The sport of bodybuilding is Educational
When most people think of bodybuilding, they think of the steroid-infused egomaniacs who dominate the sport at the professional level. What most people do not realize is, like all other sports, bodybuilding has many levels, not all of which require a person to look like hulk and eat like the Kraken. Like all other sports, the highest levels where cash prizes are involved are plagued with drug use (think NFL with steroids, soccer with painkillers, etc…), but the amateur levels are more a forum where people compete with the aim of self-improvement. The sport of bodybuilding is actually one of the most educational sports out there because it requires something most other sports do not: complete mastery of the self. By participating in the sport of bodybuilding, people develop universal skills that apply to the rest of their lives. To be successful in bodybuilding, one must retrain their brain and hone in on certain skills that inevitably translate into other parts of their lives. Here are five of those skills that you can learn in bodybuilding that can help you with the rest of your life.
Learn to Set Realistic Goals.
Anyone who has ever picked up a weight has had that flash of “what if” pass through their mind. What if I could compete at the Olympia? What if I could end up on the cover of a magazine? For the vast majority of people, these are not realistic goals. A select few of us may be able to set these goals for ourselves and accomplish them, but for every one of those people there are one million behind them who fall short. No, the sport of bodybuilding quickly teaches most of us that some things are out of reach, especially if we are not willing to use drugs.
Bodybuilding, at its core, is about self improvement; it’s about creating a better version of ourselves though self-mastery. What we learn by participating in bodybuilding is that life itself is about constant self-improvement, and to be successful we must set realistic goals for ourselves. Goals help to create a clear roadmap of what we want to achieve. They help to outline the steps required to achieve our vision of our better self. This is a crucial skill all bodybuilders must learn to be successful, and it almost always translates into better goal setting in the rest of their lives.
Learn How to Benchmark.
Benchmarking is the assessment of progress in relation to our goals. Bodybuilding is all about benchmarking, even if most people don’t think of it that way. Strength goals, weight goals, and body fat goals all need to be benchmarked regularly. It’s important to understand how frequently you need to benchmark. Benchmarking too frequently will mean spending far too much time weighing, measuring, and attempting heavy weight and not enough time focusing on doing the things that will help you reach a benchmark. Benchmarking too infrequently may mean missed goals, especially if you begin to fall behind because you didn’t benchmark to assess your progress. This all applies to life in general: for every skill, it’s important to assess how well we are improving and at what rate to ensure we are on target to reach our goals.
Learn How to Organize.
With bodybuilding, organization is key. Workouts need to be planned and timed, and they need to fit into our busy, modern lives. Meals also need to be planned, weighed and measured, and prepared in such a way that they won’t be skipped. All of these things require a new level of personal organization that most people do not possess naturally. Over time, everyone who participates in the sport of bodybuilding learns how to better organize their lives as a whole, which helps to improve not only their fitness, but their personal and professional lives as well.
Learn How to Push Past Pain Points
Bodybuilding is about constant self-improvement. But to progress physically and mentally in the sport, it is crucial to learn how to push past pain points. A pain point is essentially defined as the point at which we tend to give up because the stimulus we are facing is perceived as too great. In bodybuilding, pushing past a pain point means working to failure, it means doing five more reps after your mind tries to give up. Learning to push past these pain points translates to the rest of life. Bodybuilders tend to be more resilient to negative life experiences, and they know how to push past their threshold to accomplish things others could never dream of accomplishing. So goes the quote, “I will do today what others won’t, so tomorrow I will do what others can’t.”
Learn How to Break and Make Habits.
Bodybuilding is all about routines. What we quickly learn when setting out on a bodybuilding journey is that we all carry bad habits with us that need to be stopped. We also quickly learn that we need to make other actions habit in order to be successful. In bodybuilding, we learn how to give up the bad habits and create new healthy habits to help us reach our goals. This skill is extremely helpful for the rest of our lives. Learning how to break bad habits is a difficult skill to master (some see it as impossible), but essential for self-improvement.
Interested in learning these skills? Try my training program.