While maintaining good mental health has always been important for our overall wellbeing, it's more relevant now than ever due to current events derailing many of our normal routines. There are many strategies that we can employ to help ourselves keep our heads "screwed on straight." Evan Centopani, one of Animal's most grounded and logical athletes, highlights some ways we can make sure our brains and thought processes are operating optimally.
Preparation is fundamental to anyone hoping to attain their physique related goals. The word “prep” has become so overused that it’s actually easy to forget that it is short for preparation. Take food prep and contest prep, for example. We set aside time to prepare food in advance. Why? Efficiency is part of it, but it’s mainly so that we can repeat day after day of proper eating with no missed or imperfect meals. The entire concept of contest preparation is based on having what you need come the day of the show: a dialed in, competitive physique. Ultimately, preparation is about having what you need when you need it.
Most of us were contemplating our strategies for 2020 not too long ago. Whether you were thinking about your next competition or how you were going to add ten pounds of muscle or finally get your ass in shape or improve your squat, you had plans this year. I don’t think that any of our plans included being quarantined on account of a highly contagious and potentially lethal virus sweeping the globe. But, hey, shit happens. And shit has most certainly happened. Aside from the immediate health threat posed by the COVID-19 virus, many of us have to deal with new difficult circumstances such as businesses shutting down, massive layoffs, food and product scarcity, and social distancing. So what does all of this mean for the average bodybuilder/powerlifter/fitness enthusiast like you and me? It means that we’ve all had to make some adjustments in the name of keeping things moving.
There is often a great deal of confusion surrounding how to approach the process of getting in shape. Whether you’re starting preparations for a contest or want to get yourself in shape, the most challenging part is simply getting started. An evolving approach is best. Just as you wouldn’t go from being single to completely changing your life by moving in with someone you don’t know, I think it’s foolish to make grandiose plans to commit to a diet that is a huge departure from what you currently follow. What if that diet is just not right for you? To go from a diet that you have been following for a significant period of time, regardless of how good or bad it may seem, to one that is radically different is usually a mistake
Hand two motivated individuals the same hammer and neither will create the same thing. But how do you find that motivation to build? Whether we understand it or not, are aware of it or not, discontent often lies at the heart of change. For me, feelings of inadequacy coupled with an irrepressible need for self-improvement got me motivated pretty early in life. A bench and barbell set that could serve as a heavy-duty clothing rack and dust collection unit for one guy, allowed me to transform myself both physically and mentally. This is for the one who helped me get started. Thanks, Dad.
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