Despite being on vacation at the beach and not lifting all week I had to make it to a local gym today. 25 years ago today I did my first resistance training session on a Soloflex I talked my folks into buying. Only 16 years old, I asked my Dad how long he thought I’d stick with it. He gave me 6 months or so but here I am a quarter century later still grinding. I moved to free weights the year after that and for the last 21 years I have been lifting between 5 - 6 am in to the morning.
I don’t really look like I lift as much as I think I should. I only have 17 inch arms. I have never taken anabolic steroids but at least I’ve squatted and deadlifted over 500 pounds Raw in sanctioned powerlifting meets. Not great by any stretch but not horrible. My diet has always sucked (which may be why I gravitated towards powerlifting). For those that must know bench at close to (but not quite) 350 lbs.
Just a few nuggets for anyone who cares to read:
- Those of you starting out need to make diet a priority. Believe me I waited too long and my physique has always suffered.
- Young folks please cut back on the volume you are doing way to much.
- Squat and deadlift heavy and if you think you are going deep enough on squats you probably are not. Film it and keep working to get deeper in the hole.
- people bullshit their squat and bench but you can’t BS deadlift. You can either pick it up or you can’t so I like it as a true test of strength
- I am still mystified why 90+ percent of gyms play such awful music. It is hard to get your swole on when ABBA is blasting.
- I don’t care how many headbands you wear you can’t curl in the squat rack.
- You don’t realize how much energy you waste trying to tip toe out the bar from the rack when squatting. Put the J hooks lower and arch it out. I know it seems “too low” but do it anyways.
- Being part of the early morning crew is the best. Those are some of the most loyal gym goers and it may not be optimum for hypertrophy but I still love it.
- God bless 5/3/1 … It is just a great powerlifting system.
- There is no supplement silver bullet. If you want to be a mass monster 95% of you will need juice at some point. For you other 5% that are genetic mutants - congrats and I kinda hate you.
- no matter what make lifting a priority. Life always tries to get in the way so if it is at midnight or 5 am … Lift whenever you can.
Over the last almost 1.5 years I have been lifting in my home gym with my EliteFTS 2x2 power rack & U125 powerblock Dumbbells. I also have a TDS lat machine with upper & lower pulleys. I also have a Trapbar and floor based glute ham raise. I only have 700 pounds there but it gets me by. Since I am in my early 40s and not competing any more I dropped 25 pounds off my power gut trying to stay trimmer. I am still hoping to keep good powerlifting numbers until my late 40s / early 50s at which point I may try to move to something a bit more bodybuilding like. More flash than gas as they say.
Here is hoping to being able to write my 50 year post another 25 years from now. Thanks to all of the folks that have taught me so much over the years and the great lifting partners I have had the pleasure to lift with.
Squat more, curl less, and keep grinding.