Muscle Sport Magazine

How Important is Self Discipline in Bodybuilding?

Self-discipline is one of the essential foundations of successful bodybuilding. Being able to stick to a rigid – and often highly demanding – workout schedule can prompt extraordinary mental strength. As many people will be all too aware, it is far easier to say “I will hit the gym every day this week” or “No fast food this month” than to actually follow through on these promises.


It doesn’t take many slip-ups to undermine even the best thought out bodybuilding plan, so what are the best ways of developing and maintaining such essential self discipline?


Developing Self-Discipline & A Positive Mindset

Imagine how much more difficult life would be if you approached every obstacle and challenge assuming the worst. Negative thinking can massively compromise our ability to achieve the success that we are capable of, and this is entirely the case when it comes to bodybuilding.


The key reason why so many people fail to make the most of their workout routine is that they associate discipline with negative thoughts. Feeling ‘forced’ or ‘pressured’ to do something tough and tiring is rarely going to lead to maximum performance. On the other hand, those who approach their sets with the intention of bettering their projected targets will often tend to do so. To achieve this, we simply need to banish that negative association and instead focus on the positive benefits that will result from the session.


Without self-discipline, bodybuilding would essentially be impossible. Building a sculpted physique requires discipline and dedication not just towards spending time on your reps, but also in keeping control over your diet and lifestyle too.


Mental Discipline Is Crucial

Everyone is going to feel the physical effects after a tough workout. Aches and pains are not going to just go away, and having the mental fortitude to cope with them is of paramount importance. There are going to be times when any builder is going to simply feel that they cannot face putting their body through such strain again. More often than not, these feelings are at their worst when you are also having a ‘bad day’ due to other aspects of your life. Being able to keep disciplined and stick to your schedule regardless is an attitude that all bodybuilders should constantly work towards developing.


Even just turning up and going through the motions can be counterproductive without the right mindset. Much as you may try and kid yourself otherwise, failing to put in the maximum effort every time you hit the gym is ultimately going to place a limit on achieving your potential. Never lose sight of the simple fact that bodybuilding requires absolute mental discipline beyond any other kind of exercise routine. Cutting corners or ‘taking it easy’ simply does not cut it.


A Disciplined Lifestyle Makes The Difference

Those who are serious about bodybuilding need to be aware that there are countless sacrifices to be made. You will have to stick to a strict diet that is going to rule out many tasty foods. There has never been a better time to learn to cook properly! Unlike fad diets and ‘fitness programs’, there is no such thing as a cheat day. You will have to exert incredible levels of self-discipline over what you choose to put inside your body. Getting this right is imperative to the eventual success you will enjoy.


One other way that undermines the potential that many bodybuilders could have realized is the limits that are necessary to take over your social life. Your recovery times need to allow your body to heal, rest and hydrate between sessions and there is nothing worse for this than a big night out on the tiles! Nobody is saying that you need to become a homebody without a social life, but when out with friends chances are that there will be pressures to drink and party late into the night. So it’s important to remember that bodybuilding carries on at home as well as in the gym.


We’ve all been there, and it is important that you learn more about how to cope with these social pressures and how to conduct yourself with discipline when ‘forced’ into these situations. It may take a little while to adapt since old habits do have a tendency of being tough to beat, but you can get there establishing lay down the rules to yourself and sticking to them. After a few successes, you’ll likely feel so positive and empowered that you simply will not want to return to those kinds of bad habits anyhow. Just avoid ever being complacent!


To put it simply, you will never attain peak bodybuilding standards without expressing extremely stringent self-discipline. It can be difficult at first, and the best place to start is by simply living in the moment and drawing a line in the sand between the ‘old you’ and what you wish to become. The most successful bodybuilders will live their life in a highly regimented manner, and how far you wish to head down that path is a personal matter. Just like with your training, the further you are able to push yourself to achieve the best then the more profound will be the changes. Never underestimate the importance of self-discipline, and always be your own worst critic. Everything can always be improved.

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