The recently retired former unified heavyweight champion of the world Wladimir Klitschko once said that motivation comes and goes but discipline always remains. I believe this to be true for all students of the iron game.
Likewise another sporting legend former Liverpool FC manager the great Bill Shankly once stated that football is a simple game, complicated by idiots. Again, he could have been talking about bodybuilding.
To address the first quote motivation does indeed come and go and that includes all athletes at all levels, that’s life (we have to acknowledge that) and as a personal hero of mine once said ‘nobody hits harder than life.’ We are all familiar with the saying ‘make hay while the Sun shines’ and it perfectly expresses the desire make the most of our time in the gym when levels of motivation are shining through every set and rep. But what do we do when our levels of motivation take a dip and that bright, warm Sun is momentarily hidden behind a dark menacing looking cloud? Well, in 2018 you won’t be surprised to read that we tend to pull out our smart phones and look for motivation online, social media inparticular which brings me nicely on to our second quote.
Without wishing to sound too critical, bodybuilding is simplicity itself as I‘ve eluded to many times in previous articles but can often be over complicated by people who should know better and others who should really know their own body better before offering potentially influencing advices. Too much complication can often be a conscious or subconscious attempt by the author to establish themselves as an ‘authority’ in order to pull people in for personal gratification (think social media ‘guru’s); in fact all it does is distance those who need motivating the most because of the confusion created on topics that don’t resonate with the heart of the problem. You see when you address the heart of the problem, it generates new thought patterns and new thought patterns spill over to the way we talk and the way we act. This is what makes the difference!
So what do I believe to be the heart of the problem? I think in recent times there’s been an emphasis (arguably commercial) on doing things different and not necessarily better. This translates to all aspects of bodybuilding that include training, diet, supplementation and rest and recovery. So for starters my advice is to get back to basics, rediscover and master the fundamentals that served you so well in the past, drifting away from these will always diminish levels of motivation. As bodybuilders in the gym we should be more concerned with achieving muscle overload using basic, fundamental free weight movements, rather than breaking our concentration looking at our smart phones at every opportunity. We should also be focusing more on consuming 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight daily than the latest MCT to hit the market, I could go on but if you feel like you need some additional inspiration to straighten out your thinking then I highly recommend listening to the series of blueprints by Arnold Schwarzenegger that can be found on YouTube. I must confess Arnold has always been my ‘go to’ when I need motivating, this is a man who even in his 70’s still talks directly from the heart to your heart and his ability to communicate points demonstrates great knowledge and his passion is contagious. Again this will then positively influence your thinking which inevitably filters down into action!
Why not open your mind and have it playing in the background while you work on your computer or whatever it is you are doing and have a good motivational feed?