The body follows the mind, plain and simple. When you set a goal, you start by wrapping your head around it. Determine your goal, establish your game plan, then visualize yourself taking the steps to MAKE IT HAPPEN! You have to be able to see yourself succeeding and you have to believe with faith that you’re capable of making it happen. The most powerful human attribute that either enables or prevents success is the mind. The question is, do you control your mind or does it control you?

What ultimately defines the character of a champion is attitude. Years ago, I came up with a slogan that reads  

“In the heart and mind of every champion, there lies an intense desire to succeed, an extreme willingness to work and an exceptional ability to overcome obstacles!”

What this summarizes is the attitude it takes to succeed in not only any endeavor, but in life. There’s a difference between liking the idea of success (winning a show, getting your dream job, lifting a certain weight for a certain number of reps on an exercise, making the varsity team, etc) and actually having a desire in your gut that makes you rather die than quit working! Unless you happen to be one of those rich, elitist sheltered individuals, whose Mommy and Daddy hand everything to on a silver platter, including a job…you better learn how to work hard if you plan on accomplishing anything significant in life. The alternative is to be lazy and mediocre (personally, I’d rather be dead than be mediocre). Even if you are a hard worker, you better learn to except that life can be harsh, brutal and unfair. No matter who you are, at some point life is going to throw a few obstacles in the way to challenge you…how will you respond? Are you going to cry and complain that you got dealt a sh*tty hand…or are you going to dig deep, become relentless and overcome, while becoming both mentally and physically stronger in the process.  MENTAL FORTITUDE yields results.  

In order to attain success with your long term goals (achievements that require months and even years of hard work, perseverance and PATIENCE), your attitude on a day to day basis must be that of a champion. It’s easy to think about where you want to be in 6 months or 6 years, yet lose sight of what needs to be done day to day in order to get there. Each day is a battle, whether you realize it or not, and you need to put up your best fight if you want gain ground. What did you accomplish today? Did you do the bare minimum? Did you outwork your competitors? Did you work hard enough to make others think you’re psychotic?   

Long term goals are met with short term benchmarks. Each week and each day, you have to have goals. With each workout, you need to have goals…What do I need to achieve today? Anytime I ever did something in the gym I was proud of, it was the result of setting my mind to the task beforehand. You can’t just walk into the gym and expect great things to happen. Whether it was deadlifting 500 lbs for 21 reps, deadlifting 405 lbs for 32 reps, doing 100 reps of squats with 315 lbs in 7 sets or anything else I’ve accomplished over the years, I came up with the goal ahead of time,  fixated my mind on success, visualized it happening and then MADE IT HAPPEN!!! I didn’t say, “well I’ll see how I feel when I get in there…or maybe I’ll see how many I can get on this set”…I said to myself (and no one else), “This is my F***ing goal and anything less is unacceptable…I will not be able to walk out of the gym with any sense of pride if I don’t make this happen!” I should also note that I never talk to others about these goals until they are complete. I get an idea in my head and I let it fester…I don’t let it out…let it build, like pressure inside a steam engine…so that when I walk into the gym and it’s time to MAKE IT HAPPEN, I’m like a wild caged animal about to get unleashed!

If you want to be a champion bodybuilder, you have to have great workouts every scheduled session. This is your job. You’re not allowed to be tired during a workout or have your mind focused on other things. No matter what, when it’s time to train, you have to MAKE IT HAPPEN!!! There will always be days, when life beats the sh*t of you…maybe you didn’t get enough sleep, your dog sh*t all other the house, you’re fighting with your significant other, your co-workers are a** holes, you did 5 hrs of manual labor, etc., etc. If you’re a champion, when it’s time to train… before you go to the gym you stop and tell yourself, “None of that matters now. It is time to train and it is my job to train like a champion! Nothing less than excellence is acceptable. Do what needs to be done! MAKE IT HAPPEN!!!”

If you start thinking that you’re tired or your shoulder, knee, lower back hurts or you wish your day went better or you’re not feeling well…then YOUR WORKOUT IS GOING TO SUCK and it’s no one’s fault but your own. Take ownership! Be responsible for your actions, choose to set the bar higher for yourself every day! With every workout and every effort, be able to make yourself proud! Don’t get the wrong idea here. If you have a legitimate injury or ailment, you need to be smart and work around it…modify your workout to enable success without compromising your body. You have to know when the time is right to go into the gym and set a PR. It’s not something you can do every time. You have to have variation in your workouts (you can’t do a 1-3 rep max every time, you can’t take every set to failure, you can’t do 100 reps of squats or deads every week)…but when the moment is right, in order for you to hit those PR’s your head has to be set before you ever walk into the gym…like a predator stalking it’s prey, about to attack with an unrelenting vengeance!

Your best effort will always yield varying results. If this were not the case, then you could get infinitely stronger and bigger over time, which we know is not possible.  What’s important is that your attitude going into each workout enables you to be your best each day.  You must do as much as you can within a given set of parameters during each allotted time period and train with a SENSE OF URGENGY! Choose to be an Animal and live by the code:

“Every Day is an opportunity that exists only once, after which an advantage is either gained or lost!”


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