Countless people ask me for advice on training, what to eat, and just what to do in general. I love to talk about achieving fitness goals, so I’m always very open to sharing with others what has or hasn’t worked for me. Most people I talk to never follow through with the advice I give them. After years of providing advice, I started to wonder why people desired to learn about fitness and nutrition but would never follow through and put that knowledge into practice.
Why do people who want to accomplish something not follow through on the path to get them there? The main reason is that people don’t think the advice or plan will work. People are disillusioned by the constant flow of fitness and health information around them. I remember being 15 years old and having my weight training equipment and one book on training, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding. I firmly believed that if I followed the advice outlined in the book, I would achieve my desired goals. Ultimately, I didn’t have the genetics to achieve my aspirations of a Mr. Olympia physique, but my belief gave me challenging workouts and great results! I trained so hard blood vessels would burst in my eyes. I’d be so sore it would make me sick. I couldn’t walk for a week…and then I’d do it again. This isn’t the ideal training method because I also needed recovery time, but my belief motivated me to train HARD. I’m not saying you need to train this hard to achieve your goal. I was after a Mr. Olympia physique, but you need that belief that you can achieve your goals to drive you.
One of the greatest motivators is results. When I started training with weights, I gained strength rapidly, believing that I had no limitations to what I could accomplish. This motivated me so much that even now, 26 years after I began, I still enjoy lifting weights. I will concede that I was born with exceptional genetics for gaining strength. However, I was not naturally lean and not born with an incredible physique, but I attained them through proper training and nutrition. You might not possess the genetics to build 23-inch arms like Arnold, but you might be able to make them up to 19 inches as I did or perhaps 16 inches. Everyone can improve, and it should be seen as an adventure. Whether you’re building your arms up or increasing your max squat, focus on improvement, achieving results, and have fun with it!
You should realize that what you are trying to do has already been done before many times over. Countless people have added muscle or lost fat to improve their physiques. This was another thing that inspired me and instilled belief if someone else had done it, then I felt I could do it too. There’s a formula that exists, and if you follow me, you will get the results you’re after. The secret ingredient is belief. Believe in yourself and what you are doing. If you don’t have belief, you will never start.
My brother told me once that if you lived two lives the same, but in one of them, you had hope, and in the other, you didn’t, the one where you had hoped would be a 1,000 times better experience. Having belief made my life experience so much more significant, and even though I never achieved Mr. Olympia’s status like I had set out to do, I have gained a lot more than I imagined. Having hope and belief drove me to where I am today and in the best shape of my life.
Everything I ever did, I set out to be the best in the world. I wanted to be the best bodybuilder in the world when I set out to be a bodybuilder. When I got into competing in mixed martial arts, I wanted to be the best fighter. When I competed in strongman and powerlifting, I dreamt of being the most muscular man on the planet. These dreams and my belief in myself drove me to become not the best in the world but to be my best and see the truth.
As they say, you must believe it to achieve it!