Psychology of Bodybuilding by Boyer Coe

Golden Era Legend and Mr. Universe Winner Boyer Coe will explain the phsychology of bodybuilding. – Mr. Berg

“Last month I related to you my desire to win the Mr. America contest and how I succeeded in doing so.

This month before going into the regular exercise series I would like to discuss what I think is one of the most important facets in being successful in bodybuilding or any other facet in life.

Years ago bodybuilders believed that to develop a good physique all a person needed to do was to train with weights. Then bodybuilders became aware of food supplements. After jumping on the health food bandwagon they noticed greater growth in muscular tissue and added pounds of muscle to their frame in a shorter time. 

Now you might think that this is about all a bodybuilder can do to attain a superior physique. But I believe that there is something else involved. This extra something is proper mental attitude.

I consider mental preparation just as important as exercise and nutrition. Because of the mind one can visualize a splendid physique and be motivated to attain it. Picture yourself vividly as winning and that alone will contribute to success.

Many weightlifters have used mental concentration to help them lift tremendous poundages. Tommy Kono and Pete George were some of the early student of mental preparation before attempting world record poundages.

How can a bodybuilder use positive thinking to attain a superior physique? Maintaining a tranquil mind is probably one of the greatest assets a bodybuilder can possess.

Many novice bodybuilders become frustrated when they do not obtain the same results as their champs or idols even though they pattern their training after them.

Not everyone can be a Bill Pearl or a Sergio Oliva. But you can develop your physique to the ultimate and as soon as you realize this you will have succeeded in eliminating this facet of frustration and progress at a more rapid rate.

It is most important that you set yourself a realistic goal that is attainable and then direct all your energies in attaining this goal. Perhaps the best way to clarify your goal is to reduce your plans to writing and go over them daily. You must realize that your goal must be a practical one. If not, frustration – an emotional feeling which develops whenever some important goal cannot be realized or when some strong desire is thwarted. All of us must necessarily suffer some frustration be the very fact of being human and therefore imperfect. Chronic frustration usually means that the goals we have set for ourselves are unrealistic.

Developing a physique of Mr. America quality should not be an end in itself. This is a mistake some of the champs have made. Contrary to what many people believe the world does not fall at your feet upon winning the Mr. America contest.

Personal satisfaction and the achievement of a worthy goal is paramount in a positive approach to bodybuilding. We are engineered as goal seeking mechanisms. We are built that way. When we have no personal goal which we are interested in and which “means something” to us we are apt to “go around in circles”, feel “lost”, and find life itself “aimless” and “purposeless”. We are built to conquer environment, solve problems, achieve goals, and we find no real satisfaction or happiness in life without obstacles to conquer and goals to achieve. People who say that life is not worthwhile are really saying that they themselves have no personal goals which are worthwhile.

Get yourself a goal worth working for. Decide what you want out of situation. Always have something ahead of you to “look forward to” – to work for and hope for. Look forward not backward. Develop what the automobile manufacturers call “The Forward Look”. Develop a “Nostalgia for the Future” instead of for the past. The “forward look” and a “nostalgia for the future” can keep you youthful. Even your body doesn’t function well when you stop being a goal-striver and “have nothing to look forward to”. In addition to your purely personal goals have at least one impersonal goal – or “cause” which you can identify yourself with. Get interested in some project to help your fellow man – not out of a sense of duty – but because you want to.

In summing it up I would like to give you a key which has helped me to attain a positive mental attitude and succeed in attaining the goal which I have set for myself.

S – ense of direction
U – understanding
C – ourage
C – harity
E – steem
S – elf confidence
S- elf acceptance”


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