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Hard Core



Oct 17, 2010
by Neil Gardner - Index

What makes you or me hardcore? And someone else not?
Lets takes a look first at weight trainers and bodybuilders, there is a difference and I’ve never heard of a hardcore weight trainer, so hardcore is specific to bodybuilding.

Is weight training the same as bodybuilding?
Although weight training is similar, to bodybuilding they have quite different objectives. Bodybuilders train with an aim to compete in bodybuilding competitions, so they train to maximize their muscular size and develop extremely low levels of bodyfat. In contrast, most weight trainers train to improve their strength and anaerobic endurance while not giving special attention to reducing body fat below normal. Weight trainers tend to focus on compound exercises to build basic strength, whereas bodybuilders often use isolation exercises to visually separate their muscles, and to improve muscular symmetry.
However, the bodybuilding community has been the source of many of weight training's principles, techniques, vocabulary, and customs. Weight training does allow a tremendous flexibility in exercises and weights which can allow bodybuilders to target specific muscles and muscle groups, and attain specific goals.

So what makes a bodybuilder ‘hardcore’?
Here is the definition of the word.
hard-core [hahrd-kawr, -kohr]–adjective
1. unswervingly committed; uncompromising; dedicated:
2. is that it?
3. Where is the head-butting holes in the walls and spewing up in the bucket after leg workouts?

Well lets take 1. As the answer. This allows us to further define what hard-core IS NOT. It isn’t screaming “lightweight” before every set. It isn’t slamming 30 plates on a leg press and doing 4 partial reps ‘cos you saw it on a DVD. It most certainly is not dripping sweat all over the equipment and floor as you lat flare your way around the gym in between sets talking on your mobile, to your training partner, who is too sore to do his fourth chest and arm workout this week, and is sitting at the local scottish resturant trying to get some ‘extra calories’ in!

Unswerving means, never deviating from the path you have set yourself on. Never missing a meal or a protein shake. Never reneging on a scheduled workout. Finding the time in each day to do what it takes to achieve whatever goals you have set.
Never giving up on your goals.
Uncompromising means, never lowering you standards, or aspirations to fit with others ideals.
Defining committed shows an interesting trait of the hardcore bodybuilder. Looking at the good ol’ Encarted Encyclopedia we find the following.
com·mit·ted adj
Devoted to somebody or something such as a cause or relationship.
A Relationship? Yup. Bodybuilding for the hardcoredly devoted is a marriage. A bond between thine and the iron. Like all relationships that move to a marriage, you choose your vows and stay faithful to the steel.

Dedicated. Do I have to explain THAT to you as well??
ded·i·cat·ed adj
1. wholeheartedly devoted or committed to a goal, cause, or job
2. designed to carry out only one task, or set aside for a purpose
Hmmmm… sounds familiar?
So, in truth, being hardcore isn’t anyone thing, it is a state of mind.
It is a way of living. It is taking the tools you are given and working with them to achieve something better that what you started with, and doing it your whole life.


Sep 8, 2010
I think I am one whos hardcore and those principles also apply to thinking out your plan and being able to be smart when it comes to getting around injury and stresses in your life that will affect the outcome of your recovery and gains, being able to take days off when needed and being able to push through when needed...theres a huge mental game that comes with it so much goes into trying to push yourself and do it without maiming yourself in the process or short circuiting your gains through ignorance.


Bad Mother
Sep 27, 2010
Pushing weight has come easy for me, right now I'm having to learn the mental game. I have a son who is 8 weeks old today. I haven't slept 8 straight hours since the 7th month of my wife's pregnancy. Everything is strategy right now. I can't afford to waste a free hour as I do not know when the next free moment will come. Meals have to be prepared in advance in preweighed portions, supplements dosed out and ready to go at a moment's notice, gym bag's gotta be ready to grab anytime. Right now in my life I am learning what hardcore means and what it will take to truly succeed at this game; this is my proving ground.