1.Anything is possible as long as you set your mind to it. Before finding this beautiful sport I was a very lazy and demotivated person. When you see people being “successful” in whatever you may consider the definition of this, oftentimes many think “I could never do that.” I grew up like this. When I began as a kid training I was very overweight; seeing changes and making goals changed my life. I said I wanted to do competitive bodybuilding and many said I could never do that, or would even laugh at me. Once I realized it, I saw that as long as I set my mind to something I can achieve it.
2.No matter how hard a period of time may seem, you CAN get through it. From that all out interval where you feel like your lungs will explode, to the hour long cardio session, to waiting for that next meal because you are starving, to those last 8 weeks of contest prep that seem grueling. Going through these situations and coming out victorious has taught me that if I can get through it with my training, I can do it in other aspects of life. Whether it is an argument with a loved one, a stressful period of time at work or at school, or even an unexpected situation that set you back financially. Things will always work out if you brainstorm and create a plan of action.
3.Creating a strategy for your goals and having measurable benchmarks. Most people coast through life expecting for the best. I would do the same workouts when I first started training over and over again hoping to get better results each time. I only started seeing true results when I would set goals and create a plan to reach them. Successful people brainstorm, research and create a plan of action in order to be able to increase their chances of success. Having measurable benchmarks allows you to see how great your plan is working. If it is not working, no problem, try something new until you find what works for you.
4.Everybody’s journey is different. We all want to be successful as quick as possible. “How did this person get rich by 25? How did this person reach this milestone so quickly? How is this person Mr. Ontario by 22 years old? I’m never going to reach my goals at this pace.” These words have resonated through anybody looking to maximize their potential at one time or another. Although there are certain people who reach great things faster than others, it does not matter, because your journey is unique to you. Your story is still being written and all you can do is take the power in your hands of working hard and keep pursuing your passions.
5.The only thing you should be scared of is getting to the end of life regretting not maximizing your potential. There are many times I would finish a workout and know that I could have pushed myself harder. That I could have done more reps, or fatigued the muscle to a greater degree. These thoughts haunt me all the way until my next workout. This is a very scary thought for me. If I was on my deathbed I would like to know that I truly maximized my life to the best of my ability. This can be in terms of my personal goals, my relationships and even helping others. As long as I know that I gave life 100% effort and helped people along the way, I will be happy.
6.You will never make everybody happy, so prioritize yourself. If you try to make your parents, your teachers, your coaches, your spouse etc. all happy at the same time you will never be happy. Giving up your own happiness in order for others to be happy with you is one of the worst things you can do. Those who truly love you will be happy seeing you pursue your goals and seeing your happiness on the journey there. I have lost friendships, made people pissed off and even lost opportunities because training was so important to my life. If I had to go back I wouldn’t change a thing.
7.Even when it seems like you’re doomed in a situation, keep pursuing what you love and opportunities will be created. There have been many times where I am without a job, without resources to buy supplements or food, without a ride to a gym etc. But my constant love and pursuit of fitness has brought amazing people to my life that have given me opportunities I will always be grateful for. Even at times when the better option seemed to prioritize something I do not love just for the pursuit of money or stability, I chose to do what I love. An unbelievable amount of job offers have come to me throughout the years because people see I am so passionate about what I do. Knowledge can be taught, but passion, a hard work ethic and personality cannot. I have met my greatest friends through pursuing my love of fitness and even my wife because of this and they have come to my aid when I thought that I could not get through a difficult situation.
8.You have to work HARD. You are not the only person working hard out there. If there is anything you want in life you have to invest effort into it and give it 100%. It will not come easy. As long as you do your research and invest hard work into the things that will give you the greatest return for your effort, you will see great success.
9.Whatever happened in the past, it is the past. So you benched 500 lbs.? So you won you bodybuilding competition? That is awesome, but once it is over it is time to move on. Don’t get me wrong, it is important to be proud of your accomplishments, but you need to let go of the things in the past and move on. This is especially true for negative things but even positive things. We all know that one person who loves to talk about how the one time 15 years ago they could do this and that and won this and was amazing at that etc. Being stuck in the past is something that will hold your future success back. Live in the present and continue improving.
10.Be humble, you’re no special than anybody else because you have a great body or are strong. Having a great body and being strong is no doubt something that many people admire. But many people who have it walk in arrogance expecting the world to bow down to them. Winning bodybuilding shows and having a great physique are not correlated with being a good human being. I am more impressed by the person who held the door open for me at the gym and asked how I was doing rather than the person that is squatting 700 lbs. but is not willing to even say hello or help out the people admiring them.
11.Everything in life is temporary. It is important to cherish the most important things in life. Your physical strength, your body, your job, your bank account etc. are all temporary and variable. Things can happen in life that will make these things rollercoaster up and down. Enjoy it as much as you can when you have it and when you don’t have it, it is okay too. You never know what life has in store for you and what you will have in the future.
12.Having faith and believing in yourself. This is the most important one to me. Having faith that although you may not see the finish line right now, and it may seem really far away, that you will succeed. It is important to acknowledge that you vividly see yourself at the finish line, that you know where you currently are and that even if you don’t know how, you will be successful at getting through the steps in between. At these times you cannot let off the gas pedal, you just need to put your head down and continue to work. The journey of 1,000 miles begin with 1 single step.
Imagine Gold’s Gym in Venice, California in 1976. All the young up and coming professional bodybuilders are training, having fun and getting ready for arguably the best physique shows in the world. Although they compete against each other for the best titles in their sport, they are brothers. They train together, they break bread together, they push each other, and they are there to strengthen each other. In the same gym, the up and coming competitive amateurs along with those who train to just be better day by day are no second class citizens either. They are alongside these top guys trying to learn and keep their flame for bodybuilding ignited. The love for the iron joins everyone without discriminating race, color, background or even level of training experience. The energy in a place like this is unbelievable and the limits most people put in their minds have no choice but to get out of one’s head when they walk into this atmosphere. This is what it was like on February 10th in London, Ontario at the Train with the Pro’s event.
Flex Plex gym has earned the reputation over the last few years as one of the best gyms in Ontario to train at. Flex Plex is owned by Regan Grimes. Regan competed in the OPA early in his career and is now known as one of the best bodybuilders to ever come out of Canada. This gym is the perfect place to train if you are looking for an atmosphere that will lead to physical and mental growth. From the friendly staff, to the old school machines, to the Olympic lifting platform and the pictures of all the Mr. Olympias on the wall, this place is a physique athlete’s paradise. Regan Grimes had a dream of opening a place that everyone felt welcomed at and nobody was judged for being too muscular or being too hard of a worker. If you want to fit in at this gym, you have to work hard, be respectful and leave preconceived limits at the door.
At the Train with the Pro’s event, some of Ontario’s top IFBB pro’s and top amateur bodybuilders were there. Guys like Regan Grimes, Dorian Hamilton, Antoine Vaillant, Zane Watson, Maher Alasfar, Eren Legend, Mike Cipriani, Cody Amey and many more! People from all over Ontario came out to train alongside these giants and the vibe was like no other. From seeing Antoine Vaillant pressing 150 lb. dumbbells to Zane Watson doing 5 minute dropsets of death on the triceps dip machine, it really showed many how dedicated and hardworking these athletes are. The intensity that they summon in order to shape and sculpt their physique is something that has taken countless reps, sets, and workouts through years of dedication to manifest.
The event started off with a small meet and greet for about an hour while these guys were welcoming all the attendees and chatting with them about training, nutrition and life. Soon after, it was time to train. No matter what these guys were doing they were always open to chatting with fans, take pictures and help motivate others. Many of our CPA members were also there to get in on the fun including the great judge Carl Cheung and the Ontario wide known @Ontariomuscle. Events like this in our community help bring likeminded hard working individuals together to help fuel the fire of how passionate we are about training. These events show that the pros are normal people that deal with the same issues and struggles we all do. Sometimes people see them as celebrities with surreal lives but all these guys were down to earth individuals willing to help out and motivate everyone in the building that day.
After a few hours of hard training and fun, the pro’s invited everyone who came out to the event for a sushi feast. Here the night ended with some amazing laughs and lots of calories to recover from the grueling workouts. Definitely make sure to check out the next “Train with the Pro’s” event to experience how amazing it is to be a part of the CPA family!
With the pursuit of achieving the best possible physique and helping hundreds of clients do the same, Juan Rojas has dedicated his life to finding the best strategies for transforming human bodies. Constant research, trial and error and continous education in the exercise physiology and nutrition field, Juan Rojas thrives off finding the most efficient ways to transform your body and live a happier and healthier lifestyle.