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The Ten Golden Rules of Bodybuilding

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Follow these 10 golden rules, and you will be well on your way to becoming a successful bodybuilder and fitness enthusiast

1. Having mental focus and mental awareness

Mental focus has to be one of the most critical components in bodybuilding. It would be extremely challenging to establish a successful bodybuilding career without having mental focus. The sport of bodybuilding can bring many pressures in life as well as bring you success. The success part can be very gratifying but the journey or road ahead can include lots of bumps along the way, wrong turns or plans not following through. The development of mental focus and mental awareness has to be learnt, developed and applied in order to be successful.

What does mental focus and mental awareness mean to a bodybuilder?  It can mean knowing how to keep stress under control, knowing how not to get distracted easily or knowing how to stay grounded.

2. Importance of nutrition

In the bodybuilding world the importance of nutrition shouldn’t be taken lightly. To misunderstand the importance of nutrition is like misunderstanding that a new born baby needs to be fed “healthy” formula or breast milk versus a can of diet soda. Think about that one for a second. In life we sometimes lose or let go of the delicacy we are brought up with as an infant to self-sabotaging ourselves in adulthood. Nutrition is 70-80 percent of your results in bodybuilding. Not taking away anything from weight training but the real work starts once you step outside the gym doors.

3. Preparation

Planning ahead will give you time to be more productive and increase the efficiency of your daily routine. Can you imagine going to school without your professor being prepared to teach class, Or a doctor having to perform surgery without surgical instruments? In the bodybuilding world preparation can mean envisioning the intensity of a workout or having food prepped for the week.

4. Inner Belief

Self-doubt can cause lots of destruction to oneself. It can limit you in many ways and cause you to stay stagnant and fearful of pursuing your bodybuilding dreams. Inner belief starts with having or developing an I can mentality. “I can” mentality can mean having the inner belief within yourself to know that you can achieve any realistic goal you set forth.  It’s very important to continuously have this deep belief within yourself no matter what circumstances of life may bring.

5. Awareness

Awareness is being able to know when to change an exercise routine when you`ve reached a plateau or to make adjustments to your sleeping patterns in order help muscle growth. Maybe you have been experiencing bloating, lack of energy and lack of muscle development. This may require you to pay more attention to your nutrition or training routine. Being aware of the environment around you can also make a world of a difference.  Try to associate yourself with likeminded people who are on the same healthy path as you. Perhaps surround yourself with people who have already had a successful career in bodybuilding or with individuals who adopt a great uplifting attitude.

6. Ego Check

Bodybuilding is sadly sometimes notorious for its big egotistic culture. A lot of this has to do with each individual’s own image. This can raise a question like. How comfortable are you really in our own image? Are you comfortable enough to know that you`ve developed a great physique without taking your shirt of after a hard set of chest press in the gym? I believe that sometimes as bodybuilders we like to feel like we are inferior to everyone else not knowing that we can be affecting the insecurities of others around us.  We can also be exposing the insecurities about ourselves. Try to practice staying humble, helpful and work towards being professional.

7. Persistence

Having persistence despite of failing or not seeing change will help you grow mentally and physically as a bodybuilder. Setting a daily/weekly routine and following it over a period of time will bring much success. Don’t give up and trust your struggles.

8. Out of the box

Lee Haney, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ronnie Coleman are some of greatest bodybuilder to name a few who thought outside the box. Each of them had their own style on and off the stage. Challenge yourself and don’t be afraid to try new things and experiment with new innovative nutrition and weight training techniques.

9. Intelligent training

Applying intelligence to your training routine can help to preserve your body during your bodybuilding career. Intelligent training consists of not over training which can lead to plateaus and even injury.  It means knowing how your body works and how it responds to certain movements with particular exercises.

10.  How important are supplements in the bodybuilding?

The Supplement industry has gained big notoriety in the bodybuilding world. While it definitely helps to aid progress whether you’re looking to increase muscle mass, increase the intensity of your training sessions or burn fat. Proper nutrition and an effective training routine should be placed first ahead of supplements.  I often get asked what supplements I take to get lean or put on muscle mass. My first response is what is your nutrition like? Supplements only benefit you when you follow a consistent clean eating lifestyle and training program.

Exercise is not just for kids and athletes.  Following a regular exercise routine pays off, both physically and mentally.

Bodybuilding is a great sport which requires great discipline. To be a successful bodybuilder it’s important to practice awareness and patience. Follow a specific goal with a consistent nutrition plan and exercise routine. Most of all learn use past failures to progress and grow.

“Always believe in your abilities”

Justin Mondor is the co-founder of Gym Star, an elite athletic apparel company. He has a wealth of experience in writing about bodybuilding, fitness and nutrition. Follow him on Twitter.

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