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Old 03-02-2010, 03:29 PM   #1
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Default Psychology behind Bodybuilding

This is a subject I have been thinking about quite a bit lately as I've been working to better my understanding and increase my success in bodybuilding.

The primary principle behind success in bodybuilding is effort. In other words, knowledge, form, nutrition, programs, etc., etc., don't mean diddly if you don't actually do them.

From a lifting point of view, "more effort meaning more results" is easy to comprehend. But it doesn't just apply to pushing hard in the gym. It applies to all aspects of your lifestyle and attitude surrounding the bodybuilding effort.

The idea of effort does not supercede (replace) the other principles. Effort alone is not enough. Anyone who's learned anything about bodybuilding principles knows that form matters (hopefully). One cannot simply throw effort haphazardly. Rather, the effort must be applied to proper principles.

Effort CANNOT overwhelm the principles. THIS IS KEY, and the primary point that I want to make.

Take any given individual who has never set foot in any realm of bodybuilding whatsoever. Give them a perfect plan for ideal results. What are the chances of them succeeding do you think? Not good? I would say not good. Why? Because the likelihood of them having the discipline to do what needs to be done isn't good. Now, it would be easy to respond with a general attitude of, "Suck it up. Don't be a wuss. You deserve to fail if you can't put out the needed effort. Etc..." But I believe it's significantly more complicated than that.

If we make a simple comparison of one's ability to discipline and physical strength it might be easier to understand. If a beginner walks into a gym and responsibly lifts with good form, pushing hard and getting a good workout, but their physical strenth is very limited, most of us would not look down on them in the least. We would think that they are simply starting the journey. And good for them. But take the same individual and this time they quit the workout halfway through after whining the entire time... Now what do you think of them? Not so forgiving, right?

Now let's go 10 years down the road. The individual in scenario A. has continued to go to the gym without complaint, but hasn't ever bothered to push harder. They're still lifting about the same weight and still look the same. That same individual in scenario B, on the other hand, perhaps did come back to the gym...though a month later. They spent a year going only on mondays...then whimping out the rest of the week...but eventually, they got more used to it. They grew up some more. They started cleaning up their diet. Their attitude improved. They learned, bit by bit, to relish the challenge and the difficulty. For the last few years they have pushed themselves and pushed hard. They are seeing some serious results now.

What do you think of the two individuals now?

Can you see my point. The journey of maturity and discipline is similar to a journey of strenght. Having the needed discipline for successful bodybuilding is not a simple, you have it or you don't, issue. It, like strength, is a journey. In most ways, it is a more difficult journey.

Applying that to oneself -- where are you with your discipline? That becomes the question we have to ask. Accordingly, we each have to respond in two ways. 1. Compensate for our weaknesses. If you can't curl 100 lbs, don't curl 100 lbs. If you try, you'll fail and hurt yourself. Everyone in the gym will laugh. Apply to discipline - if you can't handle a 6 day a week workout, then workout 4 days a week. If you can't handle a 30 minute run, do a 20 minute run. Etc., etc.... 2. Work on improving and growing. Just like with the curl example. You push your strength up. Add just a bit each week. Get that last rep out. Get a spotter. Work, work, work. Apply to discipline. Go 21 minutes on the treadmill tomorrow. Add one extra exercise to your workout each month. Work, work, work. Little by little, your discipline will grow.

Growing mentally and emotionally as we bodybuild is almost as important in most cases as growing physically. Without the mental and emotional strength we are as likely as not to fail physically.

Haphazardly throwing oneself mentally and emotionally into bodybuilding is as likely to overwhelm as throwing oneself haphazardly into a deadlift is likely to injure. Ultimately, we should understanding that bodybuilding is a mental and emotional game as much as it is a physical one.
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Old 03-02-2010, 04:30 PM   #2
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This is a good post. You add a lot to the forum, and I'm damn glad you're here. I am going to workout and get back to this
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Old 03-02-2010, 05:23 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by BendtheBar View Post
This is a good post. You add a lot to the forum, and I'm damn glad you're here. I am going to workout and get back to this
Thanks. It's actually nice to feel like I can spout my fountain of bull without too much stress that I'll be berated. I feel like I have some good insight. But I'm just as likely to say something stupid too.
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