After I quit competing, I no longer had the next contest to
prepare for and to motivate my training. In fact, I was sick
of training. It was no fun anymore. It had become something I
had to do. Unlike you, I did not totally quit training, but I
lost my training intensity and my food intake became more
"normal" (read a disaster, like most Americans). Gradually,
fat began to appear on the mid-section, muscles began to
Since I continued to train, it happened slowly and
therefore almost unnoticeably. Finally, a photographer friend
of mine suggested I take some photos while I was still young
enough to get in shape. Before we set a date for this photo
session, I saw a practice photo taken while I was training and
it REALITY HIT me that I no longer had the physique I worked
so hard for!
Oh, most people thought I looked great, with a much better
physique than other men my age, but that has never been enough
for me. I have always had an image of myself that I thought
was a minimal condition I had to maintain.
I decided it was time to do something to regain my training
motivation and cease just going through the motions. I started
by looking at old photos of myself to reassure myself that I
indeed did have a superior physique at one time. I pondered
about what motivated me to train before I entered competition
and realized it was the photos of John Grimek, Larry Scott,
Frank Zane, Arnold Schwarzenegger, etc., in bodybuilding
So I got out my collection of old magazines and began to
read them again. The effect was almost immediate: I felt a
stirring of motivation to look like those guys all over again!
I also began listening to music that I trained by when I was a
kid, and you know what? I was so psyched up by the time I was
ready to workout that I no longer had to think about
Now that I was working out with renewed enthusiasm
and intensity, I began to examine the diet. I knew that my
renewed workout enthusiasm was for naught unless I did
something to decrease the junk food and empty calories and
concentrate on grilled or broiled beef, chicken and fish and
steamed vegetables and fresh fruit. I also began to take
minimal supplements (a
B-complex, extra C-complex, and
glucosamine for healthy joints.
photo on the right was taken when I was 52 after only 6 weeks
of training. I began to have fun working out so that I
actually looked forward to each training session. Now whenever
I find myself unmotivated, I set a date to take more photos
and use the same tactics all over again to motivate myself.
It comes down to this: you have to constantly set goals to
reach. Make short-term goals, such as gaining a 1/16th of an
inch in your arms or losing a 1/4 of an inch in your waist and
plan your exercise and diet to reach those goals. There are
few things in life as satisfying and reaching goals and few
areas in life where goals are as easy to reach as in
bodybuilding. You usually get out of it exactly what you are
willing to put in it.
Happy pumping, and let us know how these suggestions helped
you gain a new lease on lifting!