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10 Powerful Steps to Reaching Your Bodybuilding Goals

Whether you’re embarking on a new training program, getting back on track after time away from the gym or taking your already-established efforts to the next level, it’s important to follow a plan that sets you up for success.

Whether you’re embarking on a new training program, getting back on track after time away from the gym or taking your already-established efforts to the next level, it’s important to follow a plan that sets you up for success. Here are 10 tips that will help you achieve the results you’re after, enjoy the experience along the way and incorporate your training program into a healthful lifestyle for many years to come.

1) Know exactly what you want to gain from your training efforts. Make sure that you create a long-term vision for what you want to achieve and set the time frame in which you expect to achieve it. With a clearly defined objective and deadline in mind, you’ll be less likely to stumble with your program.

2) Focus on executing your daily tasks. After establishing your long-term vision, you need to execute specific daily tasks on a consistent basis. Start by determining what you already know you need to do to succeed. Don’t get overwhelmed by trying to do too much too soon. Take one day at a time and focus on making each day productive.

3) Give your training routine the time it needs to produce results. Stick with a workout plan long enough to see results. Often, results don’t come as quickly as we’d like, which is why it’s so important to be patient. You must give the program a chance to take hold and begin working. Don’t make the same mistake many people do and bounce from one program to another without giving any one of them a concerted effort first. Generally, a three-month period is long enough to properly evaluate a program’s effectiveness. If you come across a different but interesting routine before you’ve completed three months on your current program, do yourself a favor and refrain from using it until later.

4) Give your nutritional program enough time for you to properly determine its effectiveness. The way you eat will have a tremendous effect on your results. Just as you should stick with your training program, you must also follow your nutritional plan for a long enough period of time to see the results it will yield. A couple of months of dedicated adherence should be long enough to assess the eating plan’s effectiveness.

5) Break your strict, healthful eating habits into blocks of time. Consider giving yourself one day each week to enjoy whatever you’d like. If you’re determined to reach your goals sooner rather than later, you can limit your splurging to only one enjoyable, not-so-healthful meal on a specific day. The point is that you shouldn’t try to go on an endless marathon when dieting. Breaking your strict eating days into blocks of time will create a series of “sprints” that you may find more effective. You’ll discover that it’s much easier to maintain your desire and ability to stay on your structured eating program.

6) Schedule enough time out of the gym. More time spent in the gym is not necessarily better when it comes to training. You shouldn’t be afraid to spend at least two days a week out of the gym. You’ll also need to take a week off from training every seven to 10 weeks. The layoff will enable your body to rest and recuperate adequately. When you return to the gym after those breaks, you’ll be fortified with renewed physical intensity and mental energy.

7) Be careful of the company you keep when you’re striving to reach your training and eating goals. Surround yourself with people who have similar ambitious goals. Others can easily influence your everyday decisions and your overall attitude. It’s important that those you are around most frequently appreciate your dedication to achieving your goals. Don’t permit yourself to lose focus just because others don’t live your healthful lifestyle. Find a group of people who do, and spend the majority of your time with them rather than those who may discourage you.

8) Realize that you’ll get measurable results even if your program isn’t perfect. When it comes to training and eating, don’t be too concerned with finding the perfect strategy right away. Yes, you should strive for effectiveness and efficiency, but don’t get too frustrated if you aren’t 100 percent perfect. Build confidence with what you’re doing now, and then make intelligent adjustments based on practical experience rather than on assumptions.

9) Seek guidance from those who are more knowledgeable or more motivated than you are. Consider investing in a personal trainer and/or a nutritional adviser. An accomplished gym partner can be a great mentor, and those people will probably have much more knowledge than you and help you achieve your goals more effectively than if you go at it alone. Working with a trainer can be a smart alternative to the often-frustrating process of trial and error.

10) Manage your angst. Does it seem you’re never quite satisfied with your health and fitness endeavors? Join the club! That’s just the winner inside you asking for more. It’s a great quality to possess—but only if you manage your emotions and prevent yourself from becoming frustrated or overwhelmed. Everyone, no matter how great the look or how high the accomplishment in the gym, constantly demands more from inside. Realize that that’s a normal part of the process, and don’t get overly concerned when uncomfortable feelings seem to overtake your thoughts. In the long run, the well-managed angst that you have inside will only make you better than you are today.

It’s a real tragedy when a person who’s “winning” at his or her bodybuilding efforts mistakenly feels like a loser. To prevent that from happening, find effective ways to monitor your efforts. Taking the time to assess your training and eating habits on a weekly basis can help you maintain the right perspective. More often than not, you’ll realize that you’re doing much better than you thought you were.

ALLUnfortunately, desire alone won’t always help you actualize your bodybuilding goals. You must take the necessary steps to set yourself up for success. Your enthusiasm for improving your training program and eating habits combined with an intelligent approach will construct a strong foundation for long-term success.

Editor’s note: Visit Skip La Cour’s Web site at Take your physique to the next level by ordering his new DVD “Packing On Muscle! Max-OT Style.” The two-disc, four-hour training, instructional and motiva­tional DVD includes a complete week of training (explained in great detail and jam-packed with perceptive insights), exercises not included in the training week, instruction and video footage of cardiovascular training, inspirational training segments, tips for taking your physique to the next level, contest footage and a one-hour nutrition seminar. If you want to pack on slabs of muscle in the shortest time, this DVD is for you. It’s only $49.99 (plus $8.50 for shipping and handling; international orders add $17.50 for shipping and handling). Order online at For credit card orders call (800) 655-0986. Or send check or money order to Skip La Cour, 712 Bancroft Road, #259, Walnut Creek, CA 94598. IM

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