On November 2016 I returned to the competitive stage of bodybuilding. After almost 6 years off, it was great to step back on stage again. But after the competition I realized that, although I had accomplished my own goal of being a better version of myself from the last time on stage, the 6 years offseason could have produced a much better result. So I had to ask myself, what could I improve for the next event in May? Quickly I pinpointed a few solutions, but there was one thing I knew I could put into action right away.
A Time For Everything
When I was a kid, Sunday afternoon’s where our family’s time to visit Nonna (Italian for Grandmother) and Nonno (Italian for Grandfather) for a ‘healthy’ Italian feast; God help us if we were a minute late. These visits were really special times growing up, times I didn’t fully appreciate till I got much older. Of all the many wonderful memories from those past Sunday meals, one such memory was something my Nonno would always say when it got too loud around the lunch table.
There’s a time for talking, there’s a time for working and there’s a time for eating. Right now, it’s time for eating.
Nonno would survey the table, look back to me, smile, nod and continue eating. The rest of lunch got a little quieter.
Develop Your Focus
Now my grandfather didn’t repeat these words just so we would chew our food properly or to prevent us from choking or even to keep us from talking; Nonno was teaching us a valuable lesson. Focus on what you’re doing, finish it and move on. Seems very basic and simple doesn’t it? Yet if you’re a people watcher (aka weirdo) like me, then you notice how out of focus people really are. Slow drivers holding up traffic because they aren’t paying attention to the road. Pedestrians bumping into each other, not watching where they’re walking. Then there’s my personal favorite, people not focused on their workouts in the gym!
I get it, after finishing work for the day, heading to the gym to immerse yourself in a workout for a whole hour doesn’t seem very appealing to most people. But we aren’t most people and they are the furthest thing from what we want, phenomenal results. We are aspiring professional athletes, bodybuilders or those of us who want to earn amazing transformations. We are looking for the greatest results possible to become our own champions. We are not satisfied with petty success, we work for ultimate success. So why do we stunt our own progress? Put the phone down, cut the chit-chat, save everything else besides the workout for later and get to work; the results you’re looking for will come your way like an avalanche!
I want you to think about something, when was the last time you watched a professional athlete pull out their cell phone and start texting or talking to there spouse in the middle of game? The answer is NEVER! It’s not the time for Snapchat on the football field or Instagram selfies on a baseball diamond. Could you imagine if NFL players started talking about ‘relationship issues’ or what happened on Game of Thrones in the middle of a huddle?
Let’s take it off the field. Ever seen a heart surgeon playing candy crush while performing surgery? Would you want your next Uber driver watching a movie or maybe you’d like to get to your destination alive. I could go on like this forever but the point should be pretty clear, treat whatever you’re doing with the concentration it deserves and continually develop your concentration. Building your focus is a small, simple tweak, that can make a huge impact on the development of everything you’re trying to improve.
Years ago my brother shared with me that two people could be physically the same, do the exact same workout but get dramatically different results depending on how they approached each workout. There are a lot of factors that make up the dramatic difference but focus definitely plays a large role. A sharp mind attracts results quickly, this is an absolute truth that all champions understand and utilize; champions such as the Austrian Oak himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
I’ve seen the guys training with me, also 4 hours a day, 5 hours a day, but they looked like shit! And why did they look like shit? Because they didn’t concentrate!
Stronger Mind for a Stronger Body
Absolute mental focus comes from within you, from your mind; you can’t buy focus nor can you get it from a pill or powder.
Before my last competition, my focus wasn’t deep enough into the workout. I would allow my mind to wander, to focus on things outside of the gym, or I get caught up in conversation. Concentrating completely on my workouts, both during and between sets, has created some of the fastest gains for my physique to date.
Give your training the full attention it deserves and I guarantee that you’ll be happy you did.
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