==== ====For great tips on bodybuilding check this out:bit.ly/yULFNI==== ====Almost every bodybuilder that I have ever met considers themselves “Hard-core” orthe most dedicated, knowledgeable, or hardest training athlete in the gym. Over the 20 years Ihave spent in the sport I have been asked many times what does it really take to be successful inthe sport? My answer might surprise you but let me tell you it’s a question everyone has toask themselves. What’s more is the answer you give yourself reflects whetheryou’re a Real Bodybuilder or Just another Wannabee!Most magazines, scientists, and competitor’s are quick to point to genetics as the decidingfactor. While on the surface there seems to be some truth to this when a person looks deeper intothe sport this is not necessarily the case. In fact in every contest I have ever competed in, orwatched I have rarely seen the person with the best genetics win the show.I asked my friend, legendary bodybuilding coach Scott Abel the same question about what hebelieves makes a true bodybuilder successful, and Scott’s answer was pretty quick. Hesummed it up in one word… “Heart”.Now Scott has trained over 200 titled winners on all levels from amateurs’ right up toOlympia contenders including myself to a National Title as well as a birth into the Mr. Universecontest. He’s also had the opportunity to work with the broadest range of personalities,genetics, and mental aptitudes so his opinion carries a lot of weight.I tend to agree with Scott. From my own experience coaching thousands of bodybuilders aroundthe world I feel the real successes are always the guys/gals who understand that bodybuilding hasmore to do what’s going on inside the mind than anything else.Winning Comes In Many FormsWinning and success come in many forms and so many people equate a trophy or a title withsuccess. Considering how many of the top professional and amateur bodybuilders in the worldhave serious health problems and rather chaotic personal lives it’s hard to equate successwith their professional status or their drug-swollen bodies. That being said, there are a handful ofprofessionals who embody the ideals of true bodybuilding but they are definitely few and farbetween.Of course, you have all kinds of guys/gals in the gym coming up with a host of reasons why theyhaven’t stuck with their diet, followed through on their training schedule, and simply notmade the gains they desire. Although both cases represent opposite ends of the extreme;everyone fits somewhere in between and many are still left asking the question… Whatmakes a “True Bodybuilder?”
While everyone has to determine the answer for himself, my own definition of True Bodybuilding issignificantly different than “The Hardcore” Version portrayed in the top Magazines.Although at one time I aspired to be like the “gargantuan” individuals who grace thepages of the magazines, I had a change of heart once I reached the National Championship Level.Here’s why.Drug LOADED Bodybuilding - The Fast Track to Self DestructionYou see I realized almost the entire competitive bodybuilding scene had almost nothing to do with“Real Bodybuilding”. In fact it was more like body destruction. Many of theseathletes I was competing with and against, had become consumed by the desire to build massivemuscles and resorted to using massive amount of drugs that damaged their health. While theirphysiques and muscles are definitely impressive, they had built them at the cost of their health aswell as the personal lives.I personally consider this to be a psychological condition of disease similar to anorexia, orobsessive-compulsive disorder and indeed some psychologists have labeled the condition“Muscle Dysmorphia”. Many “hardcore” bodybuilders have becomeso obsessed with competitions, muscular size, body fat levels, diets, etc. that every other aspect oftheir lives has shrunk smaller then their testes on a 10 year cycle.I know how this dysfunctional psychology can limit one’s life because for 10 years I wentdown that path. Fortunately, I turned the corner and saw “the light” so to speak, andrecognized that there was a lot more to life than a 20-inch arm. I understand how the pressures ofathletic excellence lead some athletes to turn to drug usage. I am not condoning the act however Isimply recognize how athletes rationalize drug usage and get caught in the“machine” of high performance sports.Although it seems things are getting worse in the athletic world as opposed to better with theincrease in volume of high profile athletes testing positive for drug use; I believe the increasedawareness of what’s going on in sports will eventually change the course of athletics,including what I call the return to True Bodybuilding.Don’t Play Russian Roulette With Your HealthNow what’s even crazier than taking drugs for athletic performance, is the sheer number ofindividuals, who use bodybuilding drugs thinking it a short cut to an impressive body. Countlessscores of young men and women in bodybuilding are resorting to any number of drugs to changetheir appearance.These misguided individuals who often purchase these drugs on the underground market from“dubious sources,” are playing Russian roulette with their health. Often these drugsare fake, veterinarian, or “home made” drugs not intended for human consumption.Many of these men/women delusively believe they will stop taking drugs once they add that extrainch to their arms or lose that next percentage of fat. As soon as they stop the drugs, the musclesare gone, the fat comes back, and they begin looking for the next “fix”. This sets a
vicious cycle of enslavement to the drugs, as the individual has unconsciously linked drugs to abetter physique and built a reliance on them to improve the cosmetic appearance of their body.What’s worse is that ever cycle of drugs damages the delicate balance within thebody’s biochemistry, making it harder to improve, as well as setting oneself up for problemsin the future. One only has too look at the rate of top professional and amateur bodybuilders whoare dying prematurely or contracting severe disease to illustrate the true cost of short-sightedthinking.True bodybuilding is about self-improvement. Building muscles, losing body fat, and shaping ordefining the physique, are more about expressing one’s essence than an absoluteoutcome.Everybody’s ideal physique is a little bit different and the only judge that matters is the onelooking back at you in the mirror. Interestingly, what one sees in the mirror has more to do withthe program in one’s head than the true-image reflected in the mirror.When Sport Becomes ArtI feel that any time a human pursuit reaches its highest form it becomes art. Art transcendsboundaries, both personal and cultural, and cannot be defined by the traditional linear models ofthinking popularized by mainstream culture. Titles, measurements, accolades, or even socialapproval do not reflect one’s inner journey or personal experience and expression.Definitions or belief systems have no intrinsic meaning other than what is ascribed to them byvarious social groups. Interestingly, each social group will ascribe a very different value on anygiven subject, and each group tends to believe that its opinion is the correct one.Art transcends all of these standard descriptions and conveys a feeling or an emotion that is hardto contextualize with words. It is this essence that makes art fascinating. Often times a certainproficiency in the subject matter is essential to fully appreciate the experience. In other words, themore someone becomes familiar with a subject, in this case bodybuilding, the more one canrecognize, genius, greatness, or the artistic.Watching Tom Platz blast out 20 plus reps with 500 pounds goes beyond physicalaccomplishment. The process becomes art. Another example would be a football receiver divingthrough the air, to catch a pass with one hand, in between two defenders, while simultaneouslydragging both feet before flying out of bounds. These moments or events go way beyond thephysical achievements or quantitative description.These “defining moments” are what millions of viewers watch for daily in sports.The event is really a stage that presents an opportunity for the athlete to transcend the normaldefinitions of their chosen sport. The thing is, in order for an athlete to get to the “sportingpromised-land”, or at least the highlight reel, years of practice, failures, unseen moments,victories, and defeats have all been part and parcel to the “defining moment”.What is it that pushes someone to “be all they can be”? What is the “X-factor” that drives people to break previous limits of the past? While it’s hard to
contextualize the essence of what makes a person a true bodybuilder, one only has to look at theSpecial Olympics to get a deeper understanding of the difference between real athletes vs.“wannabee” pretenders.The Special Olympians: The Ultimate Example of Athletic SpiritThe athletes who compete in the Special Olympics do so with a spirit that in many waysdemonstrates the highest ideals of athleticism. Although these physically and mentally challengedindividuals may not break world records, or appear on the front page of the sports section of thenewspaper, they illustrate the power of the human spirit. These remarkable individuals competewith a purity, dedication, and determination that inspire anyone and everyone. It is this intangiblespirit that comes from within that propels each person to greatness and is the secret to personalaccomplishment.“Wannabee’s” perform activities for the glory, the prestige, or for narcissisticpride. Sometimes these actions manifest out of a low self-esteem. I can’t tell you howmany 250lb bodybuilders I have met who “thought they were small”, or how manystunningly beautiful fitness girls complain that they are “too fat”. To me theseathletes represent the worst in the sport, and cast a negative image to the real athletes(bodybuilders) who work day in and day out, to simply improve the physical expression of theirSelf.Wannabee’s strut around the gyms like peacocks, they put down the accomplishments ofothers, make excuses for their own shortcomings and exaggerate their own accomplishments. Inother words they say “I am a “bodybuilder” or “I’mHardcore” etc but their thoughts of self-image is completely defined by what they see in themirror or what the scale reads. Often the self-image of Wannabee’s are extremelydistorted and borders on delusion.When you let anything define you, whether it’s your job, your sport, or a relationship, youcan bet you have a “wannabee” or distorted belief system that will invariably lead toproblems at some point in the future. Often times it takes a crash to the bottom of society withsomewhat painful consequences for these individuals to experience a “RealityCheck”.Self Improvement is The Essence of Real BodybuildingThe real bodybuilder recognizes that Bodybuilding is something that they do, not something thatthey are. There is a big difference between these two images of self because the first definitionlimits oneself or what one can be, while the second opens up the possibility of a greater Self orbroader definition on one’s Self.The essence of Real Bodybuilding is simply the pursuit of self-improvement through physicalactivity that enhances the development and function of the physical body. This pursuit can lead toa deeper awareness of the internal or subtle workings of one’s own existence. I think BillPearl has summed it up better than anyone else in the title of his best-selling bodybuilding book“Keys to the Inner Universe”.
To further illustrate my point from a more extreme perspective, I will use this example. Somebodybuilders come to me and say I am training my legs as hard as can but I am not puking fromsets. Can you show me how to train so hard that I puke?While this sounds ridiculous, this type of mentality does persist inside bodybuilding. Puking from aset is often times viewed as a badge of honor or welcome achievement in the “BodybuildingBrotherhood”. This type of mentality is what has kept the awesome power of bodybuildingaway from the general public and transformed a positive form of self expression into a“narcissistic, self-absorbed, anti-social, cult-like, behavior relegated to the “lunaticfringe”.Numerous companies create ads around this whole behavior by glorifying pain, suffering, andillustrating imagery of a 250lb man standing over a bucket or a pool of vomit on the floor. Whilemost individuals in society would be horrified or disgusted by such a picture, many in thebodybuilding world embrace it, identifying greatness, or achievement with the process of vomiting.As bizarre as it sounds, the above scenario is illustrative of how the act is often mixed up with theintention of the individual. This is a very thin line of consciousness but a very important one tounderstand it one’s bodybuilding pursuits are to be crowned with success.Heart is where someone pushes themselves to the limits of their physical being. Any person; whotests themselves regularly, with weight training to improve their body, is a real bodybuilder. RealBodybuilding takes heart and it has nothing to do with how big someone is, how much they bench,or how many titles they have won.Real bodybuilding is about the journey of self.It’s a way to express oneself while improving your health, your awareness, and your self-esteem. Real bodybuilding helps to synchronize the Mind, Body, and Soul connection andenhances every aspect of one’s life. It’s a phenomenal tool for self -improvementand self-discovery. After a lifetime of lifting you can still learn something new about yourself andyou can still improve.That’s Real Bodybuilding!Wade McNutt is a Natural National Bodybuilding Champion and an IFBB Mr. Universe WorldChampion. He combined the secrets of Eastern Yoga Masters with, scientific, muscle building toproduce a revolutionary new health system, called Freaky Big Naturally, find out more athttp://www.freakybignatural.comArticle Source:http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Wade_McNutt
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