I believe the first time I ever worked out was in grade 9 for maybe 4 months steady. I saw a few of my friends starting to get bigger and I wanted in too. So I joined the local YMCA, which I am still a member of. I just had a generic routine my dad’s trainer gave him for me to use, which didn’t even include legs! I remember back then I was bench pressing 95lbs and dumbbell pressing the 25-30lbs. After those 4 months I basically went to the gym very inconstantly. One of the reasons I stopped was baseball. My arm could not take pitching and working out so I would always have some type of strain in my elbow and once baseball season started I stopped working out all together. And then when it ended I could never really get back into it. From grade 9 until college I was very inconsistent in going to the gym.
I started college in 2007 taking computer science weighing a whopping 140-145lbs at 5’10. I had the whole stereotypical geek look going and well, I was a geek too. Let’s just say World of Warcraft consumed my life for 4 years. I have 290 days played on one character, that’s just under 7000hours playing the game. It was almost my job, raiding 5-7 nights a week for 5-6 hours. I used to get mad about having to work past 6pm because I would be late for the raid.
In November 2007, around my 19th birthday I finally decided I had enough of being skinny. I had a lot of time outside of school because I wasn’t your average college student who just goes out and drinks every weekend. That just wasn’t me. The few reasons why I started to lift were:
- I didn’t want to look like a computer science student
- I lacked confidence
This is when working out became a part of my life.
I bought some random protein powder and started grinding away in the gym. I had the typical bodybuilder split of Chest/Triceps, Back/Biceps, Shoulders, Legs and then repeat. There were times where I didn’t even take days off from the gym. I would go for 2-3 weeks straight just because I would get bored and I could waste an hour or 2 at the gym. After about 5 months of working out my noob gains started kicking in and I reached 165lbs, an all-time high for me. The weights in the gym were going up and I was feeling great. Well, my noob gains slowed down and I remained 165lbs for over a year. My weight plateaued until May 2009 when I finally gained 10lbs out of nowhere to make me 175lbs.
After Pictures Below
Nutrition wise throughout this period wasn’t very good. I basically ate whatever I wanted whenever I wanted because I wanted to gain weight. Even after eating all this junk food like cereal, McDonalds and Dominos pizza etc. I still wasn’t gaining any weight. I managed to get bigger but stay the same weight. My lifts went up and my physique still continued to change and mature but I never gained any weight again. The most I ever weighed throughout my almost 3 years of working out was 180lbs. I maintained the same bodyfat levels the whole time as well. I might have actually been leaner at a heavier bodyweight.
For supplements all I have ever used is protein powder, creatine and a preworkout supplement. Like every other beginner I was into the whole supplement thing and felt I needed to take a pre workout supplement and creatine. I was spending quite a bit on SizeOn and SuperPump and finally decided to stop both of those and just train!
My biggest source of motivation is probably Bodybuilding.com and all the people on it. There are hundreds of thousands of people on bodyspace/ the forums. So basically I had an endless supply of information/motivation at the tip of my fingers. Another big motivator is all of the IFBB pro’s. My favourite bodybuilder from the first time I saw him is Jay Cutler. I remember seeing one of Jay Cutler’s videos and I was like “damn I want to get that big.” I was new to this whole bodybuilding scene so I had never seen anyone as big as him and once I saw one video, I watched them all. I never knew what it took to be a bodybuilder until I watched all those videos.
In 2009 I had the opportunity to go to the Olympia which was probably one of the coolest things I have ever been to. I recommend this to anyone, especially if you want to be motivated. The expo is absolutely nuts and it’s full of all the pro’s, free supplements and of course, booth girls! The only bad part about it was I was tiny and everyone else there was HUGE! The best part was going to the Mr.Olympia finals when I saw Jay get re-crowned as Mr.O! Being surrounded by bodybuilders definitely gave me the itch to compete even more.
Throughout lifting, I was always interested in competing. I kept talking to my family about competing and saying I was going to do it one day but of course none of them believed me. This was another motivator for me, to prove them and everyone else wrong.
If we fast forward till today, I am still as motivated now as I was when I started. My current training split is still pretty much the same as before except I added an arm day. It is now Legs, Chest, Back, Shoulders and then Arms. I am somewhat of a volume junky and I always aim for 10 reps. Of course certain exercises such as the big 3 I will occasionally do lower reps and other movements I will go to around 12, but it is usually in the 6-10 range. My confidence levels have certainly gone up just because I don’t feel like I am a twig anymore. I’m still a quiet guy but definitely more outgoing than I once was because I am becoming more comfortable with myself. I know I look good whereas before I thought I looked horrible.
This year I decided to take the plunge and finally do a competition. I am under the guidance of a group of prep coaches under the name 3DMJ (www.3dmusclejourney.com) . I am now 13 weeks out weighing 167lbs. This is definitely a big step for me in my fitness lifestyle and I want to take it to the next level. After I compete I do plan on taking 2-3 years off to get bigger and then compete again.
So with all that being said, you can see I am just a regular guy who decided to go to the gym. I started off as a string bean, and well now I can consider myself to be an Iron String Bean. The biggest thing everyone has to remember is to be consistent. So many of my friends only go to the gym when they are going away on a trip, or to “cut up” for summer. I see pictures of them on Facebook with beer guts and I just think to myself “how can they look at themselves.” These guys last maybe 2 weeks and then quit for another year whereas I haven’t stopped going to the gym since I started taking it seriously in 2007. The longest break I have had is 10 days because I was sick.
Another thing is to remember to not make your life working out. Keep things in moderation. If you get invited to go out somewhere, take the opportunity to do it. I should have taken my own advice on my previous statement. Also don’t go reading the magazines and listening to the crap they say. Following workout X isn’t going to put 2 inches on your chest or arms. Just find something that works for you and stick to it. Go to the gym consistently, eat properly and train hard! The results will come.