I cringe when I hear someone say to me, either in the gym or online, “This is all that matters to me and all I care about.” How very sad. Now, I understand that some people are merely trying to make the point that they really want to be the best they can be and that their statement is a bit of an exaggeration. However, more times than not, it is NOT an exaggeration. Not only should you have “something else” for your own sake, but for the sake of your friends and family as well.

To be very good at something takes a lot of time, energy, and focus, but no one ever needs to have that thing consume them—at the expense of the rest of their life—to be good at it. I am not recommending that someone try to excel at five different sports or that someone try to pursue a doctorate at the same time they want to be a top bodybuilder. What I am saying is to have other interests and other things that you can talk about, get excited about, and carry on a conversation with someone else about.

RECENT: Generation Pussy

Your friends and family will almost always support you and your goals, whether they truly feel they are important or not. That is what friends and family do — or should do. Trust me when I say, though, that as much as they support you, they don’t share the same passion. They could care less about discussing the details of your nutrition plan, your training plan, or anything else related to your plan. It gets old — maybe not to you because you like talking about yourself, but it gets old to everyone else.

If you say you don’t want to have other interests, ask yourself how much fun you are to hang out with or have a conversation with. Is a girlfriend or boyfriend going to find your one dimension appealing? Let me guess, you don’t care because all that matters is you want to be the best. Eye roll. Get used to having sex with yourself.

training priorities

It is normal for a younger kid to think this way, but not so much when you get into adulthood. In adulthood, you have responsibilities, from providing for your family to investing in your career and marriage. So as adults we tend to find balance — at least most of us. As a kid, you can get away with having grandiose dreams of making it big and the sacrifices you are willing to make to get there. Adulting is different, in that you should still pursue dreams and aspirations, but while balancing adult priorities in life. I guess this is one of the main differences between a kid and an adult: the ability to recognize what is possible and what is needed versus going to such an extreme that the endeavor consumes you and you “hide” behind it, avoiding important life decisions. I see this all the time.

I was there. I was that kid that was consumed by bodybuilding. I didn’t care much about my grades and really only wanted friends that thought like I did. If it weren’t for meeting my wife I may have stayed with that mindset for much longer than I did. My day would be destroyed if I had a bad workout, and sometimes it would destroy the entire week because I wouldn’t be able to train that body part again for almost a week. How normal is THAT? I turned down playing baseball in Japan for two weeks when I was 17 because I didn’t want to miss workouts. REALLY? I didn’t go on my senior trip in high school, which was a cruise to the Bahamas because…you guessed it, I didn’t want to miss workouts.

WATCH: Dave Tate on a Balanced Life

You have every right to be one-dimensional. You have every right to be boring and unappealing to others because you can’t carry on a conversation about anything outside of nutrition or training. My point is that at some point it will occur to you that everyone around you thinks you suck—other than your other unmotivated meathead friends and you will find yourself a little embarrassed. Even if you don’t, working at the gym or working at GNC will only get you so far.

Get a college education. Learn a trade. Have other hobbies. It will not, at all, take away from your ability to be really good at bodybuilding. What it WILL do is make other people want to be around you more.

And let’s be honest, bodybuilders LOVE attention. Just Sayin’.

Body Mechanics 101: Training Partner Form Fix