There is no power greater than that of a positive thought in action. Be optimistic with your life. Believe that you can, and you shall. In 1969, I witnessed the amazing Mets win the World Series against all the odds. The slogan, You Gotta Believe, was amplified that year as spectators proudly held banners and signs to cheer on their team to victory over the Baltimore Orioles. Bodybuilding requires a great deal of positive thinking. When you are training, you’ve got to believe in your workout. When eating, you’ve got to believe in your diet. When planning, you’ve got to believe in your course of action. Most important of all, you’ve got to believe in yourself. If you do not, you are bound to failure. You need to apply a positive plan of action to your muscle building lifestyle and believe that you can succeed in the sport of bodybuilding. You Gotta Believe!

Learn as much as you can about nutrition and apply this knowledge to your daily diet. Avoid junk food and eating at fast foods restaurants. Try to consume only that which is pure and natural. Do not consume any cakes, candies, sodas, pastries, fried foods, fatty animal products, etc. Stick to one-ingredient natural foods and cook only when necessary. Learn how to combine your foods for maximum health. When attending dinner functions or on a cruise I stand out from the other folks when I eat my prepared meals and everyone else is feasting on delicacies and wine. It is a sacrifice to be different but sometimes that is what’s needed to succeed. Remember, you are what you eat, so be wise as to what you put in your mouth.

Train as if your life depended on it. Give it everything you have and then some. You have to lift the heavy steel with every ounce of energy you can muster. Set goals for yourself often and conquer them one at a time. Make the gym your battleground and fight until you are victorious. When I enter the gym, I leave the problems of the world outside. I am there for some serious business and my training requires maximum mental focus and physical effort. Nothing else would be acceptable. Find your performance zone and Go For It!

Try to maintain a regular bedtime and rising schedule. Take a power nap (about 20-30 minutes) during the day to help you recuperate and re-energize for your grueling workouts. You can do all the training in the world but without sufficient rest, your gains will be minimized. Without enough rest, I find it nearly impossible to train at the same intensity, as I am use to. Getting enough sleep and rest are key ingredients to being successful in bodybuilding. After putting so much of your hard-earned time in the gym, you deserve to take a snooze on a comfortable mattress. Besides, that is when you will make most of your new gains. Personally, after a heavy bombing session, I find there is nothing better than to relax for a while, as my body rebuilds the muscle I just tore down, and my strength grows to a new, higher capacity. Make the time to rest!

Patience is a great virtue when striving towards any worthy goal. It takes time to become what your dreams are made of, and it is important to take each new day as it comes. Wanting everything to happen overnight will only result in despair and anguish. Let the flame of desire burn strong but watch closely or it may burn out of control, stopping you in your tracks, long before you realize the results you seek. Be grateful for your blessings and give each new day a little bit extra. Before you know it, you’ll be on top of the mountain. Remember, time has no limits, and neither should you.

Your body is the temple of your greatest wealth. Never neglect or abuse that which can easily be lost forever. When you abuse your body through drugs, cigarettes, alcohol, etc., you are traveling on a dead-end street. Put the brakes on your bad habits and get on the highway of health. Maybe I am a little boring, but I have never been high from drugs, alcohol, or anything in my life. Throughout my teenage years, I never had the desire for such ill practices, or for that matter, could ever understand what the big attraction was to being a space cadet. In high school, I had several friends who use to get high from sniffing glue, popping pills, and smoking weed. To me this was insanity and I continually fought with them to stop their bad habits before it was too late. They just laughed at my well-intended efforts and today they are just shadows of what they could have been. I followed a different path than most of my generation, and today I am still going strong and trying to help those who will listen to my warnings about the dangers of drugs.

Spend as much time as you can where the air and water are fresh and clean. Never pollute or abuse the land in which you live or visit. Every week, I visit my home in the Catskill Mountains and smile at the beauty of nature. There is always something to do up in the hills. Whether it is axing firewood, cutting acres of grass, or carrying boulders down from the mountain top, I have always enjoyed the challenges of the great outdoors as it removes me from the raft of society and puts me more in touch with the nature I desire. When possible, take a trip to some place secluded and enjoy the gifts that nature provides. Remember, this is the only world you will ever get to live on, so enjoy its endless wonders while you can.

In this high-paced society of ours, it is sometimes easy to get lost in all the confusion. Find harmony within yourself and stay focused on the big picture. Through the years, I have learned how to block negativity from my thoughts so as not to be distracted in my training. One day in 1979, while driving to my gym for an early morning workout I accidentally left my gym bag (containing my wallet and house keys) on a busy sidewalk as I drove off. Soon after arriving at my gym, I discovered what I had done. Immediately, I blocked the mental stress of my mistake from derailing my workout and put the problem on the back burner to be dealt with after the workout (luckily, an honest person found my bag and returned it later that day). On another morning, I opened my club and found that a back window of my gym had been smashed during a failed burglary attempt. I simply swept up the glass and proceeded to train, again putting off the problem for later when I could think more clearly. It’s important to figure out when something is really an emergency and when it could wait for a bit. I have plenty of such examples to share but I believe you get the idea. You must be focused on your goals, and not let negativity sidetrack you on your path to success.

Your most precious gift is your life. Do not risk losing it to an error in judgment. Drag racing on the local highway is a sure way to a dead end. Be careful with each step you take in life and never let complacency derail you. As a teenager, I suffered the loss of a cousin who was killed while joy riding on a mini-bike without a helmet. Years later, I lost a workout partner because he was killed while racing his motorcycle at an excessive speed. It is this kind of irresponsible behavior that all too often leads to pain and sorrow. Think before you act!

In our crazy world, it is important to always be aware of your surroundings. Whether crossing a street, shopping, or just home watching your favorite sports program, you must always be prepared for the unexpected. There are many in this world that would uncaringly steal your property, and there is always that potential accident just around the corner. To survive in life, you must be physically and mentally prepared for any event that arises. Expect the unexpected and you’ll be able to handle whatever comes your way!

Hopefully, with a little luck and decades of discipline towards your health, you will be able to enjoy a long, vibrant, and rewarding life. There are no guarantees in life, so it is imperative that you learn as much about fitness as you can. The application of proper nutrition, exercise, rest, and positive thinking are necessary for a vibrant life. There is nothing more precious than the gift of life and the best time to start a healthy lifestyle is now. Make each day count by living life to its fullest through healthy living and enjoying the fruits of your labor.

Your greatest tool to gaining that which you desire is knowledge. Learn as much as you can and apply it to your life. In today’s world, it is virtually impossible to land a good paying career without a good education. You must get your head into the books to be able to meet the challenges of your changing world. Be informed. As you read these words, the world is changing around you. To meet the demands of your future you must be prepared with knowledge to meet the challenges that await you. Knowledge is strength!

You only get one shot at this party so make it a good one. Learn to be happy with yourself and the world in which you live. When possible, take in the mountains, oceans, or the wind flowing through the trees. It is all there for you to see and enjoy. Remember, there is more to life than pumping iron and big biceps. Visit your family and friends. Spend time with those you care about. Learn to find peace, joy, and love within your heart and share these feelings with others.

The only foolish question is the one you don’t ask. Save yourself worry and get the answers to your problems. How many times have you gotten lost and found yourself going in circles? Asking simple questions can save you loads of frustration and time. Like most men, I am a little stubborn about asking directions when I’m lost or driving in an unfamiliar area. This usually results in lost time that can be put to better use at the gym or event I’m going to in the first place. A simple question is all it takes to set us on the right path, so why not ask it? Getting the answers to what, why, where, when, and how, can make your life run a whole lot smoother. 

Routinely visit with your health care provider. Build up a working knowledge of your health and maintain it. Over the years, we all get knocked down with some form of illness. Seek medical attention when needed and keep a record of what medical therapy helped you in your time of need. Thanks to the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle through natural bodybuilding, I rarely need to seek medical advice for a problem. It has been decades since I have contracted the common cold or caught the flu, but on occasion, I do catch poison ivy and treat it before it spreads like wildfire, saving myself some grief and agony. In this country, we have some of the best medical professionals. When you need help, seek their advice!

By working hard now and saving some of your earnings for the future, you will have more time to enjoy the fruits of your labor later. It is easier to put in long hours at the job when you are young and ambitious, than when you are over the hill. It is also more enjoyable to be able to sit back and watch the waves hit the shore while you are older. Take the time today to invest in tomorrow. Live within your means and not larger than life! Forget about the Joneses next door. The time to save is now! A dollar saved is a dollar earned! Invest in your savings with the same enthusiasm you have for your training and tomorrow you will be able to reap the benefits of both disciplines.

Have strength, courage, and honor in your bones; tranquility and honesty in your blood; and compassion, hope, and love in your heart. Doing the right thing should be as natural as the sun that rises. We are all accountable for our actions in life and being true to others and ourselves will help make this a better world for you and me. You do not have to be a superman to do the right thing!

In our land of the free, we all have the right to choose our own path in life. Never take for granted what millions of others are denied throughout this world. If necessary, defend the liberty of your nation with every ounce of strength and determination your will can muster. Do not become complacent and believe that our way of life cannot be changed for the worse. As we sadly saw on 9/11, there are those who want to destroy what we as a nation have created and it is up to us to defend what our forefathers envisioned for us.

One of the biggest challenges in life is to bring another being into this world. It is a very demanding, self-sacrificing, time-consuming, and endless effort to raise a son or daughter. Yet, it is the most rewarding of nature’s gifts when they become responsible adults because of your efforts. Before beginning a family, be sure you are prepared both physically, mentally, and financially for the long haul. There can be great joy in raising a family and great tragedy as well. Do your best to enjoy the moments you share together, for you never know what tomorrow will bring.

The clock ticks 24/7 and stops for no one. As the world spins, love, friends, battles, laws, fortunes, hopes, and dreams are being made and lost. Decide what is important to you and manage your time to fulfill your goals. Now that I am in my fifties, I see friends and family I have known for decades, age with every tick of the clock’s secondhand, while I chronologically age at a much lower pace. Natural bodybuilding is a great way to preserve your health and radiance through the decades. Even though we cannot turn the clock back to the days when we were younger, we can slow its pace by living a healthy lifestyle. It is all up to you.

The cycle of life on our planet is never ending. In with the new and out with the old. The process can be somewhat overbearing, even for the strongest among us. Although there are no guarantees, practicing a healthy lifestyle is almost certainly a sure way to keep the Grimm Reaper away from your door for a long, long time. Make the most of your time here by living a full, healthy, and happy life, and help others by striving to make their lives just as rewarding as yours.