I was the owner of a gym for many years and I purchased it from a great Christian mentor who had won the Mr. Texas natural bodybuilding championships many times. An interesting factoid, Tim was the model used for the Mr. Clean products which were branded with his image in the 70's and is still used today.
Working out with Mr. Clean, I learned many interesting truths about training the human body to reach peak performance and how those same traits are what we should follow to reach any goal.
Tim was very careful about what he ate. He pointed out where most people go wrong with health is the exercise of hand to mouth. What was really amazing was the changes he made to his diet six weeks before a competition which took him from 10% body fat to 3-4%!
Tim understood the concept that small hinges swing big gates. If you want to achieve success in your work, personal life or sports then focus on the elements which will maximize your performance. He knew that diet was far more important to his success then the weight training and he focused intently on mastering it.
Tim would often be asked how he became so "ripped" (I think the term today is "Big Swole"). He would always reply that you had to have a good foundation. Not a day went by that he did not work on the core muscle groups which were his foundation.
Likewise, we should always identify the core of what will bring us success in our endeavors and then be sure to practice them every day. For example, if you want a better spiritual relationship then you need to spend time in prayer and reflection on God's word. You must give your foundation time and priority. As the saying goes, you have to get your vertical aligned before you work on the horizontal.
Tim would mentor many of the younger bodybuilders in the gym. One of the key elements he would share with them was to spend more time on your strengths than on your weaknesses. This is great advice because we often believe we will be more successful by focusing on our weaknesses.
The truth is we all prefer working on our strengths. We are more mentally engaged when doing what we enjoy and see fruit from our labor. This is not to say you ditch working on your weaknesses. It is about prioritization and getting the maximum gains.
In most sports, getting prepared for the next opponent is a matter of days or hours. For body builders, getting prepared for "game time" is about a six week process. The diet changes, the workouts change as they focus on muscles you never knew existed and they must do this over an extended period of time.
They must significantly ratchet up the level of concentration and push aside distractions. If you want to reach peak performance then you must do the same. All the preparation will be diminished if you don't take the time to focus before game time.
I miss working out with Mr. Clean. He was always a daily reminder of what it took to be a champion. He applied these principles to all he did and was blessed throughout his life as a result. I pray we can all apply these in our own lives.