This article is intended to make you aware of the difference between bodybuilding skillset and alignment when it comes to getting incredible results with your body. First, allow me to give you some background on myself and my firsthand experience with working out and then this article will make a lot more sense to you.
WHEN I FIRST BEGAN WORKING OUT I DIDN’T KNOW SHIT.
BUT I KNEW I WANTED TO BE GREAT AND I WORKED MY ASS OFF TO DO IT!
Picture a lost adolescent that never fit in no matter how hard he tried. I went through my phases in school of being the grunge kid, the skateboarder, the rebel, and eventually the guy that dressed nice and carried himself to a higher standard. But I didn’t begin dressing nice until after I worked my ass off to get my body where I wanted it to be.
The point to this is that I just never felt like I fit in or had my niche group. After spending time desperately trying to fit in, one day I just said, “Fuck all that, I’m not going to worry about where I fit in, but I’m going to do what I want to do and be what I want to be.”
I had this picture in my mind, you know, just this picture of what I wanted to be. My new project would become trying to be like a real-life action hero! I knew I had a pretty good work ethic from doing manual labor as a teen and I wasn’t afraid of hard work and a little pain to get what I wanted. And so it began…
Those first couple months of working out I made my bedroom my gym. I really had no idea what I was doing so it didn’t matter where the gym was at that time. I was too new to see the value between working out at home with hardly any equipment or working out at the local gym with all of the equipment I could ask for.
I really knew nothing about working out, and for that first year of working out I had absolutely no idea that it took food to grow muscles! Hell, I thought if I just worked out longer and harder my muscles would get bigger and bigger. Boy was I new and naïve as hell back then!
The workouts were pretty much every single day. I can’t say that I enjoyed working out those first couple months, but the will to improve myself overpowered the comfort level of remaining average, so I just pushed through like a freight train!
I WAS DONE BEING AVERAGE.
I didn’t give a fuck what it took to get through the workouts, I was going to find that strength from someplace and pull it out of me!
THE TYPE OF GAINS THAT DON’T COME FROM A CALORIE, A NEEDLE, OR A PROTEIN SHAKE
I believe something that isn’t talked about in bodybuilding are the type of gains that come from your heart. When I first got into working out, after I was done was doing all of my push-ups, there were so many times I would get to push-up #20 or #21 and want to lay there on my stomach and call it quits.
But my will to overcome being average wouldn’t let me quit; I found the strength to continue pushing, and the next week I found the strength to continue pushing 10 reps past the point of impossible the week prior! This type of strength didn’t come from a protein shake, a needle, or some extra calories that day.
This was the type of strength that came from me telling myself, “DUDE, FUCK THIS, KEEP GOING! YOU ARE STRONGER THAN THIS, KEEP GOING! IF YOU DO NOTHING ELSE IN YOUR LIFE BUT THIS, DO THIS THING WELL AND KEEP PUSHING DAMNIT!”
THE TYPE OF STRENGTH I’M REFERRING TO COMES FROM THE HEART, AND THIS IS WHAT I MEAN BY “ALIGNMENT WITH BODYBUILDING”
Alignment is when you are the most in tune with your purpose and reasons for improvement on a regular basis. Yes, in the beginning it’s nice to draw attention from the girls, to gain respect from the guys, and to see that your efforts are building something. But for me it wasn’t just that, and it became more than just finding my thing, or something I felt I was good at.
Bodybuilding eventually became my way to kick life back in the fucking face on a regular basis, and let it know that it wasn’t going to beat me down like it did to everybody else!
No matter what happened in my life, bodybuilding was always there for me! I didn’t care if I lost a job, a relationship, a vehicle, or if I was piss broke that week… the gym was there for me! And if you took away the gym? I would make the gym right there with my own two fucking hands!
So as a whole, my alignment with the gym is honestly my alignment with life. The gym is my foundation and that foundation isn’t just about building muscles or getting shredded, it’s about continuing to push back when the forces of life are trying to drag me down.
You run into all kinds of people nowadays that have some ailment they blame a past occurrence in life on.
“If only I hadn’t gotten in that car accident, if only I didn’t have that mishap at the workplace, if only that girl didn’t leave me!”
It’s like they have one major issue in life and they’re forever grounded from that point forward. The gym taught me that no matter what happened to me, I didn’t have to stay grounded from that point forward. Sometimes it wouldn’t be easy to push through, but every day I could work out, was a chance to keep pushing forward!
Eventually things would happen that would take months to push through…YEARS TO PUSH THROUGH!
The gym was hope for me; it might not happen tomorrow and it might not happen next month, but everyday was a chance to continue to dream and fight to make something happen. And that my friends, is my definition of true 100% ALIGNMENT WITH BODYBUILDING!
You have to remember why you’re into nutrition and working out. I bet when you began lifting weights you had no idea how far you would go with it or what you would look like 10 years beyond the first day you began working out seriously.
Back then, I wasn’t saying to myself, “I’m no good yet because I don’t have a set of abs. I’m wasting my time since I’m not bench pressing 300 lbs yet.”
Fuck no, I was hyped about the small gains and improvements I was making on the regular, regardless of whether I still looked new in the gym or not. Nobody knows where they’ll end up or how far they’re going to carry something the first day they begin, and I was no different!
Why didn’t I stop when the results and methodology was 100 times more blind to me than it is now? It’s real simple…I loved the process. When you learn to fall in love with the process it takes to become a badass then nothing can stop you!
I learned to love pushing through pain, BECAUSE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF PAIN THERE WAS RESULTS!
Like anyone else that begins an endeavor totally blind and learns along the way since they’re passionate about it, I began building an incredible knowledge base through research and conducting trial and error experiments on myself. This knowledge base is my skillset. The resources I’ve learned about and put to use to assist with bodybuilding is part of that skillset.
SKILLSET MEANS FUCK-ALL WITHOUT PROPER ALIGNMENT!
There are more people on steroids now than ever. Performance enhancing drugs are so prevalent and available now that it’s almost as easy as purchasing something from Amazon online. Yet, there are more steroid users that look like absolute dog shit than natural trainees that bust their asses!
Why is that? It’s because one group has the right alignment with what they’re doing, while the other side wants a quick fix without making too many sacrifices to get what they’re after. Nobody wants to make sacrifices anymore to get what they’re after. Group A wants to party on the weekends, tailgate and eat junk, and stay up until 2am on weekdays, and hopefully they can make something happen as long as they’re sticking a needle in their ass.
Group B may not be able to grow to the stature of some of the ones in group A that lost their alignment. Group B may lose out on some weekend party or staying up with some slut from the office until 3am, but why do the people in group B keep getting such great recognition. They begin drawing so much attention that the ones in Group A begin asking,”What type of cycle are you on right now?”
“Cycle, what’s a cycle? You mean steroids? Nah, I just plan out 90% of my meals, focus on hard training intensity and proper recovery, and do the best I can because I love the lifestyle!”
If what I’m talking about wasn’t true, then how do some of the people that reside in the poorest communities get these incredible physiques?
How do some of the people that need to hunt and fish every time they want some protein build these incredible bodies?
How does a powerlifter that eats nothing more than a loaf of bread a day continue to increase his numbers?
How do inmates with 3 hots and a cot continue to build their physiques up, despite the shittiest of circumstances and lack of freedom?
It’s heart… heart creates alignment, and hard times make for hard men!
I’m glad I began my bodybuilding journey outside of a gym, not knowing what a protein shake or creatine even was. I’m glad it took awhile to even contemplate using steroids. Because this sort of situation put my alignment as #1 and my resources as #2!
If you lose your alignment and keep your resources, eventually you’ll lose your physique. If you lose your resources, but still remember why you picked up a weight, you’ll be able to keep a good build!
(I’m not talking about males with low testosterone levels here that need clinical help, that is a different situation sometimes)
I’ve just seen far too many people fall off because they’ve forgotten the real reasons for training. You train to become great, you train to live your best on this day, regardless of where you’re currently at. Psychologically speaking, you could be sitting at the gates of hell right now. You can train your way out of hell if you want to escape bad enough!
There really is no gray area here, no shrink necessary!
IT’S DO OR DO NOT, LIFE IS RARELY FAIR, AND WHEN YOU THINK YOU’VE GOTTEN THE BEST OF SOMETHING YOU NEED TO RAIN DOWN MORE PUNCHES TO BE SURE IT’S NOT GETTING THE FUCK BACK UP ON YOU!
Now, when skillset matches up with proper alignment, then you’ll be an elitist! Congrats, you’ve just installed the grenade launcher on your machine gun and anything that stands in your way becomes annihilated!
Skillset needs to match true purpose or you are absolutely wasting your time. You will need to become used to being average if this is the case.
Have I lost my way before? SURE HAVE!
But I eventually found my way back, time and time again. Usually this takes figuring it out on your own, but maybe by this point in the article you’ve began blowing air onto that tiny ember that has the ability to grow into a fire once again!
“Don’t settle, no matter the cost,
Don’t lose yourself, no matter the situation,
Find your way back, no matter the route,
Fight your way back, no matter the blood!” -JD
14 thoughts on “Bodybuilding: Skillset Paired with Alignment for the Best Results!”
Thanks for your last article on alignment. At 65 I’ve just had a triple bypass. Been training for best part of 30years.
Surgeon reckons muscle mass complicated the operation and will create slower painful recovery.
I can handle that shit no worries. The mass is disappearing at a crazy rate though & am starting to look like Mr average. Still can’t lift and slowly a mindset crept in of its pretty much over for me. Gains gone, too old to regain it. I really doubted my ability to start again and at 65 I have started again more than a few times as you would know. I have a good support base of guys behind me from the gym & the fire station but I had ceased believing them…& in myself. Apparently heart operations can play with your head badly. Your article struck a cord somewhere though and I just wanted to thank you for that. Am feeling a bit more determined again. Just got to reevaluate & make new achievable goals now I guess. Gotta miss that resilience of youth though hey. Thanks again.
You got it man, don’t stop pushing on! It ends when we are dead. Thanks for following! -JD
Thanks JD I needed that this morning, I have covid belly and a new wife that don’t care. I need to remember who the fuck I really am and claw my way back to being someone I love and respect 👊🏼
please if possible what brand of sarms can you please recomand
I hurt my shoulder last year, or so I thought and after a visit to the doctor 8 months later I‘m told it‘s a small bicep tendon tear.
I know you‘re not a doctor but my question is since I don‘t have pain and can go about daily activities without noticing anything in my shoulder if it would be beneficial to do dumbell press. I used to do 315 on the bench and when I do 25-35lb dumbells, it feels irritating. I‘m not sure if this small amount of discomfort is outweighed by the added bloodflow to the shoulder region.
It has gotten a lot better, very slowly and I‘m on the fence about this. Usually I would push through if it was a muscle thing but this is dealing with a tendon.
I did 135 on the bench the other day 10 times and it didn‘t beneficial at all. There is also a lot of atrophy on the injured side so I‘m not sure if this could be adding to the trouble since the whole joint is less supported.
You are in a rough spot, it may not be a small tear at all, it may be something larger that is aggravating as hell. It won’t heal, yet it’s not detached, you are in no man’s land. I’ve been there, that’s how my damn tricep tendon was forever before it tore and needed surgery. I was told I could either try to lay off it and heal it or they would detach it and put it in an environment where it would heal better. My advice would be to seek out a good orthopedic doc and get another opinion, someone that can read an MRI and knows their ass from a hole in the ground
It’s super annoying, I can’t stand to deal with these idiotic doctors much longer, it’s hard to find a good one. What I can tell you is from my own research and looking at pictures I seen that the bicep tendon up high at the top of the shoulder was hurting. I then quit doing pushups and after two months it did get a lot better. Now I have no discomfort at all except when I start doing weight.
So it does seem to be making progress. The first 8 months I don’t think count because I got too damn impatient and started slamming out pushups because I thought fuck it, it’s not getting better anyways. Then once I did 100 pushups through the pain and around 105-110 there a sharp pain so realized that was a mistake and quit doing it. So I had some set backs from my own stupidity but I did not do military press or bench.
I am not doing any heavy weights at the moment but something weird I noticed is i did fake cable crossovers in the mirror and noticed I am holding my shoulder in an unnatural position and I really have to make a concious effort to hold it the way it’s supposed to be because in the beginning it hurt alot and I held it in a way that was comfortable.
This has been the most annoying injury I’ve ever dealt with. It’s enough to make you go insane. if you get a chance search for larry wheels on instagram. I’ll post a link here, basically his buddy thought it would be a great idea to do five plates on the bench on incline( what a dickhead) and he tore his pec off the bone. Because he had a large following he was able to raise money for the best doctor in dubai where he is staying and he’s been posting his progress. Three weeks after his surgery his doctor recommended he does very light weights to get the blood flow getting to that region which is a surprise to me. https://www.instagram.com/p/CMpLJ6Rs9Ij/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
I had a buddy with the exact same situation and basically his rate of muscular growth pulled his shoulder out of place, it was something like the bicep and delt interacting against one another. He found some chiropractor that did some whacked shit where he used some metal rod to push into the area with all of his weight and realign it. He had to have that done like once a month for a few go’s. It did help but the pain was excruciating he said, having it done I mean. Best of luck dude!! -JD
Excellent! I can identify with so much of this. Thank you for showing the heart of lifting and your willingness to be transparent. There is an ebb and flow when you’re committed for this long. I have been lifting for many years and rarely miss. It truly becomes a lifestyle; eating correctly, prioritizing sleep, having a training plan, recovery, progress, lack of progress, all the while never forgetting that ultimately it’s the feeling of accomplishment and seeing what we are capable of. Thank you sharing your story and for your website.
Appreciate you, thanks-JD
Dear John ,
i finished reading your Book Shredded ops.
for the jello advise, i have exactly the same issue in my Right arm but very very mild.
i purchased low sugar jellos, + Pure Gelatine powder (used for foods from carreffour) to increase the gelatine content of the jello
i dont mix in water and drink like your said in the book specially that gelatine will not dissolve in cold or even warm water it will form a lump, it must be hot water, so i mix together (Jello + Gelatin) and then put in cups in the fridge and just eat it as Jello
is that ok ? or it is not and i should drink it ?
I would like to see more old school articles from you, I love the old dorian yates program with this hardcore basement vibe.
By the way this blog and bold and determined were my favorite to read, is Nick anywhere to be found? I can‘t find any content whatsoever
Thanks for the follow. Not sure what he is doing lately to be honest -JD
so far no article about your longest steroid cycle and what you have used, i am following you and really interested about it if you can share your experience about and how to make it safe.
just recently one IFBB pro shared that his longest cycle was 8 months long on Boldenon !! so I was surprised that some people would go till 8 months cycling !
i hope you would share your story and experience about it.