When it comes to bodybuilding and/or living a fit and healthy lifestyle many lessons can be learnt from the processes and systems employed within such a lifestyle.
There are many metaphors which can be translated into how you can principally live and overcome obstacles, or live a life in which you will grow and succeed at.
These lessons can and should be applied to daily life and you will see how well they equip you to deal with almost anything you face on a daily basis.
Firstly what does a ‘fitness lifestyle’ really mean? For simplicity, it is basically following a good nutrition plan and following a training/gym plan in the pursuit of bettering yourself and building a better body.
Most bodybuilders and people living that life will know what we are referring to and will find that many of the points below resonate within them. You will understand this only when you really commit to training hard and living a healthier life as well as being consistent.
Most times the people who are so dedicated to their training really love it and enjoy it, so it is a good idea to look back at this list time and time again, and when you face an obstacle in life some of the points will suddenly ring much louder to you.
It will be kind of like speaking a language that you understand and can relate to.
Sometimes though, we get so used to going through the motions, at gym, in our diet that we forget we are equipped with this knowledge which can be extended from the gym and used in our everyday challenges as well. So it is a good idea to read an article like this every so often to remind ourselves of these things, in the hope that each time something will become clearer to us.
Squats can teach us a very important and simple lesson in life. When something heavy weighs down on your shoulders and pushes you to the ground, you should never stay down. You have to come back up to complete it.
Just as when life gets you down, you have to push back and push yourself through the pain to get back up, no matter how heavy it is.
Cravings and dieting
When you have to diet down, especially when preparing for a competition you have to be quite strict. And during such phases you will find your mind wandering and wishing for certain foods; intense cravings can take over.
But you know why you are doing it and you exercise your discipline and willpower in choosing between what you want now and what you want most. This kind of willpower can be used when pursuing your life goals, just exercise the same level of discipline and keep your goals in sight.
When dieting, cravings can become so strong that they will find themselves inventing a whole lot of healthy recipes to satisfy those cravings, recipes that they didn’t even know were possible!
This is a great way to think differently and we can see just what happens when you are really pushed and forced to try something different.
So move out of your comfort zone and try something different, don’t be afraid to experiment and see what happens.
Experience as the teacher
When you decide to really transform your body, it can be a scary thing. Not knowing what exactly will work, what is the best way to go about it, what are the right exercises to do etc.
It can be really overwhelming and a whole lot of uncertainty will creep in. But the only way to do it, is to try. Educate yourself as much as possible and take a risk and try a certain methodology. If it works, great. If it does not, then you know what not to do in future.
Take risks. Don’t be afraid to fail at something. If you do fail, treat it as a learning experience and move on.
Going to failure
Often times when training heavy, it is a good thing to train to failure. This means to train or complete as many reps as you physically can do even when aiming for a certain number. Going to a point where you literally cannot perform another rep. This point is great for muscle growth.
So to grow and move forward you have to fail and you have to go past failure and accept that along the way to greatness it is one of the steps.
With training and particularly weight training, you cannot keep progressing if you stop challenging yourself. You need to keep increasing the weights or resistance in order to become stronger. You cannot keep doing what you do and expect to get different results.
Pain is growth.
It is the same in life, you have to encounter resistance and hard times which challenge you and push you out of your comfort zone in order for you to grow and learn and become stronger.
Dealing with people
The gym can be a really strange place, filled with all sorts of people and many stereotypes. Some, entertaining, but not very good though. When dealing with such people you have to learn to be calm and not get too worked up otherwise you will just end up getting angry for nothing.
It’s the same when you are on those final weeks of dieting before a show, the mood swings and lack of patience are in full force and it’s not right to take it out on other people, who often will not understand what you are going through.
You have to be patient and be composed all the time. Although, sometimes full credit goes to those people who manage to put up with dieting athletes ;)
In life you will encounter many people, and many stressful situations, and the better you are at remaining composed the less stress you will encounter. It is easier said than done, that’s why it’s a process and each time you apply patience you get better and better at it.
The art of adaptation
When starting to train after some time off, it can be really difficult to get back into the swing of things. That first week is terrible, full of pain and stiffness, but after that you get into it and don’t know how you managed when you were off.
The body adapts to the stresses that are applied to it, it adapts and gets better at dealing with them. That’s when you have to change things up.
The point is no matter how hard it may seem at the start eventually you will get the hang of it and it will soon become easy. Just take that first step to start!
Mastering your mind
Your greatest asset is a strong mind. You exercise your mind to become stronger just as you have to exercise your body. Through training and dieting you learn to push through and go beyond what you thought you were capable of. When you have no energy and all you want to do is go sleep, you dig deep and see that first place or the body that you want, and you carry on.
You know this is necessary to get there. You keep going and don’t give up because it is something that you are so passionate about achieving.
You should go with this kind of mentality in everything that you do, every goal you set for yourself go after it and push yourself as hard you can to turn it into reality.
If you remember nothing else from this article, remember this point.
Without consistency, time and hard work, you will not achieve your goals. Building a great physique takes time and a lot of work day in and day out.
You can’t do it for a few weeks and expect some big changes, it has to become a habit, a long term everyday tradition in order to facilitate positive change and progress. There are no quick fixes, no magic pills, you will have to work your ass off for quite some time.
This needs no translation to life, it’s the same for any great goal that you aim to achieve. You have to put in the time and the consistency.