Bodybuilding will always struggle to be accepted in the mainstream. There are facets of our culture that most simply cannot understand. Whether it is the bulging muscles or extreme vascularity, those who dwell in the bodybuilding world are probably better off politely sticking with their convictions and sharing only when approached with genuine interest. Although this may seem like a solitary state of mind, the actual mental state and practices of a bodybuilder lends itself to a plethora of transferable skills necessary to be successful in life. It is for this reason that we should not be looked upon as freaks or degenerates, rather ambassadors for work ethic and being able to identify the path to success and sticking with it. Continuity between the bodybuilding lifestyle and “regular” living may not be glaringly apparent; however, the skills necessary to be the best in bodybuilding can also easily manipulate your journey to success outside of the gym.

Goal Setting

When approaching any new endeavor, you should have a clear cut goal in mind so that you know when you have achieved your task. It should be measurable and identifiable so that once you have reached it; you can set a whole new set of goals. Bodybuilding is about setting small goals for yourself and allowing those goals when reached to accumulate for whatever your ultimate goal is. It could be adding a fraction of an inch to certain body parts or getting to a certain body fat percentage, but whatever it is you know what needs to be done. In life, most of us start at the bottom and work our way up. And we do this because we have set goals for ourselves. Nobody wants to be stuck in the mail room for their entire career, and the only way out is with a clear cut idea of where you want to be eventually.

Time Management

Bodybuilders base their days around timing. We time our meals, the length of our training sessions, making sure we are supplementing at appropriate intervals and during crucial muscle building opportunities, and we know when to shut things down for rest. Our days are planned to the minute, and we stick to it. Time management is a skill that many people just don’t have, and those who lack in this department are often left begging for a second chance. If you have a busy life, a job that requires a lot of your time, a family that you need to be committed to and a love for something that gives you pleasure such as a hobby, time management is the only way to fulfill all these obligations. Take a cue from bodybuilders and notice how well we juggle all our responsibilities on time.

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Very closely related to time management is structure in a bodybuilder’s life. Each day is structured to accomplish whatever needs to be done that day. It is a mapped out approach to living. It is regimented and rigorous but extremely effective for accomplishing all that needs to be done for the day. Without structure, you have chaos and a chaotic life lends itself to trouble. Follow a bodybuilder who is training for a competition for just one day, and you will see how structure breeds success then apply it to your daily regime. Chances are you will see that you aren’t as organized as you thought you were.

Attention to Detail

With so many intricacies associated with bodybuilding success, the only way to ensure you are doing everything you need to be doing is by paying attention the little things. Things such as breaking down macronutrient ratios, performing exercises to bring out detail in a muscle group, ensuring your color is perfect for the stage lighting and manipulating poses with the slightest of movement are all examples of how bodybuilders pay attention to detail. Sometimes in life, you have to stop and read the fine print to truly understand what is going on so that you never miss anything important. It may sound anal or like obsessive compulsive behavior, and maybe it is a little, but a person who focuses on detail is a person who leaves nothing to chance.


Finally and probably most importantly is being consistent day in and day out. Consistency in doing what you should be doing breeds excellence. Bodybuilders, who stick with their plans despite any hurdles they may have to jump over, always come out on top. If you are consistent with your work ethic, consistent with your time management and goal setting and pay attention to the little things when it would be easier to coast right on through, then you too will find yourself on top. With consistency comes patience. Some bodybuilders train for years and never finding themselves in the winner’s circle yet they never give up and bide their time. If you take this attitude and work hard each and every day, great things will eventually happen.

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Transferring The Discipline of Weight Training to All Aspects of Your Life

by Dana Bushell time to read: 4 min