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There is a big difference between motivation and inspiration. Motivation is the driving force that helps you continue to set out and accomplish goals. Inspiration on the other hand, is that initial spark that ignites the fire within. When it comes to bodybuilding and the fitness lifestyle there are so many things that can initially peak your interest. For a lot of guys there are usually a few things that inspire them to get in the gym and do some motherfucking work and throw around some motherfucking iron. So let’s get to it.
(I’m going on 29 years old so not all of these entries may apply to the generation younger than me. I’m sure there are all kinds of hyper masculine godzilla looking natty vegan monster bodybuilders to look up to these days, but this is a small list of people and things that have inspired me and countless others throughout the years.)
1. Dragonball Z
Whether it was Gohan destroying Cell with one arm, Goku going ssj for the first time against Frieza, or Vegeta damn near killing himself training in 500x Earth’s gravity, for a lot of you DragonBall Z was the beginning of a lifetime of intense training. As a kid how could you not get hyped up watching hours of seizure inducing power ups and bloody dump taking screams? Even now when I watch Future Trunks sword fuck Frieza into a million pieces I get a special tingling in my pants and the urge to drunkenly go out and punch orphans while forcing dirty hobos into push up contest.
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Not to mention that all the Z fighters had the physiques of world class bodybuilders. Hell, even Yamcha’s constantly dying, mullet hair having candy ass was jacked as fuck. He looked better dead in a crater than most guys in real life do while competing for the Mr.Universe title. No wonder why so many 20 somethings of today are into mma and bodybuilding.
The older guys on the other hand may have gotten their inspiration for bodybuilding and fighting from,
2. Pumping iron/80’s-90’s action movies
Now this entry could have simply been titled King Arnold seeing as how he is a living legend of both bodybuilding and action movies. And unless you are some kind of backwoods Appalachian turd miner I’m quite sure that you have witnessed the manly mountain of awesome that was Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime. He no doubt has been the inspiration for countless men and women in the fitness industry. Even Lou Ferrigno was screaming out Arnold’s name during a viscous curling session in Pumping Iron. His influence on the fitness community is beyond great. Watching him fist fight a dreadlocked alien in predator made me want to get big as hell and go find Carl Weathers, just so I could call him a son of a bitch while trying to rip his arm off in a friendly display of affection.
The best thing about those old action movie guys though was that it wasn’t just Arnold that was a beast, they all were. (Not you Steven Seagal, you suck Steven Seagal.) I’m pretty sure I sprouted my first ball hair watching Rocky and Ivan Drago punch the ever loving shit out of each other. As a matter of fact I’m pretty sure when Rocky beat Apollo Creed I had my mom
get me this small punching bag to hang from my ceiling, I destroyed it. Back then you just couldn’t watch guys like Arnold, Sly, Carl Weathers, or Dolph Lundgren without getting pumped up and being inspired to try and become a yoked up badass. That time period was when men were men and skinny jean wearing hipsters were called punk rockers and would also kick the shit out of you.
Speaking of getting the shit kicked out of you, that brings me to my next entry,
3. Mike Tyson/Bruce Lee
This entry can really be about any fighters but for me no two were as inspiring as Mike Tyson and Bruce Lee.
This may seem like a strange pairing but hear me out. Thanks to YouTube I have seen countless Tyson fight compilations. In his prime Mike was unstoppable and knocked motherfuckers out like they indeed had fucked his mother. Watching how good he was always made me want to work as hard as I could in the gym. Nobody is getting inspired by some boring ass lord of the dance style Floyd Mayweather Jr type shit, you want to see someone get decapitated by a muscle bound barbarian, and that’s exactly what Tyson gave you.
I must admit though that he inspired me long before I watched countless clips of him beating guys so bad, that you knew they feared Mike would make a beautiful house wife out of them after the fight was over.
I originally learned about Mike Tyson when I watched boxing with my dad for the first time. I didn’t know much about him except how huge and scary he looked at the time. Couple that with my first experience watching him being the moment he decided to jump off the sanity train and land right into ear chewing, pants shitting crazy territory and you can see why I was so pumped up. I was just a little kid at the time and that was the most awesome fucking thing I’d have ever seen in sports. Biting a dudes ear off was like some kind of gladiator shit. If they changed the rules of boxing to make that kind of behavior mandatory the UFC might go out of business. Mike was just an animal back then.
But if Iron Mike was a ball of violent, chaotic, fist to face rape fury, then Bruce Lee was the exact opposite. He was calm, collected, and every movement he made had a purpose. The man was so badass he is the only logical rebuttal to a million Chuck Norris jokes. He created his own martial arts style and Chuck was his student. So many people watched Bruce Lee movies and were inspired to train that a whole generation of unborn children tried punching their way out of their mother’s wombs. The man lived and breathed the fitness lifestyle. He could perform so many crazy feats of strength and endurance that I could write a whole article on just that. He was a master of his craft in every sense of the word. Plus he was a true icon to millions. He was just a pure badass all around. He was the kind of guy that if you got out of hand he would not only kick your ass in front of your mom, he would do it in a banana yellow track suit.
Since we are on the subject of being inspired by violence and ridiculous costumes, let’s talk about,