elitefts™ Sunday Edition

Just a little patience...

My kids will tell you that when I want something done, I want it done now. I get frustrated when I go to a store to buy something and they tell me, “We can order it and have it shipped directly to your house in only three days.” Really? I'm standing in your store right now, so three days to me is a fucking eternity. If I wanted to order it online, I would've stayed home, saved the forty-five-minute drive, and bought it online. I came here because I want it now.

We all live in an age where we don’t have to wait for much of anything. We can get something to eat at any hour of the night, and I have at least one gym membership to a gym that is open all night. We can shop online at any hour and buy pretty much anything we want as long as we're good with it being shipped to us in three to five days. Even though most of what we want we don’t have to wait too long for, bodybuilding and reaching our physique goals are completely different. No matter your level of patience, or lack thereof, to be successful in this sport, you'd better slow down and be willing to chill. If you aren’t willing to wait, you might want to find something else to do.

I deal with people all the time who don’t understand the basic concept of patience. This is a sport that isn’t measured in days and weeks but in months and years. There are the exceptions, but you would be better off accepting that you aren’t one of them and looking further down the pike. This will allow you to enjoy your journey much more and take quite a bit of stress off you in the process. There isn't any rush or at least there shouldn’t be. Enjoy the process, and if you're one of the sport’s chosen ones, at least you were prepared not to be and you caught a break.

Muscle mass itself doesn’t take a long time to acquire. If you have a system that is relatively efficient, you can grow quite quickly and see your progress in as little as a few months. After a year of wanting to get big, you can make quite a dramatic change in how you look. It’s the quality and the balance that takes a long time to acquire. Hell, without a few years of efficient training under your belt, you can’t even begin to accurately assess weak areas. Please understand that without enough muscle, asking what your weak areas are generates a pretty quick and easy answer, often times with a bit of a snicker. The answer? All of them. It takes time to not only get to the point of having enough muscle to accurately evaluate what your weak points are, but it sometimes takes even longer to focus on those areas and get to the point where those areas aren’t a glaring weakness anymore.


When you do a show, you set a standard for your condition from which you will build on for each show thereafter. Everyone wants to get ripped and shredded or whatever the latest label is to describe having no skin while standing on stage. However, you must accept that getting into top shape isn’t something that usually happens at your first show. You might get into ridiculously good condition for your first show, but this is only a starting point for you. Every show after that should be an improvement. As gaining size and evaluating weaknesses takes time, so does top conditioning. Over time, you will continue to get into better and better condition as you learn how your body responds to different diet methods and you train your body to accept a certain level of condition as easy to attain. Then, for the next show, you push past that.

Too many people step into the competitive side of the sport and think that their success will happen in a relatively short amount of time. We all want to win, and we all train and diet to win. I get that and that is how it should be. Still, realistically, you should understand that you can’t possibly be at the top of the game your first or second time out. You might be bred to think that if you work hard enough, anything is possible, but someone lied to you because that cliché is bullshit. Now, if you work hard enough and long enough, you have a chance of reaching your goal, but even that doesn’t make it a foregone conclusion. The only thing that is for sure in this world is that if you do not do the work hard enough or long enough, there isn't any chance that it will happen for you.

Understand that even the fastest risers in this sport still took years to develop world-class physiques. If it took Phil Heath two years to turn pro after only one attempt at a junior show and one attempt at USAs, don’t flatter yourself. You aren’t Phil Heath. Phil is a bodybuilder that comes along once every generation and even he is still improving and developing after ten years of competing. It took me eighteen years of competing to get qualified to stand on a national stage. How long will it take you?


Most pro bodybuilders are spending at least ten years training before they are threatening for a pro card. This isn’t men’s physique or women’s bikini where they hand out so many pro cards that you can’t even keep track of who is a pro. You’re gonna have to earn that bodybuilding pro card, and even if you don’t want a card, you'd better be ready to put some time in as you try to make the necessary improvements to your physique to even compete on a national stage. Sometimes I think that the internet makes us feel like we're just like everyone else out there. Because we have access to other pros and other top bodybuilders via social media, we sometimes feel like we can be just like them if we do what they do. Just because many pros train at your gym, don’t kid yourself. Proximity has nothing to do with how good you will get in this sport. Trust me, I've known a lot of pros and high-ranking amateurs in this sport, and if it was going to rub off, it would have rubbed off on me by now. I’m still trying to be noticed on a junior stage, and if I ever went top five at one of these shows, I would be beside myself.

After twenty-nine years of training and twenty years of competing, I'll remain patient and keep plugging away. However, if I go looking for a new pair of jeans and have to wait three days for them to be shipped to my house, patience can kiss my ass. Just sayin’.