Coaching like Arnold is each psychological coaching and bodily coaching

After completing week 2 of the Arnold Challenge, I couldn't help but think of the following quote I would use during my public speaking days: “In every form of adversity there is opportunity. You just have to find it.”

I made this up to share some positivity with those I spoke to and it helped me process what I was dealing with at the time.

This quote resurfaced in my mind as I embraced Arnold's challenging routine. I knew this journey would not be easy. That's why I took it at first - I want to improve, not just physically, but mentally and spiritually. There were several obstacles I faced earlier this week and I learned a few lessons along the way.

The first lesson I thought I knew—but actually learned on a Tuesday morning—was that there was no room for error in this program. I'd only gotten four hours of sleep the previous night, and I figured a longer nap between the two sessions would make up for it.

I couldn't have been more wrong!

Roger Lockridge


My weights dropped significantly on almost every exercise, and I found I needed more time to recover between sets. This messed with my head, which affected the rest of this workout overall. After what I felt was an adequate nap, I mentally pumped myself up for the second workout. Spoiler: That didn't go as planned either. Once again I started weaker than in the past and got frustrated.

The lack of sleep and the declining numbers became my misfortune, so it was time to find the opportunity. As cool as it would be to throw massive numbers, Arnold Schwarzenegger trained for bodybuilding. The muscles don't read the numbers on the weights. He just wanted to train the muscles as best as possible. That's what I had to do.

So I panned. I focused more on slowing the weight down, maximizing tension, and tensing the muscles between sets. What I found was that the workout went much better overall because I was trying to challenge the muscles in other ways. I learned something that I can apply in the future. I got better and that was the main point at first.


Lesson 2 was that every little detail matters. You've read about the importance of nutrition, supplementation and recovery many times over the years on Muscle & Fitness. I have shared this information myself in many of my articles over the years. The importance of all these variables increases tenfold in a program like this. Every calorie, rest minute, and exercise I can do to maximize my recovery is important. The time I take to warm up also plays a role.

This lesson worked well for my leg session during week two of the Arnold Challenge. I had errands to do with family and we were behind schedule. So as we pulled into the driveway I decided to skip my planned meal, mixed up my BCAAs and headed straight to my barn to start training so I could still finish on time. I neglected my normal routine of using my baton and stretching before I started exercising. That cost me. My numbers dropped significantly, and I seriously fought the temptation to finish the evening early. However, I applied the lesson I learned earlier to make the most of what I have and it still turned out to be a productive session.

So my take on that day was not to ignore anything that is going on in the future. If I need to take extra time, I need to take it, but the work still needs to be done right so I can get the most out of it. I have vowed to myself that from this point forward I will take every meal and every step in the process as seriously as the workout itself.


This wasn't quite a downfall for the Arnold Challenge, however. That certainly had its advantages. When I saw the first Muscle & Fitness article, I realized this was real and I was very proud to see it. It made my day even better that Arnold shared my posts about it on his social media. So he knows, and what I thought was already maxed out really boosted the motivation.

At the end of the day, motivation isn't the last factor that got me here. Motivation is fleeting. It takes really serious dedication and discipline to just put in 24 hours of training a week alone. Luckily, my phone was a big help with this. Putting on music, sharing YouTube videos with Arnold sharing his wisdom with the world, and listening to podcasts with the likes of Tony Robbins, Ed Mylett, and Lewis Howes talking about success and growth have been a huge help. I would never put myself to their level, but I want to take what they share and use it to help me rise as high as possible.

I've also shared videos and posts with some people interested in this journey and the encouragement I've received in return has been great. Whether it was a "damn, you're strong" or a simple "thumbs up," it encourages me and holds me accountable.

Last but not least, the support I have received on social media and feedback on these articles has been wonderful. My deepest thanks go to everyone who rides here. As cheesy as that may be, the last two, three, or four reps of the 21st or 22nd set I do are both mental and physical. Knowing that someone is reading these and using them as an opportunity to improve is something I take very seriously. When I started out as a teenager, I would walk nearly a mile and back to the gym every morning no matter what the weather, and I envisioned one day being able to inspire others to do their best . If this is the opportunity, I don't want to waste it. That thought is almost like a spotter at the end of these supersets and trisets.

If you want to see a glimpse into week two of the Arnold Challenge and how I'm doing throughout this process, you can follow me on Instagram @rocklockridge where I'm sharing updates, clips and thoughts throughout this journey. You can also search M&F for future items in this series. Don't forget to follow them @muscleandfitness too.

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