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As long as I can remember I have been told, “Leave your ego in the locker room” and that “the weight room is not the place for your ego.” I had been conditioned from a young age to be humble in the gym, take things slow and use excruciatingly impeccable form. Bust sometimes I had a hard time staying motivated for bodybuilding success.
I was obedient for the most part but I didn’t quite see the gains in muscle mass that I had hoped to. I didn’t understand. Flex magazine told me that the key to muscular growth was massive calorie intake and heavy, controlled movements in the gym.
Criticism of Me Staying Motivated For Bodybuilding Success
My dad, a muscle enthusiast himself, made sure that I never went to failure on any exercise for fear of injuring myself or overtraining. All of my gym buddies had rolled their eyes if one of the big dudes in the gym happened to grunt or drop a pair of heavy dumbbells on the floor.
And, of course, the high school strength coach made “The weight room in not the place for your ego” his mantra.
Now don’t get me wrong, I understand and advocate proper technique and form when moving heavy iron in the gym. In fact, I have been criticized on internet message boards and through @MuscleHQ on Twitter for urging young folks to be cautious of overtraining and the importance of staying free from injury.
My Perspective To Stay Motivated for Bodybuilding Success
I have been known to be over-cautious at times when it comes to lifting as I’d rather have submaximal gains than injury caused from overtraining or fatigue.
That being said, as I have become a more experienced lifter – having over two decades worth of fitness and power sports training and education – I have realized how the statement “Leave your ego in the locker room” has done me a disservice over the years.
That philosophy was pounded into my brain every day for the first ten years of my lifting career and it has been only recently that I have completely discarded that school of thought.
Injury Prevention and Drive for Bodybuilding Success
The key to injury and overtraining prevention does not lie in the psychological mindset stifling aggression or limiting the demonstration of passion in the gym. The key is guidance and training through perfecting technique from the onset of a lifting career.
Strength coaches, parents and training partners should embrace the tenacity and drive that is demonstrated in the weight room and channel it into a disciplined, dynamic approach to continuous strength and muscle gains. This is how you stay motivated for bodybuilding success.
In the article Athletic Preparation and Motivation: The Psychological Advantage I discussed the complex nature of motivation and how it influences athletic performance. To truly excel in any athletic endeavor, training must be approached with determination, passion and the absolute desire to win. That means entering the gym with aggression, focus and pride in your capabilities.
Each repetition must be attacked with what Arnold Schwarzenegger called “aggression and joy.” That will result in grunting, sweating, explosion, speed, power and maybe blood and vomit.
It may be called “ego” to some. But those of us who possess that profound desire to win, it is known as commitment, pride and discipline.