Striking a balance between gym time and family obligations is a challenge that every professional bodybuilder faces, especially at the start of their career. Finding balance becomes much more difficult when you come from an extremely traditional Asian household.
“I’ve decided to motivate people all over the world to get in shape and live a healthy lifestyle. I wish to spread my message and objective throughout the world.” He says.
Shah had been going to the gym on and off since he was 18, but he’d never followed a rigid regimen. Then, last year, his six-year-old daughter made a casual remark, and everything changed.
This is Instagram content that has been imported. You may be able to find the same content in a different format, or more information, on their website.
“She said to me, Daddy, I want to see your enormous muscles,” Shah, a former graphic designer and photographer, recounts. “It was uncommon because you usually hear children asking their parents for toys.” I determined I needed to take action.
“Because of the constraints that surround it, bodybuilding is a difficult career to maintain in an Asian culture.” It’s never been a huge movement in my culture, so pursuing it was unprecedented.”
Nonetheless, Shah began to diet and exercise rigorously. He had a goal: to compete in an Aesthetic Bodybuilding Federation tournament. What is the issue? It had only been 12 weeks.
Shah modified his diet, began charting macros, and increased his exercise regimen after receiving guidance from elite bodybuilders in the gym and interviews online.
He’d have eggs and oats for morning, chicken and avocado for lunch, then lean mince with rice and vegetables for dinner. His go-to foods were whey protein powder, black coffee, and peanut butter on whole wheat toast.
From Monday to Saturday, he’d train twice a day, starting with 45 minutes of cardio in the morning and rotating between chest and biceps, abs, shoulders, biceps and triceps, and legs. Working out was simple; Shah’s challenge was balancing gym sessions, work commitments, and family obligations.
“In Asian houses, family is highly important,” he explains. “I had to give up spending as much time as I would have liked with my family in order to participate in bodybuilding, but I persevered and met my objectives.”
Fortunately for Shah, his friends and family were encouraging. And when he returned home, his daughter supported him.
“After every workout at the gym, she’d ask if I’d won. Because she didn’t comprehend the training process, she assumed I was already competing. It was quite motivating for me.
“I appreciate Allah for giving me the strength to keep going since there were times when I was exhausted and wanted to give up.” I was extremely pleased of myself when I watched my hard work pay off.”
In March 2017, Shah competed in a competition held by the Aesthetic Bodybuilding Federation. He won the event overall after finishing first in the Men’s Physique division.
Shah weighed 14 stone and had 18% body fat when he began his trip. He’d dropped to a stunning 8% body fat by the time the tournament rolled around.
Shah then competed in the UKBFF Azadi Classic Show, winning first place in the Master Men’s Physique Over 40 category. Since then, he has won the UKBFF English Grand Prix 2017, the Arnold Classic Barcelona 2017, and the UKBFF Sugar Classic 2017. “Bodybuilding comes with many hurdles, whether it’s internal battle or negative from the surroundings,” he says. “I began my journey because of my daughter, and she has inspired me to continue and stay motivated throughout the process.” Family and friends’ support has also been incredible, and it has played a significant role in my accomplishment.”
Shah is gearing up for the Arnold Classic Europe 2018, the UKBFF British Finals, and the 2 Bros Pro Event in October. What is his advise to aspiring bodybuilders?
“If I can get my body in shape at the age of 41, why can’t others?” I’ve decided to motivate people all over the world to get in shape and live a healthy lifestyle. “I want to spread my message and mission all across the world.”
The psychology of motivation
Before I get into the popular motivational approaches, let’s take a quick look at the scientific theories that underpin them.
One of the most researched aspects of human behavior is motivation. This is not surprising given its importance in both politics and the economy.
Positive and negative reinforcement are central to classical ideas. We essentially do things for which we are rewarded (think money, praise, love, a sense of happiness, a sense of security) and avoid doing things for which we are punished (the opposite of above).
With a little more sophistication, you may also drive people by defining goals that they must overcome.
There are systems in place that categorize motivation into three categories: we can do things because we are forced to, because we are rewarded for doing them, or because we enjoy doing them. You may probably predict what form of incentive produces the best outcomes.
Motivational techniques in bodybuilding today
Most articles on bodybuilding motivation will tell you to set small goals and work hard to attain them. They will also advise you to vary your exercise program to avoid monotony. Finally, they may employ “social pressure tactics,” such as telling everyone that you are eating properly and working out hard, and that you will be ashamed to stop.
I do not dismiss any of these techniques. Nonetheless, I believe they fall short of meeting the specialized needs of the amateur bodybuilding/fitness community.
First, creating objectives, no matter how minor, can be difficult when you are unable to achieve them.
Second, you require intervals of less intense exercise during which you should not attempt to grow your strength or muscle size.
Third, setting new and new minor goals might quickly become tedious.
The “social pressure” strategy can be quite tricky. What we really need in our training is LONG TERM COMMITMENT, not the short term objective of lifting 200 pounds or having a flat stomach. We need a long-term commitment to maintain a flat stomach and be able to lift 200 pounds when we are 50.
Amateur bodybuilding and fitness training does not consist of preparing for a competition, winning a medal, and then leaving. It is about developing a physique that corresponds to your mental state.
As a result, our approach to training is something of a marriage. It is not difficult to get married, but it is difficult to keep the fire blazing for years to come, through good and terrible times. If you stay with your spouse because you’re afraid of what people would think if you leave him/her? “You will be prone to cheating, and in the worst-case scenario, you may have major emotional difficulties.”
I’d like you to use one more method very carefully. It is a motivating technique known as “Positive Self Talk.” In so many Hollywood films, the hero keeps saying, “I’m the best!” I’m the greatest! ” and he truly receives the best in the world (his country, school, street, anything…).
Positive self-talk may be a strong weapon if used correctly. If you weigh 100 pounds and everyone else in your gym mocks or ignores you, repeating “I’m the best!” ” will not persuade anyone, including you. You will know this is a lie subconsciously, and you will cease believing in yourself totally.
Instead, your slogan should be “I can improve,” because you CAN develop and become far better than you are right now.
But I promised you something better and new. So, here we go. It’s dubbed my recipe for long-term motivation.
Have you ever noticed that modern Westerners have a significant identity crisis? This is one of many outcomes of the social transformations that occurred in our society over the twentieth century. If you just asked a 13th century European, “Who are you?” ” He’d have no issue responding with something like “I’m Marcel, a carpenter from Lyon.”
If you handed Marcel a piece of paper (and he knows how to write), he could easily compose a list of the five things he is. His list would probably look something like this:
- I’m a devout Christian.
- I work as a carpenter.
- I am a Lyon resident.
- I’m the carpenter’s son, Pierre.
- I’m Marie’s spouse and the father of five children.
Perfect. You are now attempting to create your list. I tried it several times with Western European pupils. They had a difficult time finishing the list (ours were longer, 10 items). Finally, most of them began with “I’m human,” “I’m a woman,” and so on.
Why are we debating this? Because you tend to act like the person with whom you identify. We are accustomed to acting out our parts, whether consciously or unconsciously. You can be a manager by day and a Manchester United supporter at night. Then, on weekends, you can work as a cook, and you’ll be in a different capacity.
I want you to put “I’m a bodybuilder” no lower than third on your list. Of fact, you may identify more with the role of “athlete” or “football player.” That is unimportant.
What matters is that you truly identify with this position. After all, this is your true identity. Accept it, then. It’s no longer difficult to go to the gym because that’s what bodybuilders do. Do you really want to sit at a pub drinking gin? No, I don’t believe so. It just doesn’t fit with your function.
Marcel took tremendous pride in his work as a carpenter. He was a member of the carpenter’s guild and attended all of the guild’s social activities. You should also feel proud to be a bodybuilder. Bodybuilding is a way of life.
When you identify as a bodybuilder, no physical or personal tragedy can derail you. After all, a knee injury does not render you an American (or a Moslem, a Baptist, a student, a father, a feminist, a biologist, or a plumber).
You will read articles and possibly books on bodybuilding and healthy living (you already do). Everything will become a part of you.
The more you learn about sports, the more difficult it is to fathom living without it. Would you really trade all the health benefits and your impressive figure for chocolate cake, a flabby stomach, and high blood pressure? No, I don’t believe so.
Knowing who you are makes you feel more secure and less perplexed. You understand why you do things and your place in the world. It does not have to be your initial “identity.” In the first place, you can still be a pilot, a Jew, or an anarchist. But you are an athlete, which is something.
You don’t have to have a massive muscular physique to be an athlete. But you’re getting stronger and fitter by the day. You keep bad habits under control. And YOU ARE NOT A NOBODY.