It can be brutally challenging to stay disciplined and motivated while bodybuilding. As a competitor and Sacramento Personal Trainer who helps prepare others for Fitness and Figure Competition, we know what it takes. Figure competitors engage in endless hours of training, discipline with diet, and stay laser-focused on the desired outcomes despite the temptation to take breaks or cut corners.
The daily grind of building a physique for a fitness and figure competition can seem daunting. Still, Sacramento’s premier team of personal trainers is ready to coach you into achieving your body transformation goals.
At Team Iron Body’s and Minds, we’re committed to helping you build the physique of your dreams.
Find a good training partner
As much as we think we can push ourselves hard in the gym, nothing will move you like a good training partner. A good training partner won’t let you skip reps or a workout. During a workout, a good training partner is your hype-man or woman. They deliver the motivation when you need it the most, whether it’s squeezing out another rep or adding weight to the bar.
Training with like-minded individuals can catapult your progress and increase your work ethic. Sculpting an excellent physique is a grind. It doesn’t happen overnight, and there will be plenty of days where giving up seems an option. A good training partner won’t let you quit.
If you’re lucky, you can find a training partner who’s accomplished the goals similar to what you’ve set for yourself. Finding someone who’s been there and done that can elevate every aspect of the competition preparation process. Few things will accelerate your physique development faster than training with more advanced people.
At Team Iron Minds and Bodies, our experienced trainers support and fuel you every step of the way.
A well-curated playlist
Music is one of the greatest motivators. Having a few well-curated playlists can do wonders for your energy and output in the gym. Music can increase stimulation via a connection between auditory neurons and motor neurons. Music motivates our bodies to move. Music can raise your mood, improve morale, make you happier, and fuel productivity and motivation. Music can help you feel more confident on training days where you need an extra boost. A good playlist can nudge you into a mindset that’s more likely to help you succeed.
Take progress pictures
The journey of a fitness and figure competitor can be daunting. You’ll put in the work and feel like no noticeable changes are taking place. Taking frequent progress pics can serve as a great measuring tool. The combination of training and diet will lead you to desired results, making you proud and giving visual confirmation of the positive changes.
The body takes quite a bit of time to change. Taking weekly photos will show way more than the weight scale or body fat numbers. Photos are an excellent reference for how far you’ve come. Whenever you’re feeling discouraged or unmotivated, look at your photos. It’s incredible to reflect on photos you took a year from now; the changes can be profound.
Keep progress pictures in a notebook, three-ring binder, or a folder on your phone where you can reference them regularly.
Goal Setting Like A Sacramento Personal Trainer
A goal is a result of something that you desire. Think of it as a checklist—the desired outcome. Goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-stamped. Goals should be written down and kept where you can see them daily. A goal written down becomes your purpose, priority, and fuel to drive you forward every day.
There are two types of goals. Short-term and long-term. Accomplishing short-term goals, such as eating clean meals throughout the day, contributes to your long-term goals. Other short-term goals include working out regularly and increasing step count. Again, short-term goals add to achieving the long-term goals, which is looking your best on stage.
Long-term goals describe finishing something in the distant future, which might be a year or years away. If you want to be an IFBB Figure Pro, you’re likely to commit to accomplishing this goal several years from now.
Create a vivid image. See yourself on stage, looking exactly the way you want. Hold onto that image. Never let go of it.
Next, establish a clear understanding of the process that will help you arrive at the desired shape and fitness level. A goal without a plan is just a wish. It would help if you had a firm understanding of the path to achieving that vivid image.
Based on your goals, you’re able to create a clear action plan. Diet, training, cardio, supplements, sleep, pose practice, etc.
Here’s an example:
- Diet: 85-90% adherence, 1.0 gram of protein per pound of body weight daily
- Training: 4 days per week (75-90 minutes per session)
- Cardio: 3 x 30-minute sessions per week
- Supplements: Vitamins, minerals, protein powder taken daily
- Sleep: 7-9 hours per day
- Pose Practice: 20-30 minutes 4-5 days per week (daily just before the contest)
Goals help to shift your habits, which will override any bad habits or common detours in the process. When you remind yourself why you’re putting in the work, what it’s all for, you’re more apt to stay on a path of discipline.
Discipline, not motivation
Motivation is fickle. Motivation comes and goes, but discipline is concrete. Motivation is good for about 15 minutes. Discipline, on the other hand, is good permanently. On the days where you’re not “feeling it” you go and get it done. That’s discipline. Figure competitors shoulder the responsibility to make things happen.
Building a physique requires leaning into the most challenging things on the days where you don’t feel like making them happen. Lean into it. Face it. Step up and make it happen.
Anyone can crush a workout when they are motivated. Still, long-term success will depend on your ability to destroy a training session when you aren’t feeling up for it. Go on the offense!
Eat the Frog First Thing in the Morning
Tackling the most challenging task first thing in the morning sets you on a path for success the rest of the day. If you’re feeling unmotivated to train, wake up early and hit the gym, and train. Don’t waste time hitting the snooze button. Don’t stop to gauge if feeling it that day. Get your clothes, shoes, and gym bag out the night before so that when you wake up, you’re out the door as quickly as possible.
So many times, we dread the thought of things, but once we are actively doing them, we feel good. Do not talk yourself out of doing the hard stuff for competition prep. The longer you’re allowed to think about something you dread, the worse it gets. Eventually, you might convince yourself that it’s ok to cut corners with workouts or fall off the wagon with diet. The problem with cutting corners is if you slip up once, you may slip up again. Eventually, these slip-ups snowball and become a habit.
If you attack the hard stuff right away in the morning, it’s done. Set your alarm to go off early, get out of bed quickly, and start in on getting the work done. Get it done before you get in your way.
Team Iron Bodies and Minds provides Sacramento’s best personal training services, committed to helping clients achieve results-based fitness goals. If you’re interested in pursuing fitness and figure competitions, we’re your team! Grab a free consultation and a week of training on us! Get Started Now!