Friday, December 24, 2010


When people start on a health and fitness plan of sorts, a lot of the time, they only see what's in the mirror, and nothing beyond that. The only thing that registers in their minds is "I'm fat", or "I'm skinny", and after days or weeks on a certain plan, give up because they don't see any noticeable changes. People can sometimes easily lose hope on attaining higher levels of fitness because of the harsh criticisms of society. The notion that how their body currently looks is unsightly can easily sink in and cause them to give up when they've just started on the path.


People need to look beyond what they perceive in the mirror and let their minds run free and positive. Fine, think what you will of the current state of your body, but know that there is always a possible happier ending beyond that, one that is attained through hard work, consistency, and patience.

Easier said than done, I suppose, especially when most people clearly lack that last virtue. The easiest way to gain the upper hand in this situation is to imagine it. Don't just look at your goals as they're written on a piece of paper. What does "lose 50 pounds of body fat and gain muscle" actually look like?

Does Arnold Schwarzenegger have
the look you desire?

If you lack the imagination to construct a fitter version of yourself upon reaching your goals, then visualize someone who has. Famous movie stars are ideal for this situation, because they present so many options for you. Which star's body would you like to have the most? Or at least resemble?

Now, picture that ideal body in your mind and see it every time you look at yourself in the mirror. What will happen here is a sort of clash of the senses, where you clearly see yourself in your current state, with your mind forcing you to see your ideal state.

You can either see the glass as half empty or half full as a reaction to this. What we, of course want, is the latter reaction. When you see your current self and ideal self overlap, think "present" and "future". No ifs or buts, just "present" and "future". This will allow you to focus on your goal of a fitter body as a single path, without any diversions that allow you to quit halfway or run away when the going gets tough. Patience can be your best friend, and in this case, it's a movie star.


So, who's got my ideal Hollywood body? It's Sylvester Stallone, circa Rocky 3! Stallone looked incredibly ripped in 1982: not too huge, but not too thin, either, especially in that final confrontation against villain Clubber Lang. His body in that film ringed "just right" for me in a Goldilocks flash of realization. One key thing about my image of this physique is that it's stayed constant in my mind for years and years and years. I'm a big fan of action movies, so I've seen my share of ideal male physiques, but that Rocky 3 body has just stood the test of time for whatever reason.
Sylvester Stallone's Rocky 3 physique
is my idea of a perfect body


That's another key aspect of imagining your way to fitness success: stay as consistent as possible! It's fine if you jump from one kind of physique to another when you're just trying to find what exactly it is that you want, but if it's been several years already and you're still choosing perfect physiques every other day, then something's definitely wrong. It just shows that you don't know what it is that you want, and is most probably why you're not getting there. You've got to pick a very specific goal and stick with it, or you'll never get through a single plan.


Another great technique in fitness visualization is to find out as much as you can about how the star you chose attained that ideal physique. What did he or she have to go through to look that way? Having this information will help you realize that even these high and mighty movie stars had to work hard to look that way. That's right. No one's just given perfect bods. Literally everyone has to work for them! Even Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is known to have had a genetic advantage throughout his bodybuilding career, still had to work hard and lift tons of metal day in and day out throughout his youth to get the physique we associate with him so much.
Sly had to work extra hard to be sculpted,
and you should, too!

This is another reason why I like Stallone's Rocky 3 physique as my ideal body. In his book, Sly Moves, he relates the hardships he had growing up being poor, and how he had a very unhealthy lifestyle when he first started filming the first Rocky movie. He actually got that way in Rocky 3 by overtraining literally every day, on top of starring, writing, and directing the film itself. This is actually one of the worst ways to get to your goals, and I do not recommend it at all. But, the point is that Sly Stallone constantly worked hard to attain the physique that he wanted, and that means you should too.


Visualizing the path to your perfect body isn't just you having a thought bubble above your head all day. It's actually knowing how that body came together and how you can do it, too! It will take some time, definitely, since, unfortunately, not all of us are gifted with Arnold's superior genes. But you will get there, that's for sure, as long as you follow this specific formula:

CONSISTENCY = Pick a perfect physique and stick with it. Know exactly what you want and keep focused on it, no matter what.
HARD WORK = Know that even famous movie stars had to work extra hard to get their famous bodies. That means that you need to work extra hard as well!

So ...


Now go out there and get imagining!

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Hello, I'm Noel Blanco and I write Fitness Philippines. I have been involved in physical fitness for more than 10 years now and am currently taking up graduate studies on Exercise and Sports Science at the University of the Philippines. You can contact me at
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