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Bodybuilding has a higher dropout rate than an inner-city high school. You might think that with all of the sport's benefits-improved strength, health, confidence and appearance, to name just a few everyone who tried it would stick with it for life.
The truth is, though, many pee-pie lose interest or get frustrated because bodybuilding doesn't deliver the one thing they want more than anything: instant results. I remember flexing and posing after every workout early in my training, wondering why I didn't look any bigger than I had the day before. Little did I realize just how slow a process building muscle is. Muscle grows so slowly that you can't see it happening-it would be like trying to watch grass grow. If you've decided that you want to look like a bodybuilder, make the commitment to stay with it forever.
Those tiny, imperceptible gains-two more pounds on your squat, an eighth of an inch added to your arms-in time add up to a 500-pound squat and 18-inch arms. You don't see it every day, any more than you can see that the grass is longer, but it happens. I advise all of you to keep a training journal. Record in it the pound- ages and reps you use in your workout, along with a monthly log of your bodyweight and chest, arm, thigh, waist and calf measurements. Photograph or videotape yourself every two to three months in the same poses. This becomes your before-and-after record.
If, after six months or a year, you truly do look the same, you need to examine your training and nutrition to get yourself gaining again. If you grow and you will if you train hard and eat plenty of good food-you'll have these records to remind you of how much progress you've made.
For those of you who look in the mirror and see a physique that seems so far removed from a bodybuilder's that you might belong to a different species, don't despair. I recently received a videotape from a high school friend that showed us goofing around at the age of 17, when we had just started training. We both looked scrawny. Almost eight years later I am so much bigger and more muscular that I don't even look like the same person. He quit training soon after the tape was made and looks like a regular guy. So stick with it. I guarantee that you'll be glad you did.