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Thinking to Win

Thinking to Win, written by INBA World Vice President Wayne McDonald BSc. Mr Australia, Richard Hargreaves, provides some secrets to winning for bodybuilders. Other articles include Training to Win and Eating to Win.

Is there a secret to bodybuilding success? Is there something that all champion bodybuilders do or know? Apart from genetics, is there something that separates winners from also-rans? Well, there is, and that secret is known. Those with the best information and who get into action and use the knowledge have a distinct advantage over those who do not.

What are the qualities that make a bodybuilding Champion? Although we are all unique as humans, champions share some common traits (personality qualities) that are not seen in others. By learning these traits and applying them, you, too, can increase your success and put you on track to becoming a champion.

Bodybuilding champions love bodybuilding

Bodybuilding champions eat, sleep and talk about bodybuilding. There is not anything they would much rather be doing. For them, training and dieting are a passion - not hard work, as it appears to others. They cannot wait to get to the gym for their next workout. They have to bridle their enthusiasm so as not to over-train.

Bodybuilding champions set goals and have a burning desire to succeed

Bodybuilding champions have a burning desire to get where they are going and know where they are going. They have a plan. They plan their workouts. They plan what shows they will enter. They have short, medium and long-term goals that are specific, written down and with deadlines. For example - I will weigh 80kg on the 1st of January. No airy-fairy dreams, but clear, measurable goals, outcomes and objectives.

Bodybuilding champions visualise and feel success long before it happens

Champions build vivid mental images of how they want to look and how they want things to be before it becomes a physical reality.

They picture themselves at the gym having a great workout or eating the right foods repeatedly in their minds. They do this so often that the mental picture becomes so clear it becomes a physical reality.

They picture themselves at the gym having a great workout or eating the right foods, over and over in their mind. They do this so often that the mental picture becomes so clear it becomes a physical reality.

Their subconscious mind accepts them as real and directs the athlete to do all the right things at the right time without conscious effort, and the mental picture becomes a physical reality.

Bodybuilding champions have a positive mental outlook and an unwavering faith in themselves

Every bodybuilding champion will encounter obstacles on their way to greatness. Injuries, mistakes and other setbacks are par for the course. They are part of the journey. Champions understand this and do not allow minor 'hiccups' to distract them. They maintain unwavering faith in their ability to succeed and overcome all the challenges they come across. They take everything in their stride. A champion's mindset always looks for and finds the silver lining in every cloud (obstacle) and uses setbacks to propel themselves to higher successes.

Bodybuilding champions learn from their failures

Bodybuilding champions know that for every method, technique, diet, and system they try that does not work, they are one step closer to discovering what works. They do not beat themselves up over mistakes but view it as necessary for their education. Thus, every experience is a positive one - they either learn how to do something or find out how not to do it.

Bodybuilding champions avoid negativity

The most famous bodybuilder, Arnold Schwarzenegger, says this about negativity. "I have nothing to do with negative relationships. I stay away from negative influences. I have no time for negative thinkers and pessimists. Such people will suck you dry until you have become as pessimistic as they are. Then you will have not one but two losers." In contrast, positive people fuel their desires to achieve. Their beliefs and actions inspire you.

Bodybuilding champions are disciplined, consistent and persistent

Bodybuilding champions never skip a meal, miss a workout and never opt for the easy way out. They do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, with no excuses. Bodybuilding champions have faith in their ability to succeed. They might try a different approach - but they never give up. They know a winner never quits, and a quitter never wins.

Bodybuilding champions know how to concentrate

Bodybuilding champions focus on their goals and the job at hand. They allow nothing to distract them. If they are in the gym training, their eyes are not flitting around, seeing what others are doing. Their attention is focused on unwavering precision in the present moment, and everything else is shut out from their consciousness.

Bodybuilding champions continuously strive for improvement

Bodybuilding champions look for better training methods, diets and other ideas to further improve and accelerate their results. They are never satisfied unless they make incremental improvements to their physique, training methods and systems.

Bodybuilding champions go the extra mile

Bodybuilding champions are prepared to do whatever it takes to achieve their goal. Sweat and hard work go hand in hand with goal setting, visualisation and a positive mental outlook. Bodybuilding champions continually and habitually go the extra mile, do another 10 minutes on the treadmill, train when they do not feel like it and stick to their diet when everyone around them enjoys ice cream.

IAPC Bodybuilding Certificate Course

This article is an excerpt from a new 21 lesson, 330-page Bodybuilding Contest Preparation Course published in Australian MuscleMag International. The new IAPC Bodybuilding Certificate Course covers everything you need to know and, more importantly, win at bodybuilding. The course is recognised by the International Natural Bodybuilding Association (INBA) and offers a certificate at completion. Learn more insider secrets to bodybuilding with the official guide to bodybuilding and contest preparation. There are three hundred thirty pages, 21 lessons, and a printed home study course with an academic certificate.

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

  • MACKENZIE, B. (2008) Thinking to Win [WWW] Available from: [Accessed