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You Gotta Love It!

Your iron infatuation has to last if you want to be your best

You can tell by the expressions on most people’s faces in the gym that they don’t really enjoy what they’re doing. Sure, they know exercise is good for them for a multitude of reasons, but that doesn’t mean they have to like it. For most, exercise is painful, tedious and loathsome’kind of like yard work is to me. Since you’re reading IRONMAN, chances are you don’t share that negative attitude’toward training, not yard work. I’d even bet you love pushing and pulling heavy metal. And if you do, that’s the best guarantee that you’ll get the results you’re after.

If you ever get the chance to watch a top bodybuilder train, you’ll witness that zeal firsthand. It’s apparent that the champs were born to train hard. It’s one of the most satisfying parts of their lives. I recently watched the video ‘Ronnie Coleman: The Unbelievable,’ and I was very inspired by the four-time Mr. Olympia’s work ethic and enthusiasm. Even though he’s hoisting immense weights that threaten to tear apart his tendons and ligaments, each set begins and ends with rousing whoops and cheerful patter like, ‘Light weight!’ and ‘Ain’t nuttin’ but a peanut.’ The man has been training hard for almost three decades, and you can tell he loves it just as much now as he did way back when.

How can you know if you have that passion? Ask yourself this: If you were the last man on earth, would you still train? Keep in mind that there would be no bikini babes to watch you strut by their blanket at the beach, no nightclubs full of scantily clad hotties to check out your pecs and biceps bulging out of a painted-on lycra shirt. Would you still get to the gym every day and blast, even if there were no other members to appreciate your efforts and physique? Let’s take it a step further. What if you were blind, like ’01 Team Universe champion Greg Rando, and couldn’t even see the fruits of your labors? With all those rewards gone, would you still challenge yourself with the weights?

I know that if the Mr. Olympia contest suddenly disappeared and bodybuilding was nothing but a hobby, Ronnie Coleman would train. I know I could never stop training. Like Ronnie, I just love it too much. After 18 years I still get excited about my next workout. People are always asking me what kind of protein powder I use, how many sets I do for chest, or whether the Stairmaster is better than the treadmill for burning fat. They never ask how I feel about working out, which I think is the real reason I’ve progressed so much over the years. I love it, plain and simple. And if you want to be your best, you gotta love it too.

Editor’s note: You can contact Ron Harris through his Web site,

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