Recently I read a book on goal setting, and it had some important insights I wanted to share with you. The author provided many tips on setting a goal properly, including writing it down on paper, breaking it into smaller chunks, and identifying the obstacles that you’ll need to overcome to reach the goal. However, one concept that stuck with me was the emphasis on long-term achievements instead of short term gains. I realize that so many times in my own life I’ve been focusing on the immediate returns I might gain from investing my time, but any worthwhile achievement will take time and effort to accomplish. My tendency has always been to start a project with alacrity and hope, but shortly after starting my new project I would give up because I didn’t see any quick results. What does this have to do with weight training?
In previous articles I mentioned the importance of following the fundamentals for weight gain and strength training instead of looking for a wonder supplement. I wanted to emphasize that achieving huge muscle gains is about following the proper diet (increasing calories and protein) and gradually lifting heavier weights. Supplements are not the foundation of muscle building, and they will not determine your success or failure. You may be wondering, then, why so many choose to follow the latest supplement fad.
Why do bodybuilding supplements sell so well? They do well simply because so many bodybuilders are looking for the magic pill that will instantly deliver incredible results. It is unfortunate that so many look for short term gains and immediate gratification at the expense of achieving greater things. This is especially sad when you realize how simple healthy weight gain can be. The real magic pill is combining the right knowledge (weight gain diet plus proper workout routines) with determination. The beginner must understand that weight gain, like most worthwhile goals, requires diligence over the long term.
This brings us back to a critical concept of bodybuilding which tells us that supplements should not be the basis for a muscle building program. A few supplements can be useful for the advanced trainer who is trying to maximize his gains and has already developed a solid weightlifting and diet program. Most supplements, however, are either useless or are simply not necessary. The critical components of any muscle building program will always be increasing calories and gradually lifting heavier weights. Looking for shortcuts when you have not even mastered the basics will simply lead to disappointment and a lot of wasted money.
Though it may be easier to search for a magical supplement that will solve all of your problems, in the long term you will not achieve the goals you set for yourself without more effort and determination. This lesson applies not only to bodybuilding and strength training; rather, it is a valuable lesson that can help you reach any goal you set. If you’ve done the research and gained the necessary knowledge, and if you set your goal properly (more on this later), then you can be certain that you’re on your way to accomplishing your objective. Do not be discouraged if your initial results are disappointing – focus on the cumulative effects of your daily actions and what this will bring you in the months to come.