This has to be said; building muscle to the degree that will garner you the attention you are seeking or the trophies you are aiming to place on your mantel, takes time. It takes a significant amount of time in fact, and what you will commonly hear many of the pros say when discussing this, is that you can pretty much bank on the fact that you’re going to need a good ten years of hard training and eating before anything of significance occurs. Now, that comment isn’t meant to discourage anyone or deter someone from their bodybuilding endeavors. Instead, it’s there to give young aspiring bodybuilders a quick reality check that what they want, and what they’re after, is just going to take more time than they think. So, in that same spirit of casting light on what reality is in our world, here are an addition 5 reality checks that some of your peers may need to be reminded about as they progress through their bodybuilding journeys.
Reality Check #1: Success Doesn’t Come Overnight
What you see now, from those you are aspiring to be like, isn’t how it always was. The pictures and posts that you see occurring over the many different social platforms that you are following is typically just a showcase of all the good that is going on right now; which is awesome. But what’s missing from that showcase are the days of doing the mundane and boring things that it takes to be a great bodybuilder. And when I say days, I mean years of simply toiling away, unbeknownst to anyone else, until enough time has passed for you to garner some attention. If you force success to quickly, it will never occur and remember, no one wants to be a one hit wonder.
Reality Check #2: You Actually Have to Put in the Work
Yes, you read that correctly. If you want success and you want muscle and you want strength and you want all of the great stuff that comes along with that, then you have to put in the work. Your daily grind has to be real to accrue any level of muscle mass. You will have to do the things that others won’t because that’s what the separating caveat to all of this is. Those who are willing to go through the pain and the mental toil that bodybuilding takes you through are the ones who eventually succeed. Those who think they are simply deserving of this or that and those who aren’t willing to work day in and day out, will fall off to the side quicker than they can set up their tripod for their next “gym session”.
Reality Check #3: You Don’t Deserve a Contract/Sponsor
No one out there deserves a contract or sponsorship from a bodybuilding or fitness company just because this is what they have decided to do. Keep in mind that there are many others out there doing exactly what you’re doing, and to a much higher level, who continue to go through their days without a sponsorship or even the thought of attaining one someday. If looking for someone else to pay for your food or your supplements or your clothes is why you’re getting into this whole bodybuilding thing in the first place, then please allow me to be the first person to open the door and show you the way out.
Reality Check #4: You May Have the Genetics for this, and You May Not
This is a tough one for many to be at peace with because it’s very hard for a willing, determined, and ambitious person to realize that their goals may never come fruition. However, with that said, if your goal is to be a top tier bodybuilder and perhaps even make a living from doing so, your genetics are going to play a major factor in whether or not this occurs. You may find that you are in the very limited pool of people who do posses the type of genetics that allows for incredible muscle growth to occur with pleasing shape and symmetry, or you may find out that you have a couple of great body parts that respond well to the training stimulus and some that don’t, or you could be forever struggling to put on any muscle whatsoever. If you’re not sure of where you sit with this, find someone knowledgeable in our field and simply ask. Chances are you’ll get the answer you need (but don’t stop training if you don’t like the answer, please).
Reality Check #5: All Supplements are Not Created Equally
Bodybuilding is going to require you to spend some, or a lot, of your hard-earned money. Gym memberships, the incredible cost of food and the cash you allot for your supplements, all adds up at the end of the month. In saying that, you want to always make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck and spending your money on quality food and supps that are safe, healthy, effective and make a difference. Not all supplement companies have this in mind and there are lots of products out there that are a complete waste. You don’t want any of those so your best bet is to stick with a trusted supplement company whose main objective is to provide the highest quality of supplements, ones that are effective and safe and products that yield the best results no matter your goal. I can’t think of a better supplement company for providing all of this than Advanced Genetics. If you haven’t tried any of our products yet, you probably should.
Sometimes reality checks can be harsh and crude and fall upon ears that don’t necessarily want to hear it. That’s really unfortunate because rather than getting upset about what you just heard, take it as an opportunity to learn a little something more about yourself and the world you are investing yourself in. Listen, bodybuilding isn’t easy and it isn’t for everyone because if it were, you’d see jacked up freaks walking around everywhere and you just don’t see that unless you go to a convention or show (even then it’s very concentrated). The best approach will always be the most realistic approach and the one you can stick with and be at peace with long term. Find what that means for you, put your head down, work as hard as you can, enjoy the ride and find the excitement within everything you do bodybuilding related because that’s a reality worth living.
Author: Dana Bushell
Dana Bushell, a graduate of St. Francis Xavier University (BAHK, B.Ed) is an Educator, Writer, Strength and Conditioning Coach, Nutrition Advisor, Contest Prep/Lifestyle Coach and former competitive bodybuilder, who has been involved in the Fitness Industry for over 25 years. He has worked and written for major fitness publications and many popular bodybuilding sites, is a Gym Star Team member and works hard at teaching and promoting a fitness-based lifestyle in his career as a Physical Education Specialist.