Apparently this needs to be addressed, as the question keeps coming up. Do you ever find yourself wondering what you’re doing wrong? Why is it that, when you try to get bigger and stronger, you always get hurt? Why is it that, when you try to lose fat, you get ravenously hungry, or when you try to gain weight, you feel like you’re going to vomit? What’s the secret? How did guys like Arnold, Mariusz and Kaz do it?
They did it because they knew it wasn’t SUPPOSED to feel good.
Tip: No one lookslike this when they're having a good time
This element of reality seems lost on the current generation of lifters. They interpret discomfort as a sign of something being “wrong”: of ineffectiveness. Surely feeling discomfort MUST be a bad thing, no? We’re taught our whole lives to avoid discomfort at all costs and seek out comfort whenever possible. Anyone intentionally subjecting themselves to discomfort is either a masochist or clearly someone making some sort of mistake…right?
The body gravitates toward comfort because it doesn’t WANT to change. Change is a traumatic experience for a body to undergo, and it utilizes many precious resources. A body at rest prefers to be at rest. As such, when one starts engaging in activities that will create change in the body, the body fights back by sending signals of discomfort; essentially telling the brain to “knock it off”. This is when it is up to YOU, the owner of the body, to fight back, tell it to go pound sand, and continue on your quest for excellence.
Don't get me wrong; sometimes the body wins
THIS is the secret that many people are missing out on when they drool over the physiques and accomplishments of the successful. As glorious as Arnold tried to make the bodybuilding lifestyle appear in “Pumping Iron”, NOT shown were the days he spent in utter misery prepping for a show while living off of a diet of lettuce and water. NOT shown were the hour long meals in the off seasons where he ate until he felt like he was going to vomit. NOT show were the unglorious workouts, where he just got to the gym and grinded away for YEARS to develop his physique. Cry “drugs” all you want; the man still had to be miserable to succeed.
EVERY successful trainee lives miserably. I’m not trying to make them martyrs; this is just lifting weights after all. However, it needs to be understood that those people who achieve greatness in lifting spend far more time uncomfortable than comfortable. People trying to emulate these success stories miss this part, and when they start encountering some of this misery, they fly off the path of success due to fear. The very first time they feel the pangs of hunger while losing fat, they assume they must have screwed up their diet. There is NO way that bodybuilders ever go hungry; that can’t be right. As soon as they need to eat a meal when they aren’t hungry, they decide to get their hormone profiles checked; no way anyone ever ate food just to get bigger. When they feel some aches and pains in their joints, they stop all training and immediately seek medical attention; there is no WAY that Kaz ever felt pain when he was training.
Come on dude; you know it was all staged
Think of what a terrible legacy these trainees want to grant to the legends. Isn’t it a FAR more inspiring story to imagine Arnold shivering in some crappy studio apartment somewhere staring longingly at a can of cake frosting while knowing that the Olympia was still 4 weeks out and he needed to hold firm? Isn’t it far more impressive to imagine Kaz stumbling jello legged away from the squat rack, puking into a trashcan, and then crawling over to the leg press to finish his workout? Wouldn’t we rather believe that, instead of being a prodigy, Mariusz missed birthdays, social events, and late nights so that he could practice the events to the point of perfection and being one of the most proficient strongman of his era?
Don’t think of these people as gods; it’s far more impressive to realize that they are men. They experience the same agony YOU experience. They get hungry when they don’t eat, they get sick when they overeat, they get beat up and broken and battered from training too hard…and they keep doing it because they know it WORKS. And you can do the same! You share their lineage as humans, with almost identical genetic material. Everyone wants to cry “genetics”, but consider the reality that you have far more in common genetically with these legends than you do with any other species on the planet. You can share their pain AND their success.
Maybe even some facial expressions
Embrace the suck. You can feel good when you quit, but until then you can feel miserable and BE amazing.