6 Attitudes to Avoid when Bodybuilding

Maximizing bodybuilding results has a great deal to do with attitude. Some might ask, “Why is that guy having more success than me at getting bodybuilding results?” There are various reasons which might answer that question: effort, technique, diet, commitment, etc.

However, there is also one element that is not mentioned in detail often but which can severely hinder muscle mass and body sculpting efforts and that is the attitude you bring into the gym. Most success principles are founded on your attitude. For example, the amount of effort you put into strength training depends on your attitude, as well as the weight lifting techniques you learn and perform, the diet you keep, your depth of commitment, etc.

Therefore, in order to succeed, you have to avoid certain destructive attitudes when involved in your workout program. The following are the 6 attitudes that will thwart bodybuilding goals and cripple the desired results.

Destructive Attitude #1 – Anger

Anger and the stress it entails can easily build up throughout the day as you encounter job pressures, traffic jams, inattentive store clerks, couple fights, etc. By the time you hit the gym, you’re ready to take out all the day’s frustration on a loaded barbell, rowing machine, or treadmill.

The problem with carrying the day’s anger into your workout session is that it can distract you and cause injury. This is especially true when working with heavy weights or weight machines. Check the anger at the door, leave all the anger and stress outside and enter your workout with an upbeat attitude that is focused intently on the task at hand.

Another detriment that anger has on bodybuilding workouts lies in cortisol levels. Anger and stress triggers the release of this hormone which is used by the body to block pain response and to break down muscle tissue for use as energy, something which is undesirable in the effort to build muscle.

If you’ve had a particularly tough day and your anger level is high, try these tips. Make sure you maintain your healthy diet throughout the day, which will help provide your body’s systems with the nutrients needed to operate at peak levels. You should also try to get sufficient sleep as both hunger and fatigue will cause an increase in stress levels. Also, as you come across stressful situations, either try to avoid them or meet them in such a way as to minimize the frustration of the moment.

Destructive Attitude #2 – Laziness

No matter how bad your day went, you won’t resolve anything if you don’t shake it off and get to the gym. In order to build muscle, you have to workout and that requires showing up for your exercise routine regardless of how you feel. If you don’t perform your strength training program then you will not succeed in reaching your bodybuilding goals.

Laziness doesn’t just entail going to the gym. Even if you drag your butt to the gym, it does no good to sit around and mope, stew, or lose yourself in endless chatter with attractive gym mates. When you’re at the gym, hit your workout routine with everything you have, get a powerful workout in and then deal with life. Believe me, it will still be there waiting!

Destructive Attitude #3 – Comparisons

Another unproductive trap many fall into is the judging of themselves by the results of another. It’s one thing to enter the gym, see a guy that is bulging at every muscular seam and think, “Wow! I’d like to be like that guy!”

However, it’s entirely different to expect that guy’s identical results from your weight training program. First of all, your genetic makeup is, most likely, different than his. Secondly, there are numerous unknown variables that produced results in that guy that may or may not do the same for you. For instance, that guy has probably been training faithfully for years, he may be involved in professional bodybuilding competition and, therefore, commits hours a day for most days of every week. He is probably on a specific type of diet that includes supplements or even illegal steroid use, etc.

Due to so many unknown factors that have brought that bulging bodybuilder to his present particular results, it is simply asinine to compare yourself with him. Embrace your own unique bodybuilding journey and strive to be the best you can be without comparisons to others. By doing so, you will create your own body form that others will envy!

Destructive Attitude #4 – Ego

Ego can be a healthy part of bodybuilding in that it can stimulate you to aspire to get ripped like Arnold Schwarzenegger did. It is a positive element that spurs you on at attempts at bigger weight limits, gives faith that you can become better built, and increases your muscle growth through greater efforts.

However, pride can also hinder bodybuilding efforts by causing injury at the gym. It’s fairly easy to get caught up in a competition to see who can lift more weight, even when those goals far exceed your ability. Newbies are particularly susceptible to ego trips and they are also the most vulnerable to its debilitating effects.

To combat a run-away ego, know what your limits are and don’t be tempted to go too far outside those limits. Your goal is to gradually build muscle strength and power and, if you keep on the allotted path, you will eventually be able to strut your stuff without foolishly risking injury.

Destructive Attitude #5 – Impatience

Impatience goes right along with a big ego and, again, it is a folly of many beginning bodybuilders. When hitting the gym on the first day as a 90 pound weakling, it can be very tempting to want to look like Ronnie Coleman after the first week of weightlifting. However, that is just simply not reality.

Bodybuilding and body sculpting takes a long-term commitment to regular and ever-increasing strength training programs. There are no shortcuts, unless you want to go the route of anabolic steroid use, which is neither healthy nor recommended.

A big mistake made by many is jumping from one program to another. If you start a program, finish it or, at the very least, make adjustments to it that are more in line with your style, body needs, etc. However, if you work a week or two at a program and feel that you aren’t getting any results, chances are it’s you and not the program. Give it a chance to produce results and, if after completing the program, you still feel it hasn’t done you justice then move onto another program.

Destructive Attitude #6 – Overly Obsessive

Obsession is much like ego; it can be healthy, but also destructive if taken too far. For example, a fitness model who wants to be the “talk of the town” may become so obsessed with looking thin and trim that they fall into obsessive eating habits and develop devastating eating disorders like anorexia.

If you are sacrificing health, safety, family, and other aspects of your life to gain greater muscle mass and bodybuilding form then you have crossed the line into becoming overly obsessive.

Not only can this attitude cause problems outside of the gym, but it can also drive you into the destructive area of overtraining. Pushing your body well beyond its ability to grow and heal will only result in doing more damage than good and cause major setbacks to your bodybuilding goals.
Passion is good and should be a driving force in your bodybuilding program. However, maintain balance in your life and you will not only get better results at the gym, but your life will more enjoyable all around. Being happy and satisfied outside of the gym will ultimately cause you to perform better in the gym.


Remember, attitude is a powerful factor in any fitness program or athletic endeavor. Therefore, check bad attitudes at the gym door and successfully conquer your bodybuilding goals!

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