Your destiny in life is often shaped by the beliefs you have acquired and the decisions you have made. By reading this book and doing the exercises, you will have the opportunity to re-evaluate your current beliefs and make decisions that could change your bodybuilding destiny forever! I know that is a is very big statement. But it is a promise I can make with absolute certainty because I know from personal experience, as well as from the experiences of other top bodybuilders, what human beings are capable of when we have the right mental attitude.
I have always had the belief that you can never “know it all.” For example several years ago, I made the decision to try the new supplement creatine monohydrate that was “supposed to be” pretty effective. Although I was very skeptical, I decided to try it ten weeks before an upcoming contest, the 1994 Musclemania Natural Bodybuilding Championships. It was having my mind open to the latestbreaking developments in sports supplementation and the decision to use this product despite my skepticism which enabled me to win the heavyweight and overall titles -- six pounds heavier and significantly harder than my third-place finish at the inaugural Team Universe contest just 13 weeks earlier.
Winning that show gave me the confidence that I could truly “hang with the big boys.” What put me over the top was a single belief and a single decision. Now, a few years later, creatine is the most heralded natural bodybuilding supplement available -- so effective, its use has spread to the mainstream, major-league sports world. Creatine’s approval by those who have used it is unanimous.
Yet there are top natural bodybuilders in the country today who have never used creatine. As one said, “I tend not to believe the hype. Different products come and go. There’s always someone trying to sell you something.” That belief and that decision, in my opinion, is costing this athlete at least five pounds of quality size on stage and probably a title or two.
Learning is creating an association between the known and the unknown. Throughout this book, I will use stories and analogies from life outside the gym to provide lessons that will help your training. Using situations that you already understand will make learning much easier.
Many comparisons can be made between the trends in the business world and the current trends in bodybuilding. Whether you are an encyclopedia salesman, a personal trainer, or an employee of a large corporation, you must become attuned to your situation and stay ahead of the paradigm shifts in business. In other words, anticipate what will happen in the future and be proactive in your practices if you want to stay competitive. As a bodybuilder, you must stay ahead of the trends in bodybuilding to become successful.
I remember when I was a child; my parents did everything they could to keep our family always supplied with a current set of encyclopedias. I really appreciated their efforts, not only because of my hunger for up-to-date knowledge, but also because I knew a complete set was not exactly inexpensive.
But can you imagine if a business depended solely on the production and sales of encyclopedias in book form to be successful in today’s market? With the advent of CD ROM, the information in an entire set of encyclopedias can fit on a single compact disc! With the computers available in so many households across the country today, CD ROM versions would surely be a much more efficient and dramatically less expensive alternative to all of those books.
In our own world of bodybuilding, if a supplement company does not constantly raise its standards of quality and availability of state-of-the-art supplements, it can expect to go out of business soon.
The gym where you train is either a member of a large chain of gyms, or surely feels the mounting pressure from the larger chains to compete for your membership. In order to compete in today’s challenging fitness market, a gym must now feature top-of-the-line equipment, keep that equipment operating perfectly, be open for long hours, keep its facilities clean, and be inexpensive. Long gone are the days when gym owners could demand up to $500 a year from you – before you even had your first workout!
The key to staying in business in today’s economy is to be proactive and outstanding.
“You either grow or regress. Nothing stands still.” --Bill Phillips, Executive Editor of Muscle Media
Technology, which is advancing at a mind-staggering pace, is making keeping a job difficult for many people. As far as employees are concerned, with the downsizing (or right-sizing depending of which side of management you are on) you can no longer merely show up for work anymore. You must also be outstanding if you expect to survive in the business world.
A few years ago (from the time of this book original writing), AT&T has let go a significant portion of its workforce. Today computers can take care of many tasks people were once needed to do. Is it the company’s responsibility to keep these workers employed even though they are no longer needed? There may be differing opinions to this argument, but one thing is certain: People today cannot sit back and feel they are guaranteed employment. The workers who used the cliché, “It’s not my job,” have found themselves with no job at all.
At this point you may be thinking, “This information sounds interesting, but what does it have to do with my training?” Good question!
I applaud you for being keen enough to realize that using drugs to build your physique would no longer be acceptable. Every time you start getting discouraged that your gains are not coming as quickly as you want them to, just think about the unfortunate barrage of criticism people using drugs get along with their praise. They exert so much effort but they get that kind of treatment. If you have any kind of muscular development and are drug-free, I am sure you get your fair share of abuse. At least you know in your heart it is unwarranted. I encourage you to have a little compassion because I know that the drug-using bodybuilder’s plight must be ten times worse than the one you face.
But there are hard working, good athletes and officials (who are also good people) who are stuck in the middle of this dilemma. What they had failed to realize is that, once steroids and other drugs became illegal, the bodybuilding community’s tolerance would wane, and they would be in a very difficult position. As time goes on, the situation only gets tougher for them. Bodybuilding requires too much work to be appreciated so little. We will see how this complex issue resolves itself in time. One thing is certain, however; “sticking to your guns,” hoping the problem just goes away, or pretending there is no problem is not the solution.
Being a natural bodybuilder is only a portion of what it will take to be truly successful. Almost everybody trains without drugs, searches for a healthy lifestyle, and won’t necessarily try to be a competitive bodybuilder. The new challenge is to be natural and outstanding.
Training without drugs is good. In fact, training without drugs is very good. But training without drugs is only a start. Anybody can train naturally – that doesn’t take a whole lot of effort. You must strive to become outstanding. That is the real challenge!
What will it take to be natural and outstanding? Probably establishing of a whole new set of beliefs. That’s why I wrote Thinking Big: to provide you with a whole new way at looking at your current beliefs, so that you will adopt new ones empowering you to take your physique to a higher level of development. Thinking Big is designed to help you take your physique to a much higher level than you currently believe is possible.
Although many natural bodybuilders do a lot of talking, too many have not mustered up enough mental strength and courage to be really dedicated and develop their physique to their full genetic potential. I have had quite a number of inspired readers of my articles in the bodybuilding magazines who have surprised themselves with what they have accomplished naturally -- and wish they hadn’t wasted time.
“Don’t say --- DO!” -- Matt Potulny, a high school buddy of mine
I have a question for you: Which side of this new and emerging paradigm shift in natural bodybuilding will you be on? Whether you will be included or not, there are definitely some ambitious and mentally flexible people training who are taking this information to heart and are beginning to see “unbelievable” results. With all of the advances in training, nutritional information, and sports supplementation, plus international magazine exposure and top-of-the-line, drugtested contests such as the NPC Team Universe, people training naturally have the knowledge and incentive to get better and better.
The old stigma that says, “If a bodybuilder is good, he must be on drugs,” should not last forever. Soon there will be too many outstanding natural bodybuilders around to keep on insisting that they all are on drugs.
Sure, some die-hard skeptics will continue to say looking good can’t be done without drugs. I understand this. But they are going to be on the wrong side of the paradigm shift in bodybuilding. Those skeptics will be just like the guys taking steroids that they view as being on the wrong side of the current trend.
If being “number one” is so important to your ego that you must tear down those who are better than you, this new set of beliefs may be very hard to adopt. There will always be someone bigger and stronger. There will always be someone with a better-developed physique and who builds their body in less time and/or with less effort than you. If being a bodybuilder is just an avenue for you to be the biggest and best, you may wish to start hanging out with smaller people. You will save yourself a tremendous amount of effort.
I assume a person who would invest his money purchasing this book and spend valuable time reading it is a much more mature and evolved person. I respect you for that.
Bodybuilding is about reaching your full genetic potential – not comparing yourself to someone else. Successfully building your body and living a healthy lifestyle are certainly not going to be achieved by using the quick-fix solutions of judging and/or tearing down others in an effort to make yourself feel better. If you are currently stuck in this disempowering mode of thinking, I have empathy for you. If someone would have told me as little as eight years ago the things that I am telling you, I would have thought they were crazy. I totally understand your current viewpoint.
At the same time, I am old enough to see compact disc technology cause the 33 1/3 record player industry to disappear virtually overnight. I am old enough to remember thinking those household entertainment devices called VCRs would never be in a majority of homes. I thought the same of personal computers. If you would have told me I would be receiving written computer messages from around the entire globe in my living room, I would have thought you were insane. For the younger readers, I am only 35 years old. All of these changes have happened in the last 15 years or so. I hear many people in the gym today speaking of Arnold Schwarzenegger saying, “He was nothing!” And you know what? They are right in a sense. If you are measuring him by today’s competitive bodybuilding standards, Arnold would more than likely not make the top 15 at the Mr. Olympia contest.
But it was Arnold who influenced thousands and thousands of people across the world to train. They took the mental approach he developed and were able to begin at a much higher level than having to figure efficient strategies out for themselves. What people thought could be accomplished was taken to a higher and higher level. The same will hold true in natural bodybuilding. More and more people will be influenced to train without drugs. Those with superior genetics will no longer just jump right into the use of drugs, and others will discontinue their use. The physiques will get better and better.
I have written in past articles in the bodybuilding magazines of how, early in my training, I set my sights on being better than Francois Guy. He was one of the few natural bodybuilders featured in the magazines at that time. I knew I could be better than him. The defining moment for me was when I made the decision to be the very best I could be and spent all my energy trying to achieve that goal. I recently received a call from a former training partner of Guy. He expressed how proud Guy was to have such an influence on me. It is my sincere wish to influence you in the same way.
Mark my words: Ten years from now, the natural physiques you see on stage will “blow away” anyone you see in the bodybuilding magazines today. That is because of evolution -- and it is inevitable.
I am certain Chris Faildo, Yohnnie Shambourger, Ron Coleman, Bill Davey, Mike O’Hearn, myself, and the rest of the top drug-free competitors would be proud if, years from now, we influenced you to “unbelievable” drug-free development that would make us look like “nothing.”
If you saw one of us in a gym 10 years from now and said, “You guys were nothing compared to the natural guys around today,” we would turn around, look you straight in the face, and say …… “Thank you!”
I have listed a set of beliefs that couple of other top natural bodybuilders and myself have adopted to become our very best. Doing the same could fortify your quest for outstanding drug-free development. For your comical reading enjoyment, I have also listed a few of the beliefs those who are settling for mediocre, natural physiques have adopted.
It is critical that you become a visionary or look to stay ahead of the trends of our sport. Master or become an expert on your passion for bodybuilding. Adopt new, more empowering beliefs. In other words, make assumptions that demand you take 100% responsibility for your results. Go “all out” in your efforts to build an outstanding natural physique!
So let me ask you again: Which side of this shift in natural bodybuilding will you be on? Now is the time to make that decision!
Empowering Beliefs That Can Help Lead To An Outstanding Natural Physique
• There is always a way to accomplish my bodybuilding goals if I am truly committed.
• I appreciate what is great about me. I limit comparing myself to others.
• I will constantly strive for a higher level of drug-free development. I have surprised myself so far; just think what I will look like if I take my discipline to a higher level. Just think how good I will be with five more years of this kind of effort!
• I train with the attitude of gratitude. I am fortunate to have this passion for bodybuilding. Many other people live life looking forward to nothing.
• I will never stop learning.
• Knowledge is power! I will constantly strive for a better understanding of bodybuilding and specifically how my own body works.
• I will never assume I know it all. Doing so will severely slow down or even halt my progress.
• Since I have not yet achieved the physique I want, I will be persistent. The very next strategy I try could launch me into a new level of growth.
• I make myself feel good by knowing I gave 100% effort – not by tearing other people down.
• I realize the development a natural bodybuilder can achieve is tremendous.
• If someone is better than me, maybe he has trained longer. Or perhaps he has trained with more intensity, intelligence, and consistency. Maybe he has better genetics or has sought out more knowledge.
• If others are better than me, I will find out what it is they are doing differently. I will model their success.
A Comical Look at the Top 10 Beliefs of a Natural Bodybuilder with a Mediocre Physique
10. That guy isn’t natural! You can’t look that way without drugs! 9. The only reason he looks that good is because he used to take drugs 8. He must only take enough drugs to get by the testing – but I know he takes them! 7. He just looks that way because he has awesome genetics. He doesn’t even work very hard! 6. He’s 10, 9, 8, and 7 combined! 5. Taking any kind of supplements? That’s not natural! 4. He takes “excessive” supplementation. That just the same as taking drugs! (“Excess” begins where mine leaves off) 3. He’s worse that Mr. Olympia! At least Mr. Olympia admits he is using drugs! 2. Mr. Olympia? He’s nothin’ but a pill poppin’, needle shootin’ steroid freak! 1. I don’t really want to get that big anyway!
Conclusion: I am the highest human example of what can be accomplished drug-free. Anyone bigger than me is obviously a drug-using liar!
Special Exception: I reserve the right to raise the standard of how good a drug-free bodybuilder can get if or when I improve.
Warning: Don’t you dare accuse me of using drugs! I have worked long and hard to earn this muscle!
THE REAL CHALLENGE IN BODYBUILDING IS TO BE NATURAL AND OUTSTANDING!
What would you expect from your physique development if you were absolutely certain your hard work would pay off? Dare to dream! ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
What makes you think you can’t achieve such outstanding development? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
What beliefs do you need in order for your bodybuilding dreams to come true? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Assume that these bodybuilding dreams are possible. What sources of information, strategies, and people are currently available to you to use in order for you get the knowledge and inspiration to accomplish them? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
What sources of information, strategies, and people can you make available? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
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