Lifting Literacy: 3 Rules Every Bodybuilder Should Know

The days of being labelled as someone who is primitive in their thinking, just because they carry around a substantial amount of muscle, are long gone. That stereotype rarely fits anyone who is serious about the lifestyle we live and most of us, who have been around for any length of time, have accrued a considerable amount of bodybuilding education and literacy. We have also a sharpened our abilities in being able to decipher good information from the bad. Our experience in the game has yielded both successes and failures and we have learned from each one of them. By the time you reach the point in your lifting career where AG owner Chris Johnson is or even myself, you’ll have plenty of knowledge, as long as you’ve been paying attention, learning and strengthening your bodybuilding literacy skills. To help you get a jump start on your education, here are 3 rules that every bodybuilder should know whether you’re in the early stages of your career or you’re a seasoned vet and have lost your way. So, in no particular order, here they are.

Rule #1: There Are No Hard and fast Rules

With so many individuals out there working as hard as they possibly can to attain a certain level of muscularity, you would think there would be a play book constructed that meets the needs of all, right? Well, there isn’t and because of the uniqueness of each of us, what works for me may not work for you but may work for the next person. It’s all really a crap shoot until you learn your body and how it responds to all the different stimuli that you provide it with. It’s almost impossible to give a diet to someone and have it work perfectly right out of the gates. That’s why modifications are consistently made throughout a plan. Same for training programs; what gave great results for this person may injure another. How much cardio and when to perform it? Again, it’ll be an individual call. I think you understand what I’m saying here in that there are no rules to follow, you just try something, see if it works, and then go from there.

Rule #2: Be True to Yourself

This one might just be the most important rule of all; be true to who you are. Stay loyal to your beliefs, your morals and your values because at the end of the day, you have to be the one who lives with yourself and all your decisions. Do your best to not be persuaded by the masses. Follow your own instincts and the little voices inside your head that hopefully lead you to right versus wrong. Don’t allow yourself to be bothered by what others are doing, even if what they’re doing is providing them with a lot of success; it might not pan out for you that way if you try their methods. Stick to the notion that you are different from everyone else and that’s a great thing. If you’re ambitious, go for broke. If you’re more cautious, then proceed accordingly. Your physique should be as unique as your personality. There’s only one of you so always build yourself up to being the best possible version of yourself that you can and that in itself, will always be good enough.

Rule #3: No Two Companies are Alike

There is going to be a time in your lifting career when you will look for some help, an advantage, some performance support, or a recovery aid, and the first place you’ll look is a supplement store or individual company. Be forewarned here, no two companies are alike, and some have your best interest in mind while many others don’t and the bottom line is all that matters. Take it from someone who has been in the game for a long time, has seen pretty much everything supplement related since the early 90’s and has tried just about everything there is to try; some products are great and some suck. With this in mind, when you do need an extra boost in the gym, the safe bet will be right here with Advanced Genetics. All the products are top notch, quality tested, safety insured and above all else, work! Whether you’re talking about a health product such as Athlete’s Superfood or a recovery aid such as Go Dark or a performance supporting product such as Battle Juice, it’s all super high quality and from a highly credible company that has been on the block since 2005-what more could you ask for than that!

Your best bet going into this lifestyle is to be a discerning bodybuilder, increase your literacy skills in all things bodybuilding related and never stop learning. Educate yourself about everything you intend on doing and even some things you have no interest in just to be more well-rounded. The more you know, the better you will be and that could be your fourth rule if you like. All that matters is you understand what you are doing, what you are taking and what the short term and long term effects will be, both good and bad (if any). By doing this, you can live your life on your terms, grow at your rate, enjoy every single day you have to train and be a better person overall for it.

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.