Monday, May 19, 2014

PRIORITIZE: Don't just eat, sleep and train. By Veeraj Goyaram

PRIORITIZE: Don't just eat, sleep and train
By Veeraj Goyaram
 Arnold was taking business classes at Santa Monica College and UCLA
while training for the Mr. Olympia. Franco Columbu was studying to be 
a chiropractor. Nobody could be more crazy than these two about bodybuilding but yet they had other pursuits. 
Yet, YOU want to just eat, sleep and train?
I am aware that among the many followers of Bodybuilding Mauritius & South Africa  there is a sizable number young readers. With great delight, I receive numerous messages on a daily basis from youngsters who are very keen, sometimes desperate, to grow muscle, a goal for which they are willing to go to great lengths. I admire this as it shows how determined they are to improve on their physiques. Such enthusiasm reminds me of myself when I set out on my bodybuilding journey 17 years ago.

However, I always like to ask those who write to me about their background. I like to ask about the things they do in life besides bodybuilding, whether they are are studying, working or doing both at the same time. Most of those who write to me are students and too many are too desperate for bodybuilding, unfortunately, often at the expense of their studies. Youngsters who are new on the job market are willing to spend all their money on expensive supplements, oftentimes supplements that won't even do anything for their physiques. Besides bodybuilding advice I always like to squeeze in some general advice as well because my role is not only to guide you in bodybuilding but life as well. 

Because, there is more to life than just bodybuilding.

Pictured on the left is yours truly on my first day at the gym in 1997 at the age of 14. I already had a background in freestyle wrestling when I started training. I started training not to keep bullies at bay or because of poor self esteem but to better myself in wrestling. I was a bully myself. I started for the right reasons. On the right is a lat spread taken 6 months later. 

Let me tell you something, bodybuilding is a great sport but there is more to life than just bodybuilding. Unless you are a professional bodybuilder or see that you have the prospects for a career in bodybuilding then the latter must be just a hobby. It mustn't be your main pursuit. That doesn't mean you mustn't train, eat and live the bodybuilding lifestyle diligently. What I mean to say is to invest yourself where you will reap the most fruits just like you bet money on the horse that has the most chance to bring you money or just like you haven't been betting on Manchester United lately.

Pro bodybuilders don't shake the money tree each time they compete
There isn't much money to be made in bodybuilding. Being a professional bodybuilder means that you are allowed to compete in contests in which there are prize money on offer. Being a pro bodybuilder doesn't ensure a sponsorship. This is bodybuilding, not golf, basketball, soccer and so on. Many pro bodybuilders struggle and some even gave up their pro status to pursue something else while competing as amateurs. Some focus on setting up a business so that they have something to fall back on when their bodybuilding careers are over. Lots of excellent bodybuilders in the Middle East who can make great pros refuse their pro card because there is more government sponsorship as an amateur. As a pro they'd have to fend for themselves and hear nonsense like "He didn't place well as the judges don't know him. He needs to compete more often". I know of an Egyptian bantamweight legend named Anwar El Amawy who was eligible for a pro card but refused it...20 times.
Turkey's Hamdullah Aykutlug quit competing as a pro to join the amateur ranks. Seen here is his 2nd place finish at the 2012 Amateur Olympia 212

Get this right, youngsters and those starting out! Nobody is guaranteed the life of Jay Cutler in Las Vegas. Speaking of Cutler, he also had his share of struggles. He lived in a basement at a friend's while preparing for his early professional shows. He bought his first condo with his first prize money.
Pro bodybuilding doesn't always pay the bills:
Ronnie Coleman worked as a police officer while being 
a pro bodybuilder and even on his first two years as Mr. Olympia
Now, the true meaning of hardcore  
Instead of blowing all your money on supplements and steroids why don't you invest this money in your education, whether it is a computer diploma, university degree or a certificate personal training or in plumbing? Arnold went to school while training for the Mr. Olympia. This is something that will help you. Why don't you help your little sister, brother, niece or nephew out in their education with some of that money? Why don't you give some of  it to your mom every month. Aunty will surely appreciate it. She can pay the bills with it or buy herself something nice. Don't be selfish. 

I have known somebody from Mauritius who took bank loans of thousands of rupees in order to compete in a regional show. I have never anything more screwed up than this.

"The reality of flesh
All that muscle will go away one day. You need something
to fall back on. That's the reality of flesh, my friend" 

And then there's this nonsense...
Bodybuilding doesn't have to be to the detriment of your personal life. You need to have your priorities right on that side of your life too. Although exercising must be a pursuit of a lifetime, big muscles that make heads turn are only for some time. Very often relationships will last a lifetime as well. Your wife, girlfriend and parents will still care way after all the muscles have lost their size. Fans won't always applaud you. See how many people start picking Jay Cutler and even Ronnie Coleman apart once they got past their prime. Not a single damn will be given by most people once you are no longer the champion. But for your mom, dad, wife and children you always will be a champion. You may have 20 inch arms and press 65kg dumbbells on inclines but there may come a time when even the strength to wipe your butt you won't have. Who's gonna do that for you? Bodybuilding mustn't be at the expense of relationships.

 Pure nonsense. He puts women in the same basket as drugs 
and alcohol

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My Bio: I am a Mauritian originally from Roche Bois, Port Louis and now based in Cape Town, South Africa where I am busy with my postgraduate studies in molecular biology of exercise. My research, supervised by Prof. Edward Ojuka and Dr. Tertius Kohn, looks at the influence of nutrition and exercise in gene expression in muscle, research which is relevant and applicable to exercising individuals, sports persons and diabetic individuals. The knowledge that I share with you stems from my 18 years of experience in bodybuilding and 8 years (and counting) of university education in the field. I have also published work in the American Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism (2012, 2014), International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism (2013) and co-authored two book chapters on exercise and diabetes. I also presented my research work at the 2012 International Sports and Exercise Nutrition Conference (UK). I am grateful to each and everyone at the UCT Research Unit for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine. "Knowledge without sharing is worth nothing"
©,2013, Veeraj Goyaram, Bodybuilding Mauritius. Any reprinting in any type of media is prohibited.
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