Throughout your program it is essential
that you remain focused and motivated. This is sometimes easier said than
done. It is easy to be motivated when everything is new and you are constantly
making size and strength gains, but when they slow or cease, motivation
decreases and you lose confidence in your system. This happens to everyone
at some point.
Have you ever started a workout program
where you were very excited and motivated at the beginning of the program,
but as time passed you quickly became disappointed, discouraged and quit
because you were not making any substantial gains? Well, I will let you
in on a little secret: Nothing ever goes as planned. No one ever makes
the gains they expected when they expected. At some point, guys who have
made incredible gains got discouraged and felt disappointed. But they
did not quit. They stayed focused on their goals.
Don't doubt your program -- whatever it
may be. This is the true road to failure. Once you decide on a plan, you
must see it through. Have enough confidence in yourself to realize that
you've chosen the right methods. When I was on my 12 week program, I had
an initial burst of progress, but after that it was very slow going. For
a three week period, I had stopped getting results altogether. Do you
think I was discouraged? You're damn right I was! I was on a tight schedule
and my body was not cooperating.
I typically lose motivation at plateau levels
(when I cease making any significant gains), or in the winter time (when
it's cold outside and there is very limited daylight). To keep yourself
on track, there are a few things I suggest that you do:
- Change your workout parameters.
If you have been performing the same weight training routine for at
least 5 weeks and you are not seeing any further strength gains, you
may want to consider changing your workout parameters (i.e. sets, reps,
tempo, exercises). Any small change should be enough to continue your
progress. For example, if you are performing your reps with tempo of
one count up and one count down, you may try slowing down your reps
for a count of one up and three down.
- Take a before picture. And
put it where you can see it everyday. This reminds you of what you used
to look like, and what you will look like again if you stop training!
- Write down your specific goal on a
piece of paper (e.g. I want to gain 30 pounds of muscle and get
my body fat below 6%), and either carry it with you everywhere, or hang
it somewhere you will see it everyday.
- Find a photo of someone who has the
physique that you are trying to attain. You
must be realistic when choosing this. I happen to think that Arnold
has a physique that I would like to have, but it will never happen.
I don't have the genetics and I do not want to spend my life in a gym.
Just choose someone who is realistically achievable. Now hang that where
you will see it everyday. Each time you look at your role model photo
or read your written goal, you should visualize what you will actually
look like at that goal and how you will feel.
- Take your physical measurements every
two weeks. This is a gauge of
how well your program is working for you. It will show you how far you
have come. You will also see what is and what is not working for you.
- Give yourself a free day.
Allow yourself one day out of the week to eat anything you want - without
Don't underestimate their power of these
tips. No one knows why this stuff works, it just does. I'm proof.