Mental Approach – The Most Overlooked Factor of Bodybuilding


Bodybuilding is much like any other sport. To be successful, you must dedicate yourself 100% to your training, diet and mental approach”.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Bodybuilding, if described in simple words, is the art of molding, tempering and sculpting your body via burns of massive weights, countless reps and strict diet. It’s all about shedding extra pounds in a way that you shape every muscle of your body meticulously, letting your each ripple shine. However, nothing can be done overnight. Having a body of steel that leaves men envious and women drooling over, requires years of dedication as well as discipline.

Mental Approach in Bodybuilding

Champions don’t just have physical skills and strength; they also have mental strength and the proper mental attitude. The gym is war: prepare yourself!”

Rene Descartes

Nowadays, the cardinal aspect of mental approach for body building has long been forgotten and buried by most of the gym-goers across the globe. Current trend encircling bodybuilding has overlooked this iron game’s psychological aspect at the cost of literal concerns, such as choice of exercise, number of reps or number of sets. No doubt, these things play paramount role in the realms of bodybuilding, yet they prove to be inconsequential when not well-equipped psychologically to approach the sport with zeal of a champion, rather a warrior.

Bodybuilder, A Warrior

It is not a herculean task for any bodybuilder to go to the gym and display five sets of squats. However, the intensity with which the exercise is undertaken varies from individual to individual. We can well imagine the mental state leading to physical approach of power lifters and body builders, who envisage themselves as spiritual fighter cum warriors endeavoring in a coliseum of iron for their survival. It’s only through this mindset and dedication that they achieve their goals successfully.

The long and short of my research on mental approach in bodybuilding is that in order to spark development in your muscle, you should possess motivation and encouragement. Let’s deliberate over a few tips that will generate the much-needed intensity required for mental approach in this sport:

Set Goals

Never walk into your gym or workout area without having a concrete set goal that you need to follow. For this purpose, you have to formulate a short term and a long term goal. If you abide by your short-range goal, the long term one will take care of itself. Each day your mind needs a small dose and a goal to shoot for, which will make your workout meaningful. First off, I recommend charting out your quick-fix goal and that will lead you automatically towards your long term one. Since bodybuilding isn’t a race, therefore, keep your pace steady but firm. Taking help of those who will guide you in achieving your goal isn’t a bad idea. Simply sketch and put your goals at a place where others can view them, so they motivate you to achieve them by working hard.

Do not be surprised to see anyone in the gym undergoing same sets and reps, repeating similar workout each day by using equal weights, but still you find no improvement in their body. You will gather instantly that they have forgotten the significance of instant daily goals.


Define your physical goals as well, so that you know where you want to see yourself. I always visualize myself looking the same as Arnold Schwarzenegger and that is the motivational force behind my workout. Similarly, it is imperative for you to brand your image clearly in your mind as to how you want to see yourself in the near future. Body building is much more like sculpturing; therefore, understanding your body is essential. Look at yourself in the mirror, understand your body and decide what you want to achieve ultimately. In my case, I spend hours understanding exercise strategy of Arnold, seeing his pictures and imitating his training style. All this aids me in designing my workouts and deciding what diet I need to take to lose fat and become muscular.

Drive and Determination

The drive to success and the will to achieve your goal come from within you; no one can ever do this for you. Although, your mentors are there to advise you, but it’s your efforts alone that would bestow success upon you. Nothing can happen if you do not want it. Hence, in achieving your goal, you need to execute whatever you have learnt on goal setting, training, positive thinking and nutrition. Trust your decisions and never get defeated by your mistakes or bad experiences. Similarly, be patient and do not allow yourself to be dissuaded by others’ pessimism. The simplest formula to success that I have learnt with my experience is positive thinking, hard work and self confidence.

Be Consistent

Consistency in body building is no doubt the key. Make your plan, be it a workout routine or a diet plan, and stick to it. Respond proactively to consistency by undergoing scheduled workout routine each day and taking needed portion of calories. Once your body starts recognizing your plan, it will help you in achieving it by keeping your metabolism burning and in turn making you feel healthy and better. Whatever time you devote to planning and consistency, it will pay you back shortly, since it is kind of an investment you have made for the long run.

Mind and Muscle Relationship

It might sound silly but discover mind muscle relationship. It’s an art many people find hard to master, but in reality, it is this very relationship that makes you excel over millions. During your workout, focus on the muscle that you intend to shape, instead of the weight in hand. Visualize how you want that particular muscle to look and feel the movements. This is how you build the mind muscle relationship and feel the targeted muscle while lifting weight each time.

From brain’s point of view, it aids in making it healthier. Once your brain starts working actively, it will enhance your concentration, emotions, motivation and determination.

Zeeshan is a health journalist who writes for various health care & fitness blogs, he also provides reviews of fitness and weight loss related products at He loves bodybuilding and provides coaching at a gym.

Sheikh Zeeshan
Zeeshan is a health journalist who writes for various health care & fitness blogs. He recently covered World Glucoma Week 2017 and worked to generate awareness about Glucoma.