8 Little Known Traits of Successful Bodybuilders

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

We all know the “rules” of bodybuilding.  Hard work (intensity), applied consistently over a period of time

will yield significant results.

But some of the best and most impressive bodybuilders have traits that might surprise you. Here’s how having faith, angry and focused (in the right ways) can create breakthrough success on your own body.

1.  Don’t Over Analyze

While listening to another episode of the Skip LaCour podcast, Skip said something that struck home and it’s something I’ve been thinking and noticing for the longest time in my own industry.

The level of knowledge and attention to detail rarely matches the physique.

If it’s your job to know this stuff, by all means learn and if you just thrive on facts and interesting fitness information, by all means, go for it.  Learning is fun but my point is…

Don’t get so caught up in the stuff that doesn’t matter that you forget the basics.

Some of the smartest people I know in this field don’t even look like they train!

Don’t sweat the small stuff.  Just train like a madman (or woman), workout hard and do just enough to stimulate growth.  If your program is working for you, forget the validation.  Just keep doing it!

2.  Don’t Know Everything

A lot of times, I think beginners have the BEST advantage.  Their minds are open.  They are willing to listen and try new things.  After some time, reading and training, they start to lose that beginners edge that makes their minds open and ready to absorb like a sponge.  Not knowing everything and keeping an open mind will allow you to move through the journey and not worry about some ultimate destination.

Building muscle and burning fat is not a singular destination that once you reach, that’s all she wrote.  It’s a series of journeys back and forth using different concepts and times of year to keep making progress.  By allowing yourself not to know it all, you actually become smarter and more able to understand concepts and reason better.

All to often I meet somebody who’s not even close to their potential, they are 40 lbs or more off their stated goals and yet, they know more than anybody else.  They know more than many of the experts put together.

What they don’t understand is they’ve learn some good things and some bad and aren’t able to ditch the bad stuff and keep learning because once you’ve told yourself you know it all.  Your mind shuts off to new or different information that could otherwise help you.

You don’t have to be a beginner physically for that long but if you can keep the beginners mindset, you’ll be smarter than most.

3.  Get Mad Once and While

Vent!  Get angry and use that anger to direct it towards actively doing something about it.  Better yet, use that pent up angst to workout harder in the gym and take it out on the weights.  Working out is a super stress reliever.  Stress is a killer, literally.

It’s okay to get mad and use that frustration to push yourself.  Being frustrated or angry becuase something isn’t happening in your physique is okay.

4.  Stop Trying to Discount and Debunk Every Theory

It’s fine to have some clarity and certainty in what you are doing.  Spending excessive amounts of time debating and debunking every training theory or new program is mostly a quest for validation that whatever you are doing is the right thing to do.  It becomes self-justification.

Some of the most successful bodybuilders I know don’t know everything about nutrition or how muscle grows.  They just follow the basics and make significant progress.  They don’t spend hours trying to prove their theories (unless they have a theory).  They just do it.

I’m not really worried if deadlifts should be done on a back day or a leg day or if there is a slightly better way to squat if I don’t go to parallel.  I’ve seen message forum threads about protein deprivation go on for over 10 pages from people (who I don’t know their credentials) attempt to prove it cannot work.

5.  Break the Unbreakable Rules

Give yourself some wiggle room.  Let’s put it this way, if you skip 1 workout in a 7 day week, you just missed 14%!  That same workout in a year is only .2%.  Which is so minor, you’ve never know about it and it does not matter.

Skip a week and you’ve missed 100% of your potential progress.  That same week is roughly 0.3% in 6 years.

Put things into perspective.  Consistency is the backbone of progress.  It’s what will make your physique change over years and have your family and friends asking for your super secret plan.  What “illegals” you took to get huge or what diet you followed to lose the baby fat.

Give yourself some room to make mistakes.  You miss a meal?  Big deal.  You didn’t drink your allotted water for the day?  So what.  You missed legs?  Oh no how will you survive!  Don’t make a habit of breaking the rules (that’s called inconsistency) but missing some stuff here and there is not a deal breaker.

6.  Take a Leap of Faith

Sometimes it is just good to follow a new program or nutritional idea to the letter.  Instead of worrying if it will work or the reasons why it can’t work, just follow it.  Don’t ask questions initially.  Later you can take the results and introduce your own perceptions and feelings.  Instead of saying that a certain rep range cannot build muscle, just try it.  Take a leap of faith and see if the concept turns into real world results.

While everybody is different there are fundamentals and principles that work for everybody all of the time.  Debating, over analyzing eventually leads to paralysis.

Once you have reach the point where you can no longer try anything new because it goes against what you know to be true, that’s when you will cease to make progress.

When I start a new training program that I think will work based on what I’ve read, I look for some certainty and validation but I follow it to the letter.  I don’t ask questions.  I don’t e-mail the author and argue why it cannot work.  I try it and if it works, I keep it for later use.  If not, I toss it out.  I’ve saved countless hours and headaches not wasting my time trying to prove somebody wrong when in the end, all it would truly be is validation that whatever I’m doing at the time is the right thing to do.

To be honest, nobody know exactly how muscle is built.  All we know is that the right amount of stimulation, not too much and not too little, is how it grows through weight training.

7.  Forget Genetics and Focus on You

I can’t tell you how many e-mails and phone consultations I’ve done when the 2nd question is about genetics and the potential to succeed.  Whenever that question comes up, I know right away the person is doomed if they can’t change their line of thinking.

“Genetics do not matter to the natural bodybuilder.  But your genetics will only take you so far in competition.” - Hugo A. Rivera, CFT, SPN, BSCE

If you are and plan on being a natural bodybuilder, then this question truly deserves no answer.

If you plan on stepping on stage, then genetics can be a factor (among other things) but if you let that slip into your mind and it brings about negative thoughts, that is far more damaging than having the perfect wrist size or bone structure.

Some of the males and females I personally know who stepped on stage and did fantastic were not the most genetically gifted people.  They felt they didn’t have the bone structure for true bodybuilding but it didn’t’ matter to them.  They didn’t live within limits and they never worried about genetics.

Some of the most genetically gifted people I know (they look at a weight and grow muscle) never put forth any effort into bodybuilding and many people who you would never look at them twice have far surpassed their genetic rivals.

It’s an unknown factor that nobody can answer.

8.  Don’t Pay Too Much Attention to the Latest Training/Nutrition Flavor of the Month

Now I love to give advice here at BodybuildingSecretsLive, and I personally benefited hugely from several fitness experts advice before I ever started writing here.

It’s great to absorb how-to articles that speak to you, and to try new programs. But at the end of the day, the thing that makes your physique great is you. Don’t get so caught up in minor details or some new hyped of program that you forget what makes your body change (hard work, consistency, time).  The basis.

The most “perfect” training program in the world would be deathly dull.  Great workouts are quirky, weird, and challenging–just like interesting people are.

Learn the fundamental rules, get advice, then be passionate about your goals and see what happens. If you get a wild hair, go ahead and try it.  You might love it, your body might hate it.  The great thing about a bodybuilding is, there’s always another workout tomorrow.

Marc David
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”
www.nobullbodybuilding.com

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10 Reasons You Are Not a Successful Bodybuilder

Monday, September 8th, 2008

Photo Credit: Pasma

Most people want to be successful. They set goals and then the hard work begins to reach those goals. But the real question is what is success? Bodybuilding success can mean different things to different people.

For example, my friend Jeff Anderson doesn’t define success as himself being some mass monster. He defines it thru the e-mails, phone calls and letters he receives from clients that are thrilled with their results from the programs he creates. Other bodybuilders are focused on their own personal progress and only consider something a success if they win a bodybuilding show. Again, another defines success based on how they look and what personal records they can beat. Or a person might define success as losing fat and once again enjoying life and being able to do things with their children.

Success comes in all different shapes and sizes but has one thing in common with all the above examples regardless of race, gender, age, religion, etc.

Success is important and it takes work to reach.

No matter how you define your specific success when it comes to building muscle, burning fat or just getting into better shape, here’s a list of 10 things that can make you into your own bodybuilding success story. These are ways to better yourself as a person, proven methods that all the pros use to reach their success potential.

1.  Realize Your Potential

In order to succeed at anything, you need to see that you have the potential to reach your goals. Just think about that for a second. You cannot change your potential – but it’s probably greater than you think. Sure, we classify people into ectomorphs, mesomorphs and endomorphs but you can change that quality. Just the other day, somebody referred to me as “the big guy.” When I was 130 lbs soaking wet in high school, I never ever was called the big guy. In any situation! I’ve learned in 17 years of bodybuilding that I’ve still not reached my potential.

2.  Don’t Look Back

Who doesn’t have mistakes when it comes to training or nutrition? I’ve made my living telling other people how to avoid the same ones I did. But don’t dwell on them. Be sure to learn from them but don’t get stuck in the past and focused on all the things you did wrong as that leads to you just staying put where you are and in a rut. Look forward and vow the next meal or the next workout, you won’t make the same errors. Learn from your mistakes but don’t relive them.

3.  Dare to Dream

Let me explain. When I was in the gym last Friday, I overheard this one guy telling his buddy he’d “never reach 230 lbs because nobody natural our size can do that.” If you believe that, more than likely it will come true. You’ve squashed your dreams and you’ve put a limit on your potential. Both things nobody, not even a gene specialist can tell you! You want to be ripped, huge, muscular.. then dream it. Ever night when I was living at home with my parents I dreamed of two things. First, to own a ride a motorcycle. Second, to be muscular and big. In my opinion, I got both. I rode for many years and I’m 190 lbs today, something I never ever thought was possible because I was just too small from the start.

4.  Body Plan

Create a Bodybuilding Plan as your very first step if you are planning to build a house. The Body Plan will consist of nutrition, training, mental and mindset techniques and supplement options, everything about your goal. This is by far the most important aspect of all. In order to reach your goals, you need to know exactly where you are today and what you intend to do to reach your goals. Know what to eat, when to eat, how to eat, how to train, what to train, and more. You’ve heard a million times that you never want to step foot in the gym without a plan. Having a plan for all aspects of your bodybuilding endeavors ensures you will get there. Every single person I know who’s failed, frustrated and complained, when I asked them for their specific plan. Didn’t have one!

5.  Don’t Give Up

Heck, if I gave up after making all the mistakes I did, getting e-mails from people telling me I don’t know jack crap about fitness, I’d yank the cord on my computer, eat all day, watch TV and just work for a paycheck. Oh wait.. then I’d be like most people who give up. Don’t give up. If you are 120 lbs or 400 lbs reading this right now, it’s totally possible for you to change and shape your body as you desire. To reach success, you have to persevere. Even Thomas Edison had to learn this. When he was creating the incandescent light bulb, it took him more than 10,000 times to get it right. Keep striving even when it becomes challenging.

6.  Have An Unstoppable Attitude

Listen, if you want to lose 40 lbs or more of fat or become the best bodybuilder you can in your weight class, you can’t let other people or little things get in your way. You need to have determination. With good intentions, there may be a close friend or family member that feels it would be better if you focused your attention in another direction. Uphold your unstoppable attitude, determined to succeed. Or if you prefer, give up and then talk about how you tried your best to build muscle or off the fat and just be happy at home complaining. Fact: Every single person who’s lost the weight or went from zero to hero in terms of muscle has not be stopped by somebody else. They wanted it so bad that the frustrations and failures didn’t deter them. They kept at it until they found that “ah-ha” moment like learning how to ride a bike for the first time.

7.  Stop the Complaining

Let’s face it, you start talking negative and telling somebody how you are just too busy at work to get in shape or you are too tired to hit the gym, then it’s not really a shock if you never reach your goals. Take that negative energy and if need be get mad! Then direct it towards doing something about it. You might think there is no correlation between complaining and success when in fact there is a connection. When you are spending time complaining about the obstacles you are facing, you are wasting so much time being negative that you are actually loosing chances to move forward. Instead of thinking of challenges as problems, think of them as opportunities.

8.  Focus on Something You Like

It’s simple. If you like nutrition, focus on learning more about it. If you hate it, then learn the very basics and leave it at that. As much as I love bodybuilding, I don’t care for the scientific mumbo-jumbo these meatheads use when it comes to building muscle. Nobody truly knows to be honest and I couldn’t care less. I focused on the exercises, workouts, and meal plans I like and make it interesting. To increase your chance of succeeding, you should concentrate your efforts on something you enjoy. If you HATE doing cardio on the machines, then swim, play basketball, hike. Find an activity you like and make it into a workout. Make it fun. If you dislike doing something so much, you’ll come up with a million excuses not to do it.

9.  No Shortcuts

Make no mistake, bodybuilding isn’t for the lazy. If you have no time for it, you won’t succeed. If you can’t make time for health, health will make time for you soon enough (and not in a good way). I receive several e-mails a month from people telling me why they can’t do something but they want to be the next Jay Cutler or America’s Top Model. So sorry guys and gals but there’s no shortcuts to something that requires hard work. Even you males out there that think.. “He’s on steroids.” Still, it’s not like they are lazy and not working hard. An old cliché states, “Anything worth doing is worth doing well.” This should be your motto. When you want to succeed, you cannot afford to take shortcuts. Taking shortcuts leads to imperfection and inadequacies and potentially injuries.

10.  Share Your Success

Although this may be more at the end of the process, it is important. When you finally do reach your goal, use your experience to teach, guide, and mentor others so that they too might succeed. What worked for you? How did you do it? People learn from others and while you might think you struggled, most of us who have reached a goal, struggled to get there as well. Lend a helping hand, give some tips and tricks you used to get where you are today.

11.  Toxic Poisoning

No, we are not talking about colon cleansing or other b.s. subjects but toxic people that can poison. Unfortunately, it would be great if close friends or co-workers could share in your success but all too often, there will be someone who is either dealing with the “green monster” of jealousy or has a case of the “I knew that” syndrome. If you are serious about reaching your goal and being successful, you will need to rid your life of these people. While you may not be able to get them out of your life completely, you should avoid them as best as possible. If this is a person, you see every day, keep your goals to yourself, and avoid that specific subject.

There is no better gratification than being successful. Accept that you are in for some hard work but the results will be incredible. Use these tips as guidelines and step outside the box. Take action and succeed!

Got a success story of your own? Post a comment below and Share It! I’d love to know if these tips or what tips you used to reach your goals. So would others.

Here’s to your NoBull Unstoppable Attitude,

Marc David
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”
www.nobullbodybuiding.com

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