not meeting your body building goals, it may not be your determination,
discipline, or physical abilities at fault. It may be your goal-setting
techniques. Your ability to set effective goals can make the difference
between success and failure in body building. Here are a few steps
to take in setting body building goals that keep you motivated
and on track.
goals down into small steps. Maybe you want to win a competition
or drop a lot of weight. These are great goals to have-but they're
too big and lofty to keep you on track over the long term. Many
people set large, audacious goals to begin with. But when you
hit a rut in your workout routine, that big goal will start to
seem impossible-and you're more likely to get discouraged and
quit. Instead, break big goals down into small steps. You can't
become a body building champion right away, but you can go to
the gym and do ten reps today. Break your big goals down into
small steps, and when you get discouraged, don't think about that
big dream you're failing to achieve-think about that small, easy
step you can tackle without difficulty.
It's important to be realistic with your goals. Do some research,
talk to some body builders, and know what's possible and what's
not. You may not be able to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger by
the end of the year-especially not if you're a hardgainer and
are planning to avoid using hormone supplements. But you can develop
a well-built physique, increase your health and your energy through
exercise. If your goals are too big, you'll easily get discouraged.
Every body is capable of different things-and you may not know
what's realistic for you until you've started your body building
routine. If you find that your original goals are too hard-or
too easy-to be realistic for you, it's fine to change them. As
long as you're making progress toward the end result you want,
you're doing it right. In addition, it's important to stick with
your routine even if you start missing some of your smaller goals.
If you're starting to miss your goals, don't quit-just change
them so that they're more realistic for you.
In body building, you won't see results right away. But even if
you don't see your muscles bulging more and more each week, you're
still making gains. Keep track of the weight you're lifting each
week. Make note of the gains you're making-and the pitfalls you're
encountering. You may find that you hit a slump every few weeks
or months, and you can be prepared if you can predict it. Keeping
careful track of your body building progress will keep you focused
motivation. Why do you want to start body building, really?
Do you want the fame that comes from being a competition champ?
Do you want to look better? Become a babe magnet? Be healthy and
vigorous? Body building isn't easy, and to keep on track you'll
need to know exactly why you're doing this in the first place.
yourself constantly. Find a picture that represents what you
want from body building, cut it out, and put it in your wallet.
Put it on your bathroom mirror or over your bed-wherever you'll
see it often. It's important to keep reminding yourself of your
goals, especially when you just wake up in the morning and whenever
you're tempted to skip a workout or break your diet. The more
you can remind yourself of what you're really in it for, the less
likely you'll be to give in to temptations that can lead you off
a routine. If you go to the gym at irregular times, you're
not likely to make it a habit. Choose a single time to go to the
gym, and stick with it. Many people choose to go in the mornings,
because getting your workout done early leaves your day free for
everything else going on in your life-and it's also less likely
that you'll skip the gym because of unexpected changes in plans
if you're going before work. But whatever you do, choose a time
that works for you and do it often enough so that it becomes second
Get a buddy.
Nothing keeps you motivated like a friend who has the same goals.
If you can, find someone else who's at your level in body building.
Go to the gym together. Keep each other on track with your diets.
Compete with each other and encourage each other. If you have
someone who's working toward the same goals and who can act as
a motivational partner, the journey will be easier for both of
easy. If you go to the gym in the morning, get your gym bag
ready the night before. If you can't stand getting up early, make
it a routine to go to the gym after work-or on your lunch hour.
You need to pinpoint the times when you're most likely to give
up on your workout-and make it very easy to choose to go anyway.
If that means changing your workout time to suit your preferences
or packing your gym bag so you can grab it and get out the door
in the mornings-even if you're running late-you're more likely
to stick with your fitness goals.
isn't easy, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. Set goals that
keep you motivated, focused, and on track-and if you get discouraged,
don't quit. Just adjust your goals. Effective goal setting is
a valuable skill, both in body building and in life.
Jean Lam is the webmaster of Body
Building Resource which provides articles on weight training,
nutrition and fitness, body building book and DVDs.