Let me ask you this: Have you ever wanted something so bad, you did everything in your power to get it? You made sure you somehow got the necessary money, you worked your ass off to impress someone, you made a little extra effort to get into that team, you researched for hours on end just to fit in and have knowledge about a certain topic. The list goes on.
Have you ever done something like that?
Well good, because then you know what it means to get results. And then you’ve got all the tools you need to dramatically transform your physique. If not, building muscle might not be your thing.
That might seem a bit harsh, and there will be countless others who promise you that no matter your current state, you can have a great looking body. Still, I’m here to tell you that they’re wrong and that not everybody can build muscle.
Only the ones with dedication, consistency, willpower and the mindset to do what it takes will build a great physique.
It’s the only ones who have ever achieved looking so damn good.
It’s tough, guys. Building muscle is not just some playing around in the school playground, having fun day after day. Sometimes, it sucks and you won’t want to continue because there just aren’t any results in the mirror to be proud of. Sometimes, you get thrown off by unforeseen circumstances, like bad weather, guests or holidays without a gym. Sometimes, you wake up feeling as if you crashed into a tree during the night.
But then, sometimes, everything just clicks and falls into place. It’s the ones who wait for that “sometimes” who will succeed.
Listen, I’m not talking about some measly 5 pounds of muscle gain a year. I’m not even talking about 10 pounds a year. Almost anyone can gain that if they just stay consistent for a year.
What I’m talking about are the guys cracking the 20 pounds + of solid muscle in their first year, even going as high as 30 pounds in some rare cases. The ones who strive for mastery and quick but concrete progress week after week. The ones who jump from 100 pounds bench presses to 175 pounds within a year. The ones who follow one program with absolute dedication. The ones who will always remain superior simply because of their attitude towards life.
It’s a tough road.
Sadly, too many gurus in the fitness industry will tell you it’s easy and that you can gain 15 pounds in 4 weeks or get shredded in the same time. All they’re doing is selling you their B.S.
Granted, once you do everything right and keep yourself in check, working out and building muscle can be one of the most rewarding things ever.
When the results come, you will gain confidence like never before. You will feel like a king and act accordingly. You will simply feel amazing. It’s crazy how much a person can change simply by working out and changing their body. It teaches confidence, dedication, consistency and willpower unlike anything else.
But there’s still a mountain to climb and things to fall over and get stuck on. Not everyone will conquer them.
Otherwise, why wouldn’t everyone that started working out look like a complete boss just a year later? Why would people have to keep getting back in shape for summer each and every year? Why do we see so many New Year’s resolutions fail?
It’s simple – only a small bunch of people actually have what it takes to build their dream physique. Not everyone will get there.
That’s the thing: Everyone has the potential to build an awesome body, to look amazing. But there’s still only a few who will actually do it.
In this case, it has nothing to do with your body’s capabilities or muscle building potential – but it has everything to do with the right mindset. Sure, some lucky guys have all the genetics set out for them, able to build muscle on demand. But that doesn’t mean Joe Average can’t also add some solid 30-40 pounds of muscle to his frame over the years.
Our Joe might not look as proportionally Greek god-like as the genetic freaks and he might not naturally get over 200 pounds of lean mass; but he’ll achieve a pretty darn good-looking physique by simply dedicating the hell out of himself. By staying consistent with everything he does. By making every workout count.
So, that’s why you need to ask yourself: Are you taking muscle building serious? Are you willing to sacrifice some of your time to go to the gym consistently, week after week (you only really need 2-3 sessions per week, though), month after month, year after year? Are you willing to turn to a proper nutritional plan (a plan where you can eat all the meat, eggs, bacon you want, aka the stuff you really crave) which you will follow as a way of life – and not a stupid diet which will only result in regret and metabolic chaos? Are you willing to choose one workout routine and follow it with dedication? Finally, are you willing to do all this whilst enjoying the process and having fun seeing your transformation come about?
Are you that person? Do you think you can do that?
Then building muscle might just be your thing. Then you might just be the right person for the task. Someone I can bet my money on and know that I will win.
To some, this probably sounds extreme. This is not what people make building muscle sound like?! As if I’m expecting the world for something so basic in nature.
The truth is: It isn’t hard. Building muscle can become a passive, automatic process and a joyful, exciting part of your everyday life. If you see it as a journey and accept your body in every stage you are in – good or bad – it will be a breeze. If you learn to enjoy simplicity (eating one way, training one way), it will even make life easier and more rewarding.
It’s what you set your mind to, that will ultimately determine the outcome. Once you have arrived at a better, a more bulletproof mindset, working out and eating right will become second nature. It won’t be a daily struggle but a simple decision to choose what’s right and drop what’s wrong.
You will learn to only feed your body with the things that improve it and make it better. Instinctively, you will choose the better option. It’s a powerful evolution of the mind.
Once you’ve reached that mental state, building muscle and looking good won’t be your daily obsession and goal anymore. It will simply be a regular part of your day, the same as eating. You don’t have to think about it. You won’t find it hard or extreme to follow. You won’t find yourself obsessing over it. It will become a state you live in. Something you just do without a second thought.
From then onward, the real fun begins, since everything will just be so much easier.
That’s what I meant with my initial statement: Muscle building might not be your thing because you’re just not ready for the challenge yet. You haven’t grown enough mentally.
If you keep asking yourself why you’re not seeing results in the gym despite doing some (maybe most) of it right, this is your problem. You’re still weak and small because you haven’t fixed the only place muscle building stems from. Your daily mental state and mindset. It determines each action you’ll take on any given day, so better give it some thought before blindly heading off into the day, right? I promise you now, your day will transform and your decisions will lean toward the positive and growth-focused the more you practice.
Now, there’s just one thing missing.
You are probably asking yourself: Alright, Sven, but how exactly do I practice this stuff? How do I get to that mental state of mind? I need some guidance, please!
Alright, I hear you. So let’s look at a few of my favorite examples. Some people absolutely love meditation for this but I, personally, have found the following to work even better for me:
- An Invincible Mindset – You need to have the right mindset from the get-go if you want to truly really change your behaviour. This isn’t something that can be easily taught, it’s more of a conviction, a relentless pursuit to find the best version of yourself day after day. You need to decide for yourself that you’ll follow this path, no matter what it takes. Once you have this ingrown conviction, you can use the next two tips to manifest and reinforce it.
- Planning the Next Day in Advance – If you want to manifest something in your life, you have to make room for it and plan it into your day. Just saying you’ll do it won’t cut it for most people. You need something to look at, something to motivate you. Plus, if you write it down, you are challenging yourself and making it harder to just overlook.
- Making Working Out a Rule in Life – You will follow this rule, no matter what. It’s what you live by, something you don’t question. It’s the same as drinking water every day or brushing your teeth. You just do it because it just needs to be done. Same thing for your workouts. If you don’t allow choice or emotions to come into play, you’ll do it because you know it’s a part of life. I have several of these rules in life. Working out daily (if resistance training or other activities) is one of them.
So, write down your goals for each day the evening prior. Don’t create a to-do list and don’t see it as one. Just write down 3 things you want to achieve the next day. Then, act on them. Make it happen. You’ll feel so satisfied once you reach your target.
This is an audio book by Eckhart Tolle, which is absolutely amazing. If you’ve never heard about the concept of living in the “Now”, the idea is this: Most people today go about their day and activities mindlessly. When they are at work, they daydream about how their life could be better or what movie they’ll watch tonight with friends. When they workout at the gym, their mind is buzzing from all the stress they had at work today and they try to figure out a way to fix things that went wrong, or they’re just mad at their boss and can’t stop hating on him in their mind. Finally, when they return home, instead of having fun and enjoying some time with the family, they worry about their financial situation.
Point being: Their mind is always out of place and out of space! There’s rarely a strong focus on the Now, on what’s going on in the present moment. Tolle says that this is wrong and it’s making us sick. You can’t change the past and you cannot know or determine the future – so why bother thinking about it! Why spend time in places that don’t aid you in life? All you’ll achieve is feeling anxious, stressed out, depressed, angry and sad.
Instead, focus on the Now, the present moment. That’s where you’ll feel excited, engaged, happy and alive. In fact, the Now is the only time you can ever live in or ever will live in. It’s the only thing that counts since you can actively change it. Thinking about what was and what will be is useless since there’s nothing you can change about it.
If you practice the Power of Now (and I strongly suggest you get yourself the audio book to listen to) , you’ll see your focus, concentration, productivity and happiness increase like crazy. You’ll feel rooted in whatever you do and have way more joy in life.
Here’s how you use it: Listen to Practicing the Power of Now every morning (or evening) for 20 minutes and then go about your day practicing the teachings. It’s as simple as going to the gym and being fully engaged in your training and aware of your every surroundings. Try it, it’s awesome.
Affirmations are simply words or sentences you repeat and speak to yourself (aloud or in your head) again and again, on a consistent (optimally daily) basis. It’s just a way of training your subconscious mind to believe your affirmations over time. It goes by the same principle that, when Nick keeps telling himself he’s bad at playing tennis, he’ll eventually end up being a bad tennis player, just because he trained his mind to believe it. Even if he turns out to actually be a really good tennis player, it might take him months or even years to overcome that feeling of mediocrity because he entrained his brain to think he’s really bad.
That is affirmations in true action. On the contrary, we can use positive affirmations to attain the results we desire. Obviously, just saying it but never really acting on your affirmations won’t do any good, either. You gotta live it.
Here’s a good example of how to make use of affirmations for your fitness goals: Pete heard about affirmations and how they can help him achieve his dream physique. He is quick to take action and comes up with a few sentences, writing them down. They say: 1. I easily build muscle 2. I look just like Brad Pitt in the movie Troy 3. People admire me for my dedication and consistency in the gym 4. People keep telling me how amazingly muscular my body looks 5. I love my workouts and never skip a session 6. I am genetically gifted and build muscle insanely fast
After he has written them down, Pete, now satisfied and ready to go, plasters these sentences on his room wall and begins his first round of repetitions, saying the sentences out loud and with deep conviction that they’re true. All this takes him around two minutes. He goes about his day, maybe works out (like crazy, of course). The next day, he wakes up and after a nice cold shower, Pete once again repeats the affirmations for two minutes. He does so day after day and month after month. With time, his affirmations might change but he still repeats them.
One year later, Pete is a shredded dude. He has gained a staggering 15kg (30 pounds) of solid mass and can now toss his old affirmations and instead take on new goals. This time, he focuses on how to be more confident.
Pete feels pretty amazing.
Anyways, back to serious. That’s how you do it. It’s quite simple really and literally takes 1-2 minutes for one round, depending on the amount of sentences you wrote down. By the way, it works! You’re just simply making your brain believe it’s true and it will make the necessary changes. It’s not woo-woo, there’s even science behind this but I’ll pass on that for now.
You can use daily affirmations for anything. For your family life, fitness, health, relationships, behaviour, productivity etc. Just try it out – it never hurts.
To sum things up, this is how I’d tackle my day from now on:
- Plan the Next Day in Advance – In the evening, go grab a piece of paper and write down your goals for the next day. What do you want to achieve in terms of work, fitness and health? Write down that you’ll actually workout and schedule the workout into your day or say that you’ll eat to nourish your body and give it what it needs. Whatever it is, write it down.
- Get into an Invincible Mindset – You need that deep conviction to truly want to change things, that no matter what, you’ll be ready and follow-through anyways. Set out a plan and follow it. You can change it (because we all make mistakes when we first plan something out) but still follow whatever you planned out. Also, look at the longterm result – one year, two years away. Don’t get stuck in the little things that don’t make a difference. When you wake up, know your plans for the day and take action.
- Practice The Power of Now – Get those audio books and listen to them! After you have established your Invincible Mindset for the day, listen to Practicing the Power of Now for 20 minutes. That will get you into the zone and ready to tackle your day (especially your workout) with full concentration and focus.
- Read Daily Affirmations – Next, read your daily affirmations out loud (just find a private space, like your bedroom) and with conviction, as if they were already reality. Now you know where you’re going, you know what to do and you can attack your day with confidence and produce results. Go get ’em!
The whole thing really shouldn’t take longer than 30-35 minutes. Five minutes in the evening to plan your day and another 30 minutes for the morning routine. That’s it! If you can’t do 30 minutes, only listen to Practicing the Power of Now for 10 minutes. If you really want to, you’ll make the time.
There you go. That’s procrastination-destroying, results-driven behavior in full action. If you can establish this routine, you’ll be down and dirty in no time and a year from now, you’ll reap all the fitness and general life benefits you can’t yet imagine. Enjoy.
Question: What are your thoughts on this? Will you take action and become one of the “meant-for-muscle-building”? Tell me what you think of the routine and how you will implement it (if you do) in your life. Do you think a routine like this is good or just boring and stupid? Let me know.