It is a regimented life we lead. It takes discipline, consistency, planning and patience to squeeze every last fucking drop of potential from the genes Mom and Pop threw our way. It can be redundant and boring, but it is never a chore. The lifestyle is not a passing fancy or a phase, but part and parcel of who we are. The way we structure our days is literally at the fiber of our very being. We are constantly shaping ourselves, be it in our eating, training or recovery. We have mapped out our lives in a way designed to maximize our gains as bodybuilders.
This structured existence has also passed along many virtues and life skills that benefit us in every facet of our daily grind. Bodybuilding makes you better at goal setting, visualization, time management, and personal investment. It teaches you the value of consistency. The lifestyle of the dedicated bodybuilder necessitates excellence and indirectly facilitates success along the rest of life's often arduous path. The bodybuilder has an ingrained advantage over the wandering weak of our species, and so many of us don't even realize it. It takes a rare breed to walk in your shoes. Let's take a step back and examine how this lifestyle you have chosen so differs from that of your “normal” neighbor.
“Normals” eat when they are hungry. They eat whatever tastes good and/or is readily available. They often have a latte for breakfast, fast food for lunch and a traditional dinner. Many consider twinkies an essential food group. They are as lost at the supermarket as a powerlifter at a flower show. They consider a single daily generic multivitamin as proper supplementation. For the Normals, fad diets are a favorite pastime.
Bodybuilders plan and prepare food days ahead of time. Food is their fuel, their lifeblood… A simple means to a glorious end. They are riddled with guilt when they consume anything detrimental to their physiques. They look with scorn and disgust (and maybe a little envy) at the Normals scoffing down junk food like its going out of style. They eat three times for every one meal a normal person consumes. They eagerly anticipate trips to the supermarket and the supplement wholesaler. Bodybuilders handle Animal Pak pills and stir powders like a pharmacist and they shake enough protein to get a mean case of carpel tunnel syndrome.
The Normals go to a spa to work out. Bodybuilders go to the gym to fucking train. Normals talk in a clueless manner about losing weight, water depriving themselves into a twenty pound lighter version of themselves. They take aerobics, pilates and yoga. They spin and step and lift rubber-coated weights lying on giant inflated balls. Their outfits are color coordinated. Normals go to the gym to meet chicks and socialize and to most importantly see and be seen.
Bodybuilders see the gym as even more than a building with four walls-it is their battlefield. It is the place where they “train” in a similar mind set as that of a soldier. They lift heavy, archaic looking iron weights. They beat themselves into a pulp day in and day out, not simply to achieve a particular goal but just for the sake of surviving in order to return the next day for more. They are not to be spoken to when a training session has begun and if looked at are only to be gazed upon with awe from an advisable distance.
The Normals sleep only when they are tired. Sleep to them is an unfortunate result of burning the candle at both ends. They drink a few on odd weeknights, party hard on Fridays and lose their minds on Saturdays. They drink as a hobby, filling free time with equal parts debauchery and dissipation. They fit in sleep and rest only when necessary to sustain life function.
Bodybuilders prioritize rest and recovery. Getting the necessary sleep is essential to the continuity of gains and is thus taken very seriously. Naps are fit in to the schedule whenever life permits. The daily gym warfare often leaves a bodybuilder battered and weary, seeking silence and respite. Partying is a rarity as is drinking-both of which cause the reemergence of the guilty conscience's ugly head and the eventual halt of progress. The bodybuilder does not lead a sheltered life, but realizes that the more his routine resembles that of a Normal, the more likely the same will soon be said about his physique.
As you can see, there is nothing normal about the bodybuilding lifestyle. Even down to the daily routine of his day, the bodybuilder is nothing less than exceptional; a study in focus, planning, discipline, adherence to a strategy and good old fashioned hard work. The bodybuilder has and will continue to benefit each day from the lessons learned along this solemn path. He is to be emulated by all those who seek to improve their lives and make more of themselves. He is the role model for dreamers. The bodybuilder gets the job done everyday and then demands more of himself the next. He constantly plans and pushes and in the end he prospers…
... And there ain't nothing fuckin normal about that.