I have a passion for natural bodybuilding and have been hitting the gym for the past 14 years.
I am also a professional sales guy and have seen rapid career growth implementing what I’ve learned at the gym.
12 important aspects of how I can co-relate my career advancement with my learnings from the gym
1) Set your goals:
Just going to the gym is not enough, you need to know your goals whether it is packing muscle mass, losing weight, or just staying toned and feeling good.
For this, you need to know your body type, measurements, and the type of exercises you need to do to be able to get there and constantly keep track of where you’re at with those goals.
Similarly in career progression, setting a goal is very important, where do you want to see yourself 1-3 years from now, where do you stand at this moment, what are the skills you need to gain or improve upon, and what the learning you will need to achieve your goal.
2) It’s all about discipline:
Going to the gym and lifting weights doesn’t make any difference, discipline does.
Setting a time to go to the gym, timing your workouts and the intensity, getting the right amount of rest, setting your diet and calorie requirements on a daily basis, cooking your own meals for the day or week, and constantly tracking your progress is very important.
For professional growth, discipline makes all the difference.
You need to write down your tasks for the day and how much time you are willing to spend on each task based on priority, you need to refrain from distractions and avoid procrastination.
3) You need a coach:
For a couple of years when I initially started, I did not have a proper coach, I used to read books and internet material to get my workouts and I never knew the proper form or technique to build and target the various muscle groups.
My diet was not in order and I used to take advice from every other buff guy in the gym.
Once I found the right coach who really understood me and my requirements, he was able to teach me proper form, technique, and diet, and constantly monitor my progress and I started seeing results much faster.
You need a mentor to help you progress in your career/profession, someone who can guide you at every step, train you, and also correct you when you go wrong.
4) It’s all about passion and hard work:
Lifting weights is a pain and when I say “pain”, it hurts and it MUST hurt, without pain you will not see results, you need to exhaust your muscles to see them grow and also take the right diet.
Every day the gym is hell for that 1 hour, later cooking your meals and avoiding cookies but the awesome feeling you get when you start seeing results, words cannot describe.
You need to love what you do and you cannot pop out after a while because you find what you do to be difficult.
Career growth is all about passion, hard work, and dedication, growth can be stressful, you may have to work longer hours at the office or even weekends but it will all pay off.
Make sure your hard work gets noticed and you are driving results, then no one can stop your growth.
I love this quote from Rocky
“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that! I’m always gonna love you, no matter what. No matter what happens. You’re my son and you’re my blood. You’re the best thing in my life. But until you start believing in yourself, you ain’t gonna have a life.”
― Sylvester Stallone, Rocky Balboa
5) Create a progression plan:
I usually follow a workout planner so I can keep a track of the different workouts I do on a daily basis, different muscle groups I am going to work on, and also the weight progression in terms of adding more weight compared to what I did the previous week to ensure strength and muscle gains.
Similarly, have a work plan, schedule your tasks for the day and week and try to complete more tasks than you did the previous week, this will not only help you focus better but also enhance your speed of working and finishing tasks before deadlines.
6) Team up with someone better than you:
I always prefer having a workout partner, especially someone who is better than me in terms of knowledge, physique, and strength so I can learn from them.
Having a workout partner helps me to push further and be able to finish those last important repetitions that spark growth in the muscle.
At work, try and identify someone who may be from your department who is a senior and carries more experience than you do.
Always try to learn from their experiences and get guidance. They will help you get through those major deals you are struggling with or that difficult client you’re unable to deal with.
7) Always update your knowledge:
Bodybuilding and fitness is a huge science. Knowing your body will take you a lifetime.
Constantly learning and being updated about how your body reacts to various exercises and diets and how you will be able to create a better physique not only from online sources but by networking and meeting professionals will greatly help you in getting closer to your goals much faster.
Learning should be an integral part of your career, always be keen to enhance and multiply your knowledge, and learn from online sources, forums, industry experts, and networking events.
8) Help beginners grow:
I always try to help beginners by giving them my share of advice whenever they approach me, some times I even train them for free.
This not only helps build leadership qualities but also gives me the opportunity to help others grow at the same time, I will also try to learn if questions that I am not aware of are being asked.
In your profession, try helping your juniors and team, they will appreciate you for it and this could positively impact your growth. You will not only build leadership qualities but also learn in the process.
9) Strive for perfection:
Bodybuilders and Fitness models strive for perfection in their overall symmetry and proportion.
This requires a lot of effort and time to make sure they are following all of the points shared above and some more.
It can be a repetitive task to lift weights but the way it’s executed and the techniques and varying intensities help different muscles show up and create the physical definition the person is looking for.
Striving for perfection at the workplace is very important, if a task is given to you, give your 100% even if it’s a repetitive task, you may want to try completing the same task in a shorter time frame than it usually takes or finds a better way to execute the task, this not only keeps you in the lead position but others will look up to you.
10) It can be costly:
Bodybuilding is a very costly affair. I tend to spend 3-4 times more on buying healthy food compared to someone who can fill his stomach on cheap fast food.
I reap the benefits of seeing positive changes in my body, being healthy and immune to diseases compared to someone who doesn’t really care.
Career growth can be costly as well, you may want to sign up for learning programs, additional degrees, or certifications that will help you skyrocket in your profession.
11) Supplementing your diet:
Our regular diet does not provide all the required vitamins and nutrients for the body, hence I need to supplement my daily food with additional protein and multivitamins. This will help me recover faster and see the gains I need.
Adding skills or recommendations from your colleagues and clients as well as your work with non-profits, other talents, and even certifications can supplement your career growth
12) Choosing the right gym:
Last but not least and very important is to choose the gym that directly falls in line with your goals, if you want to be a bodybuilder and join a cross-fit gym or planet fitness, it’s not going to help.
You will have to join a hardcore bodybuilding gym to get the weights and equipment you need to reach your goals.
You need to choose where you want to work and the role you’d like to play in the organization, if you are a good sales guy but join a company as an HR manager, you won’t really fit in and that will be your career downfall.
Be sure about your vision and the kind of company you’d like to work for.
Hope this has been useful. Please feel free to leave your comments and advice in the comments section.