Training Articles

Getting Started

Four basic elements you need to transform your body

By Brad Wadlow

man_bench
Before you ever step foot in a gym again with blind enthusiasm, I strongly suggest that you read this material and give some serious thought about what you have been doing. Keep in mind that no matter what you are doing there will always be one logical and practical way to do it and a thousand ways to do it wrong. In regards to this, there are four basic elements you will need to incorporate if you are to have any success in transforming your body. These basic elements consist of first and foremost a goal, second is a plan of action and finally the right mental approach. All three of these basic elements serve a purpose without one of them being more important than the other. The importance of having a strong foundation in which you believe in will be key to your success down the road. I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to put in a great amount of effort into something as tough as body building, I want to believe in what I’m doing and know beyond a shadow of a doubt why what I’m doing will work.


Setting goals

Let’s start with the importance of setting goals. Setting goals can be one of the most beneficial aspects of your program. In the following text I will share with you one of the most effective ways—that I know—of to set and achieve your goals.

The first thing you will have to do is purchase a special notebook for keeping track of your goals. Write down in a very precise manner exactly where you would like to be in two weeks, one month, three months, a year and so on. After you decide on your goals, put your signature on the bottom of each page. This will reinforce the promises that you have made to yourself. The last thing you want to do is let yourself down. Another method that I use—to keep myself on the road to success—is to write down in my notebook each and every thing that I did during the day to advance me toward my goals. This process will provide valuable positive feedback as well as keep you in check by eliminating detrimental forces in your life.


Visualize your success

Visualizing your success is also a very important part in achieving your goals. Each night while I laid in bed, waiting to drift off to sleep, I would use the powerful method of visualization. I used visualization at night before bed because I believe in that relaxed state, your mind and subconscious are more ready to accept new ideas. The first thing I would do is visualize each meal I would consume the next day and the times that I would eat those meals. Next I would visualize each session of cardio work I would perform, and if the next day was a workout day, I would think about every set, rep and even how that weight would feel. Then I would spend a few minutes visualizing what I would look like when I was finished and how I would feel when Bill Phillips notified me that I had won my class in the EAS Grand Spokesperson Championship. Then I would repeat this process until I drifted off to sleep.

This is a review of how I set and achieved my goals. Have fun with it and get motivated. Set your goals high and do whatever it takes to reach them—let nothing stand your way of success.


Set and achieve goals

The next important element of your foundation will be a proper plan of action. A well-organized plan of action will contain each and every small step that you will need to make to reach your goals. Even if you have all your goals in order, you will still need an organized plan of action to put the wheels in motion. Again, you will need to purchase a separate notebook so you can organize your plan. A well-organized plan of action will eliminate instinctive behavior as well as keeping your life and workout program in order.

You will decide on a workout program and plan for it accordingly. It will be of great importance to decide on a program that makes sense and one that you truly believe in. You will also need to know what days and times you will be training so other aspects of your life will not interfere with your schedule. Bottom line is: Set up a logical training program and stick to it.

All other aspects of your program will need to be planned out in advance so you will know exactly where you are going and where you will end up. Nutrition needs to be planned out with as much precision as possible. If you are going to do the very best that you can in the shortest amount of time, you cannot afford to miss any meals. As I will talk about later, macronutrient percentages and total caloric intake will need a very careful plan if you are to succeed in your physique transformation. Instinctive behavior should never be used when it comes to nutrition. There is a logical and sensible way to diet in order to meet your goals, which I will discuss later. And supplementation is no different than your diet. To get the best results you have to know when to use them and how much to take. Proper supplementation can give you the edge you need to put you over the top. You need to decide what supplements are right for your goals and write down on paper how and when you will use them.

I hope you now realize the importance of an organized plan of action. I promise your organized plan will be very beneficial to your success and help you with every aspect of your life.


Mental approach and motivation

Think about your mental approach on resistance training. What is your philosophy on resistance training and how could you use this endeavor to enhance other areas of your life and become a more productive individual? To develop this type of philosophy and harvest the full benefits that resistance training has to offer, you must first understand why you have made the commitment to resistance training and why it is a sacred value to you.

The amount of motivation you have will depend on the significance of your values. If gaining a more muscular physique is a value that you hold, then motivation will never be a problem for you. Now you need to ask yourself, "What am I really trying to gain by making a commitment to working out?" You may respond by saying, "Well, that is a simple question to answer; I want a bigger, leaner more healthier physique." You should be concerned with exactly what you are searching for deep down. My guess would be you are like everyone else and searching for a sense of superior dexterity, self-pride, esteem and a feeling of accomplishment. You can only achieve this by setting and achieving goals, being secure in knowledge that you are able to master anything you set your mind to, by gaining the intellectual skills and practicing the discipline that is required to make a physique transformation.

Now that I have laid out the groundwork for a beginning foundation, it’s time for you to get started. Set your goals, draw our your plan of action and get into the proper frame of mind for the correct mental approach.

Example on setting goals:

I. Within one month
A. Maintain the burning desire and my philosophy on life
B. Gain seven pounds of muscle and lose seven pounds of fat
C. Succeed with every trip to the gym
D. Keep accurate records of every aspect of my program

II. Within two months
A. Have gained 14 pounds of muscle and have lost 14 pounds of fat
B. Find a good photographer for "after" photos

III. Within three months
A. Have a plan for the last week of preparation
B. Be down to around five percent body fat
C. Have gained 20 pounds of muscle

IV. By the end of my program
A. Be exactly where I want to be
B. Know in my heart that I kept every promise that I made to myself