Pauline Nordin

It's in the nature of us human beings to draw parallels between a result and what is being practiced currently, but when it comes to physiques you must look into what was being practiced for a long, long time to achieve that physique. Building a great body takes years of intense and specific training.

People tend to forget all the hard work and the nature of the work it takes to reach a high level of muscularity. Here’s how I was able to get there.  

1. From day 1 I started with weight training I lifted weights to get super strong. I didn't "tone", I didn't "pump". I knew I had to lift incredibly heavy and be able to master and control big weights, so I trained for it.

2. I kept a training log from day 1. I wrote down every set, every rep, every thought about each set.

3. My mantra was "if I don't manage this set doing x amount of reps I will lose all muscle and never grow new ones". I was serious about it.

4. My workouts were BUSINESS. I was not playing around. I had a mission and a goal. Nothing was going to stop me from it.

5. I ate 6-8 meals – day in and day out. I never missed one.

6. I never did cardio during the same workout as weights.

7. My workouts were based on compound movements and free weights. The only machines I used for weight training were leg press, leg curl. (BTW, cable stations are not machines)

8. I used nutrient timing. I had a tiny amount of carbs and protein right before my weight sessions and the same after my workouts.

9. I psyched myself up before each workout to make sure I was in the right mindset.

10. I planned my workouts and knew exactly what I was going to do every time I was in there. I compared results from previous workout to the one I was about to do. Damn me if I didn't do better.

Pauline Nordin

11. I didn't put fat loss over muscle gain. I dieted for my bodybuilding shows very slowly. I had 10 lbs. to lose and let it take me 6 months.

12. I didn't have the dietary discipline I have today. I used cheat days, which kept me fatter than I am today. This helped me gain muscle since over eating is anabolic and also it's a requirement to have food when you build serious mass.

13. I used creatine and I didn't sweat "water retention" from it. I knew I had fat to lose before I complained about water retention!

14. I didn't party or drink alcohol.

15. I never worked out for longer than an hour.

16. I never took time off from the gym due to lack of motivation. When I was not motivated I kept training until the motivation returned.

17. I knew I had to work so much harder as a steroid free weight trainer, so I applied "ultra intensity" to my workouts and mentally competed against the drug users.

18. I analyzed each workout so I made sure I had done my 100% best.

19. My cardio workouts were short and intense interval workouts only – usually 30-45 minutes max.

20. I didn't spend time on concentration moves much.

Pauline Nordin

21. I did all this for more than a decade before I felt I got too big. (I thought it was impossible for me to feel that way as a steroid free trainer, but time and hard training adds up and I also changed my idea of the ideal body)

22. I trained with the intention to get incredibly muscular, not to be "just about the right size."

23. I didn't miss ONE workout for many years.

24. I didn't do lighter workouts when I felt worn out.

25. I didn't use ibuprofen to reduce soreness or to mask injuries/overuse: I spent my money on massage. I learned trigger point therapy and PREHAB.

26. I worked as much on preventive training as on hypertrophy training. I knew I had to stay injury free to grow.

27. I always planned my trips so I never missed a meal despite different time zones etc.

28. I never ever compromised my nutrition. If there was no food I could eat due to my ideals, I just didn't eat anything. This never happened though since I always planned.

29. I didn't stop training when I had a cold or was sick and workload was never in my way. I worked night shifts at a casino for a few years and went straight the gym after a 9-hour shift at 5 AM. No sleep. I had a morning cardio session to do.

30. I decided to become a personal trainer so I could train for a living instead of going to University for journalistic studies. I reckoned I wouldn't be able to train in a war zone reporting as a correspondent.

This is not the complete list of what I did but I hope it serves as a good view on what it takes.

Pauline Nordin is a top international fitness model and personality with an extensive background in personal training. Shortly after arriving in the United States from Sweden, Pauline established Since its start in late 2009, Fighter Diet's Facebook page has skyrocketed, surpassing 20,000 fans, with more than 1,000 new ones added monthly.