"I don't know shit."
That's the attitude I adopt when I switch into "mentor-mode" and write about what I've learned (which isn't much). It works wonders for my self-esteem, too. You should try it sometime.
Of course, I don't know shit about lots of things. It's all a matter of specifics, though.
I don't know shit about marriage. I don't know shit about the stock market. I don't know shit about working a high-powered, stressful job. And I don't know shit about what's going on in Hollywood or who's sleeping around, or who needs to have their kids taken away from them.
But I do know shit about gaining muscle. Why? Because I've been there and have experience with it - kind of like when I got the clap from two Siamese sisters in Bangkok after a Motely Crue reunion concert. But I won't bore you with that story.
While you may not give two shits about my "scrawny to brawny story, I'm going to tell it anyway because I think it may help a few people out. So, tough shit.
According to the book I recently read, Egonomics, it's OK to talk confidently about what you know. Good. That's consoling.
But I'm only going to touch on a few important points lest I get on a soapbox and start sounding like an arrogant 22-year old know-it-all prick. That's just bad for my online discourse.
So, this is the first of a few installments (I'm not sure how many) on how a transformation starts and progresses.
I'd like to invite anyone else who's undergone or is currently undergoing a transformation to speak up with any tips or helpful suggestions. I'll be discussing nutrition and training in later installments, so please make your posts topical to the discussion at hand.
I "worked out" but as anyone here at T-Nation knows, when you're a newbie, you don't really train. I was just going through the motions like sex with the same girlfriend. I never really accomplished anything but it felt good to do something, I guess.
I think I weighed in around 145lbs. I didn't train my legs. I did endless amounts of crunches. I could have probably churned out 30+ pull-ups but opted instead for the lat pulldown machine.
I stayed away from anything that really resembled hard work. I was the guy who checked out his abs in the mirror. Yep. Go ahead and say it. Loser.
But apparently shitty photographers that have a fixation for dousing young guys in water thought I looked good (see the picture in the next post). So, at least I had that going for me, you know?
Anyway, around that time I found T-Nation and realized what I was missing. I found out that I was, in fact, a giant pussy when it came to the weight room.
So I decided to change it.
But before I could get to the training programs and nutrition plans, I had something else to change.
My mindset needed a complete adjustment. I needed to set goals. 175lbs was the number I set - the Holy Grail for me.
So, I learned how to integrate healthy eating and a sound exercise program into my daily routine, right? Then I reaped all the benefits and got the body of my dreams, right?
I'll get to that.
For the first year, though, I thought it constructive to completely obsess about my new "Lifestyle."
I religiously slept for ten hours per night
I made every single scheduled workout (and a lot more that weren't scheduled)
I ate as much as I possibly could every two hours
I avoided walking longer distances because I didn't want to be in a semi-catabolic state
I drank way too much water and had to piss every 30 minutes
I didn't drink ANY alcohol (I was 18-19 at the time)
I avoided hanging out with friends late at night (it'd screw up my sleep schedule)
I read a new training or nutrition related book every week
I printed out a good 1/3 of T-Nation archived articles and kept them in a binder. I even kept ones that were completely irrelevant to what I wanted to accomplish. Steroids? Hell yeah! Bring it on!
The obsession was a necessary step - although probably not to the extreme I took it - on my journey. It made everything second-nature. Now I don't have to think twice about eating a big meal or getting enough sleep - I just do it. It's routine.
But I've backed off a bit. I mean, I actually have a life now.
And my goal? Well, let's just say that I now sit at a bodyweight of around 185 with about 9% body fat.
Would I recommend my way? Maybe. But it depends on what kind of personality you have. I let the Lifestyle envelop me for a full year because I have an all or nothing attitude. I'm not sure if it's too healthy, but it's just the way I do things. And it seems to work.
So what kind of transformation have you undergone or want to start? Why? How did you approach it? What are your goals? And how has T-Nation helped?
I'm genuinely curious.