Six Keys to Successful Bodybuilding

by Dave Draper

To make clear the simplicity of bodybuilding I've arranged a list of six basic keys to successful training. They're nothing new and read like the same stuff in any motivational book on the market today. Yet they offer valuable insight and are essential to getting started and sticking to it.

1.Set a realistic goal - short and long term.
Be realistic in your goal setting. It's important from the very beginning and throughout your training to experience victory in each and every workout. Ease into your training with good energy, being careful not to overload yourself and fall victim to mental and physical burnout. Planning to look like Rambo by the end of summer will be frustrating and you may give up your training entirely.

2.Plan an orderly and thorough routine to train the entire body.
Decide how much time you have to devote to your training - how many hours per day and how many days per week. Based on this schedule, design an orderly and efficient routine that includes only basic exercises. Working your mid-section first, followed by chest, back shoulders, biceps, triceps and legs is always a good rule of thumb. Choose two exercises per bodypart, three to four sets of 8 to 12 reps with a day's rest between muscle groups if you're just getting started.

3.Make a commitment to stick to your routine for 4-5 weeks - to begin to see changes and benefits, develop perseverance and create a habit.
We now come to commitment, the Big Power Switch of our mental mechanism to see if we have the juice to crank over the engine and keep it running. Commitment is your personal promise - your word of honor - to realize your challenge and is vital in aspiration. The naturally occurring ingredients of commitment are consistency, persistence and determination. These gut disciplines engaged with patience and faith set you in positive motion toward your muscular goals.

4.Enthusiasm for training must be recognized as the main and driving force to perform successfully.
Each workout is a unique and separate experience unto itself. Events of the day, mood, energy levels and tensions effect every performance differently. Gather up as much enthusiasm as possible before each workout so you enter the gym with energy and a positive attitude. Your training must not become drudgery or a chore that has to be done. This is negative energy, producing negative results and must be willfully resisted.

5.Ease into a training program with a wholesome, thoughtful nutritional plan - proper food, order and amount of consumption.
In organizing an exercise program, keep your eyes and ears open. Scan the Web, magazines and books, visit the gyms and get input from your friends and mentors. An orderly and intelligent training routine is the major tool in achieving your bodybuilding goals.

6.Be confident from the beginning that the application of these sound principles will produce the desired results.
Keep your workouts tight and efficient, leaving no room for boredom or idle thought. You should quickly develop a mature training attitude allowing no interruptions in the flow of exercise from start to finish. This is not to suggest that you hurry in your training. A hurried attitude produces anxiety, nervousness and agitation, resulting in negative performance and loss of concentration. Quite the opposite, here I encourage a steady lean on your training - setting a vigorous pace that reflects excitement, confidence and determination

Become totally involved with each workout, each set and each rep. Focus on the performance of the exercise, the muscles involved and the feelings that result. Look for your particular groove and sense the burn. Training form is your priority and practice makes perfect. Learn to lift weights smoothly, sacrificing the poundage used to gain quality in your performance. Don't be anxious to overload your body and struggle to lift more than you can handle. This will create poor style and result in disappointment. These register as failures and drain your resources.

Once the basic foundation has settled, good work habits have developed and your groove has been established, you're on your way and ready to grow.

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