Yesterday I was in the gym as usual busting out some shoulders, when one of our older members greeted me and started talking to me. Now we’ve known this guy for a while, he’s an oldish chap about 70 or so and used to own a few gyms, train and compete in the days even before Arnold Schwarzenegger! Now he was telling me a story about how one of his mentors and friends, Mr Reg Park (who also had an influence on Arnolds training) saw him when he was still very young, maybe 23 years old, and then saw him again when he was in his late thirties. When he saw him in his thirties, he was astonished at the amount of muscle he had put on, and his exact comment was “Wow, only now you have QUALITY muscle!” He only managed to receive this comment from Mr. Park after twenty years of training and competing.
Now the moral of his story was that, in the game of bodybuilding it really takes time to build a quality natural physique. A lot of people want to just get in the gym and within two weeks want to see such dramatic results, or take some ‘new’ supplement on the market and suddenly get ripped to shreds in no time.
I know all this because I used to think the exact same way! I used to look at magazines and see the before and after pictures of guys in these supplement adverts and actually believe that it was possible in such short amounts of time. So I learnt the hard way. I guess maybe it was good because at least I went through it and I know that in no way is it possible, and this is exactly how we learn and move forward.
This applies in a lot more areas than you think. For instance even losing weight is not a quick and easy process. It takes time and dedication to your training and diet, and your lifestyle.
The biggest thing is to STAY WITH IT, and to be consistent and the results will come. It is not an overnight process.
One of the quotes these older generation bodybuilders often use is “Rome was not built in a day,” and it is so true, anything good takes time and effort, which people don’t seem to understand. There’s an old saying, “It can take a lifetime to teach a man patience.”
In another example, when you start a career, more often than not you start at the bottom and work your way to the top. It takes time and hard work to get to the top, but you know that’s where you need to get in X amount of years, so you stick with it. You set goals. Now this is the same when it comes to your body. You know how you want to eventually look and thus that is a goal in itself. You just have to understand the time factor involved.
Now often people argue the role genetics play in all this. I remember someone saying there can only be one Usain Bolt. He is just born to be that fast. Now I believe nothings impossible. But I guess realistically it will be very difficult for me to just decide today, ok I am going to start training to become a professional sprinter and beat Usain Bolt. Another thing which we need to understand is that the majority of these athletes and sports stars all have been playing their respective sports since they were very young.
If we look at Tiger Woods for example, he started playing golf before the age of 2! with his father continuously pushing him. Upbringing in my opinion also influences a great deal with developing how you will eventually turn out, but ok I think I’m getting a bit off topic here. But I will say this, genetics do play a role in building your body and an even bigger role in other aspects of life, such as sports. But here’s the catch.
Whatever you choose to do, be it sprinting, bodybuilding, or anything else, if you stay consistent with your training and just keep at it day in and day out, you WILL get better over time and thus keep improving on your own accomplishments. This is the greatest achievement of all, to continually better YOURSELF!
So what am I saying here? Basically stop worrying about other people and focus on getting better than you were last year, last month, yesterday. You should be in constant competition with yourself. If you do this lets say every month or every year, you will be amazed at the progress you can make over a few years.