseen times, victories, and defeats have all been part and parcel to the “defining moment᾿
What is it that pushes anyone to “be all they can be᾿ What is the “X-factor᾿ that drives people to break previous limits of the past? Whilst it’s hard to contextualize the fact of what makes a person a true bodybuilder, one only has to look at the Specific Olympics to get a deeper understanding of the difference between real athletes vs . “wannabee᾿ pretenders.
The Special Olympians: The Ultimate Example of Athletic Spirit
The sports athletes who compete in the Special Olympics do so with a spirit that in many ways demonstrates the highest ideals of athleticism. Although these physically and mentally challenged people may not break world records, or appear on the front page of the sports activities section of the newspaper, they demonstrate the power of the human spirit. These remarkable individuals compete with a chastity, dedication, and determination that encourage anyone and everyone. It is this particular intangible spirit that comes from within that propels each person to greatness and is the secret to personal accomplishment.
“Wannabee’s᾿ perform activities for the glory, the particular prestige, or for narcissistic satisfaction. Sometimes these actions manifest from a low self-esteem. I can’t tell you how many 250lb bodybuilders I have met who “thought they were small᾿ or how many stunningly beautiful fitness women complain that they are “too fat᾿ To me these athletes represent the most severe in the sport, and cast a negative image to the real athletes (bodybuilders) who work day in and day trip, to simply improve the physical expression of the Self.
Wannabee’s strut around the fitness centers like peacocks, they put down the accomplishments of others, make excuses for their personal shortcomings and exaggerate their own accomplishments. In other words they say “I am a “bodybuilder᾿ or “I’m Hardcore᾿ etc but their thoughts of self-image is totally defined by what they see within the mirror or what the scale reads. Often the self-image of Wannabee’s are extremely distorted and borders on delusion.
When you let anything define you, whether it’s your job, your sports activity, or a relationship, you can bet you have a “wannabee᾿ or distorted belief program that will invariably lead to problems at some time in the future. Often times it takes a crash to the bottom of society with somewhat painful consequences for these individuals to try out a “Reality Check᾿
Self Improvement is The Essence of Real Bodybuilding
The actual bodybuilder recognizes that Bodybuilding will be something that they do, not something that they may be. There is a big difference between these two images of self because the first description limits oneself or what one can be, while the second opens up associated with a greater Self or broader description on one’s Self.
The importance of Real Bodybuilding is simply the pursuit of self-improvement through physical activity that enhances the development and perform of the physical body. This pursuit can lead to a deeper awareness of the internal or subtle workings of one’s own existence. I think Bill Pearl has summed it up better than anybody else in the title of his best-selling bodybuilding book “Keys to the Inner Universe᾿
To further illustrate my point from a more extreme perspective, I will use this example. Some bodybuilders visit me and say I am training my legs as hard as can but I am not puking from sets. Can you show me how to teach so hard that I puke?
While this seems ridiculous, this type of mentality does persist inside bodybuilding. Puking from a fixed is often times viewed as a logo of honor or welcome achievement in the “Bodybuilding Brotherhood᾿ This type of mindset is what has kept the awesome power of bodybuilding away from the public and transformed a positive form of personal expression into a “narcissistic, self-absorbed, anti-social, cult-like, behavior relegated to the “lunatic fringe᾿
Numerous companies create advertisements around this whole behavior by glorifying pain, suffering, and illustrating imagery of a 250lb man standing over a bucket or a pool of be sick on the floor. While most individuals in modern society would be horrified or disgusted by such a picture, many in the muscle building world embrace it, identifying greatness, or achievement with the process of vomiting.
As bizarre as it sounds, the above mentioned scenario is illustrative of how the act is often mixed up with the purpose of the individual. This is a very thin line of consciousness but a very important one to understand it one’s bodybuilding pursuits are to be crowned with success.
Heart is how someone pushes themselves to the limits of their physical being. Any person; who else tests themselves regularly, with weight training to improve their body, is a real bodybuilder. Real Bodybuilding takes heart and it has nothing to do with how big someone is, just how much they bench, or how many titles they have won.
Real bodybuilding is all about the journey of self.
It’s a way to express oneself while improving your health, your awareness, and your self-esteem. Real bodybuilding helps to synchronize your brain, Body, and Soul connection plus enhances every aspect of one’s life. It’s a phenomenal tool for self -improvement and self-discovery. After a duration of lifting you can still learn something totally new about yourself and you can still improve.