|Dedication & Devotion - By Chris Hart
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Dedication & Devotion - By Chris Hart
Something all bodybuilders,
weight lifters, powerlifters and other athletes share is a certain degree
of dedication and devotion to there sport - whatever it may be. Only the
levels of that dedication alter.
Millions of people regularly visit their local pub to socialise and drink
with there friends. Within this close atmosphere a unity is generally
established between the patrons. The way this unity is expressed for one
and other and of course the "local" is through team activities
such as football, darts, pool, rugby, tug 'o' war the list goes on and
definitely alters depending on where you live. As you will have all
noticed at some point or another, there are certain characters that stand
out in these local teams for either being completely over the top, like
every game they are playing is for there own life, or your regular “Mr.
Couldn't give a....... “ but is always there for the team even if they
can't be arsed. What you have there is two types of people who are both
devoted and there for their team mates, but the level of dedication is
different. What would also be noticeably different would be there own
personal sense of achievement. Win or lose, Mr. OTT feels strongly about
his own personal performance, “Mr. couldn't give a......” may be a bit
pissed off with a loss or happy with a win but generally couldn't give a
Bodybuilders are very much alike. There are the devoted and truly
dedicated and there are the devoted and not so dedicated. I personally
have been both at sometime or another, I believe we all have, but getting
through those low times is what separates the men from the boys, and if
you haven't experienced it yet, you will! Absolute dedication and devotion
is required in bodybuilding to make any significant quality gains.
Dedicated to the gym, to your diet and devoted to yourself. If you don't
share the same view, you may feel this is a very selfish attitude, and I
would be in complete aggreance with you. However getting the balance
between your life and your training is the key, bodybuilding has altered
my life and the way I lead my life but not completely took over it. If
this was to happen, bodybuilding wouldn't be a pleasure it would be a
problem, one must keep an eye on this to make sure training doesn't become
"TOO" obsessive. It happens. Find the balance, stand back and be
Distractions play a big role
in everybody's lives. We all get distracted at some time either from our
training, work, household chores anything and everything, usually because
at the time something seems better than what your already occupied with. I
am nineteen years old, due to be twenty in August (the 26th
actually.....just a hint) and as a bodybuilder I believe I have come a
long way in a short time, but had to overcome a lot in that short space.
Many of you, whether your an old or young bodybuilder will have had your
dedication and devotion pulled and tugged at sometime or other, it may be
happening right now. A word of advice, stay strong, stick with it, it'll
pass, for Gods sake don't let whatever it is drag you away, because when
you stand in front of that mirror and hit a side chest, POW! And people
turn there heads. I don't think theres any better feeling of self
When I first started experimenting in the gym I was about sixteen years
old. I have a training history behind me but this involved punch bags and
contact mitts not barbells and benches. The reason I started training was
purely for "pulling" reasons, to make myself more aesthetically
appealing to the female eye (but don't we all) and I wanted it yesterday.
So I trained my arse off with no set routine, just a general circuit, for
about two weeks. When I had finally recovered and the soreness had gone
away, I realised that I liked the feeling the gym gave me, at that point I
could feel my devotion to the sport growing, and so could my Dad. He sat
me down and gave me a few pointers, demonstrated good, clean, correct
style exercises and put together a training system for me to gradually
introduce me to the gym. Even though this was the beginning for me in my
own training, the gym wasn't somewhere completely alien to me so I had a
pretty good idea of what was for what.
My first training system was based on a very common structure, but never
the less effective:
Monday - Chest + Biceps
Wednesday - Legs + Delts
Friday - Back + Triceps
As you can see three days a week was all I was training, this was for
1. I was new to the sport so introducing me steadily to the gym was
important, for safety and to prepare the body for the onslaught ahead.
2. Three days a week was easy to adjust to, and didn't effect may life to
dramatically which is very important to a young potential bodybuilder, as
sudden change at a young age or any age for that matter can be hazardous
in any pursuit, especially for a young whippersnapper like myself who used
to get bored of his presents by Boxing day. Gradual is the key.
3. The routine was simple and easy to get along with, which is vitally
important. If you are new to the sport and have been reading all the top
pros training routines and are trying to follow them, heed this advice.
Providing you have good style, technique, attitude and enough dedication
and devotion you'll get along fine and make some fantastic gains. The pros
have been at this game for a long time and have developed there style to
such an extent that every inch of movement either on a machine or with
free weights is utilised correctly and used to there advantage, you to
will develop these skills, you already may have but until then try and
keep it simple.
My diet was never a real concern to me before I made the decision to
compete, however I always realised the importance of eating good wholesome
food and plenty of it. A good breakfast, dinner and tea and trying to
avoid to much crappy snap and ale was about the extent I went to. This
again was to try an avoid complications and keep away the monotony of a
regular strict diet. Complicated may have been my down fall in the sport.
Nobody wants to be counting calories, protein, carbs and fat especially at
sixteen, I mean I don't do it now and have no intention to, as long as I
get in five to six good balanced meals a day in I don't mind (some of
those being meal replacement drinks of course PHEW!).
I have always supplemented my diet, this being through my own personal
understanding of the body. Everyone whether athlete or non athlete should
take some type of supplements at the VERY least a multi vitamin, and for
bodybuilders this should be imperative. Continually hammering the body
with weight assisted exercises, the muscles and organs of the body are
working under a certain level of stress. Because of this, extra nutrients
are needed in the body to feed us and allow biological functions to take
place, without the right nutrients we can not work at our optimum rate
thus leaving us with allsorts of disorders, fatigue, acne, illness etc.
ENJOYING IT ALL!
Enjoying your training is vitally important. The only way to succeed in
your goals is to enjoy what you are doing. However, training may make you
feel great, it may make you feel alive and young again (to those it may
concern), but everyone needs a break, and without a break you may be
holding back some quality gains. I personally like to take at least 3 good
breaks a year, probably one every four months. A good week lay off to give
the muscles, joints, ligaments, generally the whole body a well deserved
rest. The stresses of work may "strain the brain" and for this a
holiday is booked to get away, recover and help keep the monotony of the
job at bay. Don't you think hammering the body continually with weighted
exercises stresses the body some what, to such an extent that a holiday is
warranted? I think so, and so far it has only helped in my training.
Another good reason to take a short break is to keep ones dedication and
devotion focused on the task ahead, and a chance to look and reflect on
what is important in your training. Example, your routine, diet, symmetry
etc etc. Symmetry for example can be and is a worry for many bodybuilders.
The thought that the body is lacking in certain areas can really be
disheartening and a hindrance in the gym. Use the time allocated to rest
and recuperation to asses what is required from YOU, this way the next
time you walk into the gym, you should have a clear and focused mind on
the job ahead.
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