10 Ways Your Brain is Holding You Back From Achieving Your Dream Physique

10 Ways Your Brain is Holding You Back From Achieving Your Dream Physique

Even if you train every day, eat the right diet, and take proper rest, you’re still not guaranteed to achieve your dream physique. Reading this might break your heart but the truth had to put out for everyone to see.

Body transformation is as psychological as it is physiological. If your mental game is not on point, you won’t survive for long in this battle. Most people quit the fit lifestyle, not due to physical injuries but because they can’t take the mental pressure.

How Your Brain is Blockading Your Dream Physique Transformation

Setting Way Too Big Goals

In us humans, the desire to lift weights isn’t built-in from birth. Most people get a gym membership after they see a ripped guy on the cover of a magazine or Instagram, thank you internet.

These over-zealous newbies want quick results and forget to see the hard work, patience, commitment (and photoshop) behind their role model’s physique. Some will give up on their dream physique even before they recover from their first DOMS.

Following the Wrong Guru

You might be questioning how following the wrong guru is your own fault but it in fact is your own wrongdoing. Step back and think why you chose the coach you did or paid the Instagram fitness celeb for his online coaching program? Think long and hard enough and you’ll probably come to the same conclusion – it’s because of how they look.

After you get the program, you get hell-bent on following it without contemplating if what has worked for the guru would work for you. Did you pause before you hit the pay button and think if the guru actually knew what he was talking about or did you give in just because he looked dope and you assumed he knew all the secrets?

Your brain played games on you and you ignored all the other factors that could have played a big role in developing his ripped body, like genetics and, ahem, drugs.


All the gyms around the world would be filled to the brim if it wasn’t for the three magic words – “I’ll start tomorrow”. After the leap is made and a gym membership is bought, procrastination remodels into indiscipline.

If people miss a training session on Friday, they turn it into a long weekend and promise themselves to work extra hard from Monday which they never end up doing because – Monday morning blues.


Some people have the innate ability to find all that is bad with something. If they don’t see the needle budge in the right direction within a week, they’ll throw in the towel. If their training buddy squats 20lbs more than them, they’ll blame their sore back and bad genetics and never step inside the squat rack again.

The biggest cause of dissatisfaction and demotivation in gyms is the mental competition people have with their peers. If you’re constantly in a state of frustration and unhappy with your progress, you’re going to quit training sooner or later.

You’ve Got Trust Issues

Not with your girl but with yourself. If you’ve ever found yourself wondering “how bad can it be?” looking down at the cheesecake on your plate at a wedding while you’re on a diet, you’re never going to achieve your dream physique.

If you avoid going out with your friends on a weekend because deep down inside you know you’ll end up cheating – not on your girl but your diet – you’ve some serious trust issues and you probably don’t have a girlfriend in the first place. The only way to fix this is by following a strict plan and sticking to it like your life depends on it.


How many new faces do you spot in your gym every month, never to see them after a few weeks ever again? We’ll narrate a short story of what is happening here. These people will train for a couple of days, and then conclude working out is not for them.

People have a habit of abandoning ships at the first sign of distress, and sadly, lifting weights is nothing but distress. They think to themselves that they could better utilize this time in learning to play the guitar, or starting an Instagram page about their hobby but in reality, most of these people end up hanging out with their friends in this freed-up time.


Training, nutrition, and recovery are not the most important factors in a transformation, planning is. How many people have you seen walking into the gym with their workouts planned? Most end up doing the exercises they feel like depending on how hectic their day has been.

You don’t only need to plan the exercises, reps, and sets. You need to visualize yourself performing the exercises, do a mental rehearsal and then go and crush the weights in the gym. Plan the minutest details like the clothes you’ll be wearing, the tracks you’ll be listening to, and the shaker you’ll be carrying. Nothing should surprise you when you step inside the weight room.


Let’s be honest, we’ve all been here at some point. For many people, the weight they lift is directly proportional to their self-worth. Driven by the “do you even lift bro?” syndrome, many noobs are just hell-bent on banging out reps with utter disregard to their form or safety.

You Love A Well Marketed Product

Raise your hands if you’ve ever bought a weigh-loss-inducing green tea or a waistline-reducing sauna belt or a muscle-building whey protein powder – okay, we’ve all done the last one. Don’t fall for the products with perfectly chiseled models on their covers. These models probably got the physique they have by avoiding the products they are promoting. So, dear Timmy, please put down that weird muscle contracting vibrator machine.

Too Many “I Deserve It” Moments

The “I deserve it” moments are the biggest culprits in derailing the fitness progress in most cases. While some people feast on their favorite junk food after six days of intense dieting, others like to take an unplanned rest day because they worked too hard in the gym throughout the week. The quicker you get rid of this mindset, the faster you’ll achieve your dream physique.

Are you currently facing any of these mental roadblocks? Let us know in the comments below. Also, be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook and Twitter.

Vidur Saini
Vidur is a fitness junky who likes staying up to date with the fitness industry and loves publishing his opinions for everyone to see. Subscribe to his YouTube Channel.