Thursday, November 22, 2012

Bodybuilding, Motivation, Mind games

I frequently train twice in one day, I have to so I can fit everything in. I am doing everything within my power to add muscle, I sometimes feel I have become one of those lumbering, slow moving Bodybuilders who avoids fast movements for fear of burning up precious muscle.

It's an exaggeration, but there is some truth in it. I have changed, and I like what I see. I have almost eliminated all cardio, I ride a spin bike two times a week for 30 minutes, that's it, and it may go soon but it does help me keep my head together.

It's all about the head, the mind. 

I have always had a hard time adding the amount of muscle I want, not compared to your average woman, but compared to devoted and dedicated Bodybuilders. And, for the first time in my life, I am thinking I may actually be there. What do I mean "there"? 

I mean being a Bodybuilder.

For years I have laughed and said I was not a Bodybuilder, not that I find anything wrong with them, but there is a difference between a Bodybuilder and a Figure Competitor.  I am no longer a Figure Competitor, that's part of my past, I am moving onto Women's Physique. It's a whole new game for me. I find though, that I am training like a Bodybuilder, I have the mindset of one now.

And I love it.

Having been on both sides of the fence, and only on "this" side for a short time, I can now see the difference. I used to train to sculpt and add a bit of size and lean out. Now I train to get as big and muscular as I possibly can. Oh I won't get huge,  I cannot because I am drug free, but I can get bigger, and I look forward to it! 

I look around at other women in the gym now, and I realize that I am one of the biggest, the most muscular. I am no longer "on the fringe". I look more like a Bodybuilder than a Figure Competitor. I always felt that I had to differentiate between the two for some reason, especially when people asked me about it, almost like I was defending what I was doing. Everyone would say "are you a Bodybuilder?" and I would immediately say "No, I am a Figure Competitor"  and then try to educate them about the difference, I no longer do that. 

I am a Bodybuilder.

People seem to look down on Bodybuilders, like they are lacking in intelligence. Sure, there are plenty who are (just like every other profession or hobbyist) , but really, Bodybuilders are calculating, intelligent, motivated and focused individuals. More so than your average person. I think that the fact that Bodybuilders have an amazing and incredible drive that your average person lacks, makes them look like "freaks" to others.

Welcome to my freak show.

I guess I hadn't felt that I deserved to call myself a Bodybuilder yet, but I do now.

I realized that doing all that cardio year round was just counterproductive to all my hard lifting, it cancelled it all out. I have learned to eat enough to grow, yet not so much that I gain too much bodyfat. I have learned to lift heavy, really heavy and concentrate. I have learned to keep myself motivated while I am in the gym, so my mind is present and concentrating on the task at that time. I think only about lifting weights when I am there, nothing else.

Concentration is paramount to my success. I have to get my head in the space, the right space, or I will not be successful. Motivation and internal drive, its something that a Bodybuilder must have, every single day. 

I think about my training all the time, in fact during most of my waking hours, and it's odd to me. I am not planning a career in this, but I have such a passion for it that everything I do is planned around it. My food and the timing of what I eat is of the utmost importance. Oh I don't deprive myself of things I want, at least not right now when I am not in competition prep, but I still weigh (in my head) and consider everything before it goes in my mouth.  I plan my big simple carb meals after training, just to take advantage of that window for growth. If I want chocolate I will have it then, when my body can actually use it.

I know that most people find the mindset strange, and the whole sub-culture of the Bodybuilding world warped and perverted in a fascinating sort of way. But there are degrees of it, from a young and healthy woman who is trying to sculpt and create the body of her dreams; to a college athlete who is trying to better himself in his sport; to the gym rat who works for a couple competitions every year; to the hardcore, drug taking men and women who look freakishly big and vascular. 

They all need some kind of motivation and inner drive that sets them apart from their peers, something that pushes them to go the extra mile. While you are sleeping, we are building. While you are dining, we are building. While you are lounging watching TV, we are building.

The average person cannot do this, this is not an average endeavor. This takes a special person, a special drive.

The video below said that to me. It's full of huge, grotesquely over muscled Bodybuilding men, but you can see no matter what goes on, these men have a drive that is amazing. A drive that is motivating. A drive that is inspiring.