Transforming Your Goals into Legendary Results


 Motivation in Seven Easy Steps

Though Diane and I already addressed the problem of staying motivated (click here to read it), we continue to have more requests about secrets for staying motivated and decided to tackle this problem again this week. Hopefully you will find what you need to fire up your own enthusiasm here.

Getting all the correct information on training and nutrition can be difficult with all the contradictory information out there. Many of you have studied all the books and Web sites and talked to champions and have figured out how to get that great physique, but just aren't motivated to actually put all that knowledge to work. It was never a problem for me when I competed. I was so frightened of stepping on stage and making a fool of myself, I made sure I did what I could every day to look my best. Since I quit competing, I've had to find other ways to motivate myself. Here's a more thorough look at what Diane and I do and what we suggest you do:

Richard Begins:


  1. Take photos of yourself! When you see how bad you look, it will drive you to get better. The B&W photo of me used on this page was taken six to eight weeks after I just looked in the mirror and didn't like what I saw. I was happy with my accomplishment. So my advice to people is to take a photo of yourself and then take new photos every six weeks until you are in the shape you desire. That is, don't try to accomplish miracles in six weeks if you haven't been training and eating fairly well and just need to up the intensity for a month or two to get back into shape. Most of you haven't gotten into that shape in six weeks and it's going to take longer than six weeks to get in the shape you want.

  2. Find photos of others that inspire you. I'm inspired to achieve a look that is pleasing, not just grotesque.

      When I was a kid I saw photos of Greek statues, like the discobolos of Myron or Laocoon, and got it into my head that that is what men should look like instead of the beer-gut, no-ass, skinny-legged excuses for manhood I saw walking around at the local swimming pool.


    bbb  Later I saw a picture of John Grimek that demonstrated to me what real manhood could achieve. Perched on a pillar was a god in the flesh! The highlight of my life was later actually meeting the great JCG in person when I was only 20 years old. He is one of the few people I've ever met that lived up to my expectations in real life.



Another guy is none other than the first Mr. Olympia, Larry Scott. This picture on the cover of Muscular Development blew my mind. It still does! For me, no one has even come close to the perfection of Scott's arms, other than Lee Priest.

Both of these pictures have emotional moments attached to them so that they still are able to create motivation in me as they did years ago. Needless to say, both pictures are prominently displayed on my gym walls. I look at those photos and feel twenty years old and ready to pump my heart out!


  3.  Listen to music. I see a lot of people with headsets listening to their favorite music or motivation tapes. When I first began training in the 60s, I played music (the old surfer stuff: Beach Boys, Jan and Dean, etc.) and getting copies of that old stuff and playing it again got me right back into the psyche-mode too! (Just ask Ms. Fields. She's been in my gym and will attest to all these facts.)


4. Training partners. I never really needed a training partner to motivate me. In fact, I found them a hindrance: most people work out too slow or don't show up on time or aren't motivated themselves and drain my energy trying get them psyched up. But it really works for a lot of people. I've seen a couple of guys or gals train together and achieve marvelous things. They made it a competition between them to see who could gain the most in strength or size or just lose the most weight. They came in the gym aching to get started busting a gut with their partner! The only training partner I enjoyed for very long and made great gains with was the first Ms. America, Laura Combs.


Richard and Laura Combes, the first Ms. America, training at Gold's Gym.

Diane adds:

5. Constantly set new goals. How many times have you seen someone lose a large amount of weight, only to regain it all plus a few added pounds. What happened? Once the target was hit, the celebration began. If new goals were already in place, the celebratory meal would be just meal. Then the successful transformation artist would be right back on track with a keen focus on the next goal. Whether it's the next contest, a photo shoot, looking great at your 25th reunion and children's weddings or just simply getting into a certain pair of jeans, set a goal, go after it and set another before the process is over.

Sara Altmyer from Alabama provides us with an exceptional example of ongoing goal setting. At 42 years of age, Sara is a busy woman. She is married, a second grade teacher and has two young daughters. Even with a very busy and hectic schedule, Sara manages not only to get in her workouts, but she consistently improves her physique. "The physical benefits are secondary to the mental ones.

The confidence I've gained through weight-training is incredible. And - I don't spend an inordinate amount of time on working out, either. It fits into my busy lifestyle!" Sara stays on track with her nutrition with just a bit of planning, using EAS meal replacement shakes to provide a good source of protein when her teaching schedule won't allow time for a traditional meal.


Sara Altmyer at 42 years of age shows off her Legendary Physique!

Two years ago, Sara set upon her journey towards fitness using the Body for Life program. Rather than be content with the twelve week transformation, Sara set a new goal and she embarked on another 12 week transformation program. After 24 weeks, Sara decided to enter her third Body for Life program. Now, looking far younger than her forties and the energy to take care of her family and students, Sara finds time to spread the word of fitness.


    6. Keep a journal that tracks your workouts and daily nutritional intake. You'll be pumped up during your workouts when you know exactly how much you lifted during your last workout. Set a goal to increase the weight or the number of reps. Your focus and intensity will increase as you push to break through barriers. Nutritional journals help with cheating. Do you really want to write down that you were eating Twizzlers?
    NOTE from Richard: Frank Zane was the king of journal keepers. In fact, I would bet a box of EAS Chocolate Dipped Strawberry bars that Frank has a record of almost every set and rep he ever did!

     7. Read motivational material. Watch videos that are inspiring. Magazines, websites and books provide a wealth of motivational material. Get fired up and get moving! Here are a few recommendations: Mind and Muscle by Blair Whitmarsh, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, The Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding, which should be included in every lifter's personal library. From lifting tips to an incredible collection of photos from the early days of bodybuilding this book will provide motivation.

Not Motivated?  Follow these seven steps and the gains will happen!

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