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Muscle Sport Magazine

What It Takes To Win

By Andy Bruchey – Whether you’re a professional athlete, a weekend warrior, or just someone who enjoys a little friendly competition occasionally, we all want to win. It doesn’t make a difference if there’s an enormous trophy coupled with a multi million dollar contract extension, or a simple acknowledgement from your defeated rival. When you win, you feel like someone who has overcome an obstacle placed before them, and you have surmounted it, as well as emerged as the one who is the best in your group at whatever you have competed in. That is a special feeling which has few parallels.

What does it take to win? A lot of people have asked me that over the years as a longtime Austin personal trainer and gym owner, as they refer to an athlete they know I work with at my facility. Like anything in the health, fitness, or sports world, there is no simple, one size fits all, sweeping statement that can sufficiently and intelligently answer that question. There is one thing, however, all winners have in common, and that is the will to win.

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The will to win doesn’t mean that you are simply interested, and thus willing to win, but rather that you have decided to place an immense focus upon your goal, and will stop at virtually nothing until you have achieved it. That there is enough to separate the mildly interested from the dedicated, to say the least.

Winning in sports, as well as most anything, for that matter, requires a multi faceted dedication, as well as an enormous amount of self confidence. It goes without saying that whomever is standing up against Phil Health at the Olympia next year won’t be bashful about standing on a stage in front all the viewers, as well as the other competitors, standing in a pair of small posing trunks. If they felt they were substandard, or severely lacking in some, if not many areas, they wouldn’t be there. They must honestly believe that they belong there in the first place, and that means tireless work, in and out of the gym, sustained over the course of many years, has yielded a confidence in themselves that they can not only compete with Mr. Heath and his peers, but emerge victorious.

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In keeping with what it takes to win within the realm of the bodybuilding world, we have to also acknowledge the extreme sacrifices made by the athletes. If you want to win a Sandow, you don’t just workout occasionally in your Mom’s basement with your Sears weight lifting set. The gentlemen competing at that level have toiled in gyms under strenuously heavy loads, for many years, building their muscles, as well as their confidence levels. Obviously genetics plays a very important role in who becomes a successful bodybuilder, but until you spend years and years under piles of iron, you will never know if you posses those genetic traits or not. This means going to the gym when you would rather do anything under the sun than go there. It means hoisting the adequate amount of weight for the proper amount of repetitions, when you feel tired, heartbroken, sad, elated, bored, frustrated, oblivious, etc, and it means doing it over and over again, until you can barely remember a time when you didn’t do this.

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Another thing bodybuilders have to do is eat. Everybody enjoys a good meal when they’re hungry, but what if you weren’t particularly hungry but still had to put down an 12 oz piece of tilapia, mixed with a cup of brown rice, and 2 cups of broccoli…sans butter, salt, or cheese? A lot of people could force that down on occasion, but how about doing that between 6 and 8 times per day? Now stack some protein shakes on top of that in between meals while consuming 2 plus gallons of water every day. The grinding monotony of the diet has broken the will of more than many would be competitors, but those who are truly driven to win, will find a way to make it happen time after time. Whether they like it or not.

If we factor in all of the contest preparations, and posing practice sessions, tanning, massages to remedy imbalanced, and often times, overworked muscles, it becomes a real challenge. The necessary supplementation only adds to the fracas. If you don’t have your anabolic protocol properly timed and dialed in, you will never place well. How does one come to know the protocol? By learning and seeking advice from professional trainers. That too is an ever evolving learning process, since scientific, as well as pharmaceutical, and nutritional breakthroughs are happening all of the time.

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Winning isn’t easy, no matter what the endeavor. There’s a seemingly endless amount of work, sacrifice, and determination that has to accompany the desire to be the best at whatever it is you are trying to win at. Additionally, there is a never ending learning curve coupled with the necessary ongoing adaptations required to stay at, or near the front of the field. No matter the level or the field, if you set your goals realistically, and consistently do what you need to do in order to become the best you can be at your chosen sport, you are doing exactly what it takes to win. While not everybody wins a Sandow, or just any race, we can make our best effort through proper preparation, determination, and an unyielding dedication to success.

Andy Bruchey is the founder and owner of the Austin Fitness Center in Austin, TX and has been a personal trainer for 20 years.

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