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8 Little Known Traits of Successful Bodybuilders

Posted Oct 14 2008 4:01am

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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