I just started weightlifting again after taking 5 years off! I feel like a beginner again…but since I am older, my goals have changed. I am focusing on lifting for overall health.
I started weight training in high school after experiencing being the victim of bullying…cliche right? Anyways, I was very skinny, with average genetics, but decent motivation. Little did I know, that I would eventually blow up, in which this hobby became an unhealthy addiction. I went on to college and competed in athletics, but continued to develop body image issues and mental health issues. As I was ending my college athletic career, I was diagnosed with chronic mono that never seemed to go away! After blood tests, I was deficient in almost all areas, which played a greater impact on me mentally than physically. I graduated, quit working out, and settled for a sub par job. I fell into the daily grind of work and the wrong kind of bar.
As a natural lifter, battling SSRI side effects and having a body very sensitive to supplements, I felt I needed supplements to workout…which lead to feeling defeated and quitting! I did turn heads in my town…with decent lifts including the raw 4/5/6, bench/squat/dead at 200 pounds body weight.Where I struggled most and fell was my issue of comparing myself to others. Also, the majority of the lifters I knew, started taking gear and competing.
Fast forward to today…
I started working out again! I am around 5 foot 9 and still around 200 pounds except my body fat sky rocketed! I am way more aware of my body…and I have had to use a different approach to lifting… After reading on T-Nation all the articles about less is more…and how to train like a natural lifter… I have decided to begin 5/3/1. This is the first time that I am doing a program with actual %. I used to get reamed before where I would lift/eat whatever I wanted…yet continue to make gains. My workouts in the past were high volume and intense…beating up my CNS. I would kill myself in the gym not realizing that the other people must have had better recovery or enhancements. Also, instead of force feeding myself every 2-3 hours…I have been listening to my body and eating whenever I am hungry! I am not counting macros…but paying attention to my protein intake… and have been backing off when my mind begins to get too obsessed.
I am surprised that I am not too far off from the 4/5/6 again. Muscle memory even after 5 years seems to exist…as my workouts continue to get stronger…fast.
I used to get wrapped up in the SSRI and low T argument… or needing all the new supplements… or thinking “I may not even workout, If I have low T or are on SSRI…” Or "Everyone I lifted with back then is now on gear! I’m jealous…"
I plan to just focus on ME, MY lifestyle, and balance!
Good luck to everyone else out there!