We, as Men’s Physique Competitors, have a problem. A serious problem. Let me explain. We enjoy pain. We enjoy discomfort. We enjoy getting up at 4:30 in the morning because others don’t do it. We don’t like to be normal. We push ourselves outside of our comfort zone. We push ourselves to a point that we didn’t know we could. We eat peculiarly, or as my kids say ‘food for our muscles’. We cook our food for a week at a time. We eat almonds out of a plastic bag, and drink protein shakes at family barbeques.
The problem? Our desire to succeed and build the best body possible can become an obsession and take away from other, more important parts of our life, namely our family, our religion, our job, etc.. So, how do we build a balanced life, while still having that same dedication and inner strength we strive for?
Let me share a couple things that I have done that has helped me to remain focused & committed, but helped me achieve balance in my life.
There comes a time in our lives, when many of us find ourselves to be in somewhat of a “rut”. There are many reasons and/or circumstances for this, unique to every person and situation. I recently found myself in this position, before making a major change in my life, to finally pursue the career that I am truly passionate about. Ever since I was fourteen years old, I have been working in the restaurant industry, the last eighteen years of which was in management. For the longest time, I believed that this was my calling in life. I really enjoyed being able to welcome people into “my home” and provide them with the highest level of hospitality.
No matter what we accomplish or what we are going through, we all at times will go through moments where we question what we are doing or just want to give up all together. These are the times that truly define someone who has the Warrior Spirit, you see, it is easy for anyone to give thanks, be excited, and have endless energy when things are going great and everything seems to just be happening in our favor. The times when the chips are down are the times we really have three choices to make; just stay where we are at, give in to the urge to quit, or realize why we started in the first place and snap out of it and make it happen! You see, to say that we all do not experience trying times would simply be naive, but in the grand scheme of this life and there being literally millions of things that go into what is happening at our present moments, we are also very naive to not realize that things are just as they should be! This is a concept that is very easy to say, but also very difficult to master; it takes the realization that our reactions and attitudes ultimately dictate our outcomes. It takes the realization that with millions of things coming into play to make a single moment, that there are far many factors other than just what we are currently doing. Above all, it takes the realization that people, things, and events do not in themselves cause emotions or dictate whether something is “good” or “bad,” but rather how we perceive them and if we treat life as a learning experience, rather than just something to mindlessly discount as if it isn’t our fault. Let me tell you, with the utmost conviction, that everything that we feel and experience is ultimately by our own doing, our greatest secret lies deep within ourselves, where we already have the answers!
Well the Excalibur contest has come and gone, what seemed like a long 24-week prep came and went quickly.
So many lessons learned from that journey I feel I must share with you today.
In my previous article I wrote about trusting those we have entrusted to coach us; however what I did not prepare for was what if your coach isn’t available or unable to see you within that final 48-hour pre contest window?
You have that moment when you look in the mirror and the person staring back at you is old? Yikes! What happened? The face once free of wrinkles now has crow’s feet around the eyes, the perfect hair is thinning or grey or both, and the bright eyes are now drawn and tired. Perhaps all a bit dramatic, but nonetheless, there is no doubt, we are all facing the effects of aging. I look at many of my peers who are in their late 30′s and 40′s…who have accepted age…and with it a sedentary lifestyle. They have accepted the low energy, the beer gut, the fatigue, the soreness, the loss of agility. Although we can’t waive the magic wand and push off the aging process for good, we can certainly make huge strides to ensure we can stay super fit and active while we age! I’m 41 and in the best shape of my life…and I hope to continue to make great strides towards my health and fitness. I know I can’t stop time, but I am determined to make sure that as I age, I look great, feel great, and have the energy I need to live a full life.
Are you entering middle age with a renewed focus on a healthy lifestyle? Are you proud of what you have accomplished in the gym at your age? Are you excited that you have some gray hair but your six-pack is easily visible? If so, you might decide to show your new body to the world at a local men’s physique or sports modeling competition.
There is a place for every athlete at these competitions, including those in the “masters” divisions. However, unique challenges face older participants. In this article, we will focus on the four traits that you need to find success: conviction, compartmentalization, consistency, and concentration.
I will never forget the first painful and humiliating day I worked out at a “real gym”. The place was called Future Man and as a skinny teen with no muscle and even less discipline I was anything but that.
Up until that point I had only been messing around with some old school machines and a few dust covered dumbbells at the High School gym near my house. I was just a beginner, knew nothing about training and was inconsistent at best. What I did know even then was that I wanted to build big muscles and look like the guys I saw on the covers of the body building magazines.
Not everyone who trains is pursuing a National championship title but we all have one thing in common, a desire to improve.
Motivation is a facet of exercise that is vitally important for individuals seeking to maintain or reach peak fitness levels. If fact, maintaining the big MO is the subject of countless articles, videos and Facebook status updates. And, when you think about it, fitness trainers, coaches and boot camp instructors make a living helping to motivate people to try hard and to do more.
You may be asking yourself where motivation fits with diet, exercise and sleep. And, I would suggest that motivation isn’t in direct competition with the aforementioned but an underlying component of all three. If you’re motivated to reach your goals then you’re more apt to engage in behaviors that support those goals, right? You are more likely to eat the proper foods, training in #beastmode and bank the proper amount of Zs.