Thursday, July 1, 2010

Sucker Punch

I like to read T-Nation, while there are many articles that really seem to appeal more to the the males in the weight room, I do usually find interesting articles that have a lot of information on nutrition and diets, and these things are not so gender specific.

Recently I read an article by Dr. John Berardi, called Sucker Punch: By Dr, John Berardi. Dr. Berardi is the author of my favorite cookbook Gourmet Nutrition.

You can go to the link above if you wish to read the entire article, or you can read the excerpt here that I was most interested in. He describes what it is like to be training and preparing for a Bodybuilding competition. In my eyes, and in the eyes of anyone else who does this, preparing for a Figure competition is the same.

Dr. Berardi:

The first is discipline and mental fortitude. Preparing for a bodybuilding show is really misunderstood; it's a mental battle more than anything. You basically over-train and over-diet for 16 weeks, and as each week passes you get leaner, but more worn down mentally and physically.

By show time you can't think right, can't move properly, and you're literally counting down the hours for it to be over.

Every single ounce of your being wants to quit, and that's why so many people that intend to compete never do. It's that mentally draining. But for those who endure, you come out the other side with a renewed sense of confidence in your ability to tackle any challenge – no matter how long it takes and how much you have to put into it – and I think that's a valuable life lesson.

I published an article on TMUSCLE called the Get Shredded Diet, and in it I talk about how every two years or so I go on a really intense fat loss program. Part of the reason I do this is to exercise those mental muscles of discipline and perseverance. I do think it's possible for these muscles to get "flabby."

So for me, the value of working those muscles has translated into everything that I do, whether it's growing a business or working with clients; I tend to be a lot more patient, more willing to put in the time doing behaviors that I know will lead to success, even when that success hasn't arrived yet and I might just be feeling crappy. I think that's really critical.

Next is the correlation between behavior and results. This is something many people miss when they're goal setting. You can set goals and write them down, but the most important thing to realize is that most goals are outcome oriented, and you need to engage in specific behaviors to achieve those outcomes.

My bodybuilding days taught me that when my behaviors matched my goals, I got the results I was looking for. I know this seems like a no brainer, but you'd be amazed at how many people miss this. It doesn't matter how strong your intentions are, if the behaviors aren't there, the results won't be there either.

The cool part is that once you really get this concept, you can work backwards. So, if your results are shit, it's not that there's something wrong with you, it's that your behaviors aren't correct. Fix 'em and the results will follow.

The third is mentorship. When I first started bodybuilding, a guy named Craig Bach took me under his wing. He taught me how to eat, how to train, and how to set goals. This all happened at a very influential time, when I was 18 years old, and it really set me on course. The bottom line is this: there are people more experienced than you, people with more knowledge than you, and if you aren't seeking them out and learning from them, you're an idiot, plain and simple.

This really sums up so much of what I say here, set goals, stick to them, seek out knowledge, work the brain.

I have 9 days left.....I don't start counting the hours yet.