Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Truly Effective Body Building by Frank Zane

Change only comes through awareness. Before you can change something you must now what it actually looks like in the present. This is actually harder than it seems. A body that is changing as you train is a reflection of progress. To track this progress the following two things are important.

The first is keep a written record of all your workouts, exercises, weights, sets and reps. Also track your diet in writing and look up the calorie values of everything you eat. Sound like a lot of work' It is less work than you think once you get into the habit of doing it and will enable you to effectively compare you past and present look.

In bodybuilding it's important to learn to see yourself as others see your body. Looking in the mirror is not enough, you see what you expect to see. Taking photographs is the best method. I've done this in the past, especially when preparing for competition and even now when I have a distinct goal in mind that I'm training to reach. Every 3 to 4 weeks out comes the camera to give me proof of my progress. Seeing how your body is improving is the best ongoing motivation you can have to sustain your training drive.

With the advent of digital cameras keeping record of progress becomes very easy. You have someone take your photos in relaxed front, side, and back positions and with hands on hips from the front, arms flexed from the front and back. Outdoors is best when the sun is at a 45 to 60 degree angle with the horizon so there are no distinct shadows on the body. I've always preferred 9 am to 11 am depending on the season. Try to duplicate the lighting conditions each time so you can get accurate comparisons.

Most people who train are only incidentally aware of their improvement. Their trousers may become loose around the waist, they may drop a few pounds on the scale, their friends my mention they look younger. But photos don't lie and they should become part of the archives of your progress. Digital photos can be stored on CDs and last forever. You'll be glad you did this later on and these records will become valuable. Mine have.

This article first appeared in Frank Zane's buiding the body publication and has been republished here with his permission.