Sean Hyson is a man, myth, and legend. He transformed himself from a pudgy dough boy to a publishing empire’s poster-boy. He is living proof of what strong willpower and hard work can do for you. We tapped into Sean Hyson to hear what he has to say about willpower and how you can help channel yours to maximize results in and out of the weight room.

Sean Hyson on Willpower

What, in your experience, demands more will power: losing weight or bulking up?

It’s tough to say. They’re two different sides of the same coin. To lose weight, you have to be more careful with your diet. You may need to count calories and macronutrients, and you often have to avoid eating foods you enjoy. To gain muscle, you may have to forcefeed yourself at times you’re not hungry and spend more time and money preparing food in order to make sure you’re getting a caloric surplus. Some people tend to handle one goal better than the other, but they’re both challenging.

How would you advise someone to train their will power?

Write down your goals on paper and make them visible. Tape them to your bathroom mirror and your computer monitor at work. Tell people what you want to accomplish so you make yourself accountable to them. I know it sounds harsh, but I think you need to shame yourself into being disciplined. Create an environment where you know you’ll really let yourself down and be embarrassed if you don’t succeed. Then you have no choice but to succeed! When your back is really up against the wall… when you take this stuff seriously, you will make astounding progress.

Why do you think some people choose NOT to exercise and make healthy choices?

They’re afraid of looking foolish or having no joy in their lives. They think that success is too far off and that the situation is hopeless. And, of course, there’s simple laziness. I think some people become couch potatoes early in life and think it’s ok. Their parents never encouraged them to exercise or take care of themselves so they never learned the importance of it. I think this is tragic and criminal, and needs to be undone. But unfortunately, changing this mindset can only come from within.

True or False: Will power is the most important part of being in great shape.

True. Without a doubt.

Do you find a certain type of training to require more will power than others (endurance, hypertrophy, strength building, fat loss, etc.)?

Again, it comes down to the individual. Some people are “born to run”. They don’t need any motivation to hit the road every day for a long jog. These same people may have no desire to lift weights and will hate every second of it if you force them to. On the other hand, lifters like me have little to no patience for endurance training. Will power comes from motivation. No matter how unpleasant something may be, if you want the results it yields, you can will yourself to do it.

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