I had a discussion with my training partner Tony Ruggerio about his belief that a lot of the top drug-free competitors were really taking drugs. That belief, by his own admission, affected his training, dieting and bodybuilding experience as he prepared for a contest.
One day I said to him, ‘Tony, what happens if you do all this worrying, carry all this anxiety and mentally hold back’and then that cheater you’re worried about doesn’t enter your class? Aren’t you going to wish you had all of that precious time back to train harder, diet more strictly and think more positively? You’ll never get back the time you’ve wasted worrying about something that’s out of your control.’
In the five months that we trained together, Tony went from a normally lean 171 pounds to a rock-hard 175. His body responded very well to my style of heavy, intense training, and he made some massive gains in size and strength. I’d estimate that he added eight to 10 pounds of lean muscle over that rather short time period.
Tony is a much better bodybuilder since he let go of his anxiety. Once a natural bodybuilder with some very limiting beliefs, he can now dream optimistically again about creating an outstanding physique’just as he did as a teenager almost a decade ago. You’re not going to go all out or raise your standards to an outrageous level if you think you’re going to get screwed in the end. Focus on yourself, become the best you can be, never stop striving for a higher level, and enjoy the bodybuilding experience. That’s what you can control. The rest is in God’s hands.