T Nation

Confessions of An Internet Forum


Fine. You know what. I've never lied about any numbers I've posted on T-Nation but I'd feel pretty dishonest if I didn't own up to where I am at this point. Here are all my lifts without a belt that I feel are significant.

Wide-Stance Squat: 405lbs with the bottom of my ass on the same plane as my knees.
Deadlift: 365lbs
Rack Deadlift Below Knees: 435X2
Good Morning: 205X2
Bench Press: 240
Weighted Chin: Total Weight 255X3 (BW=170)
Weighted Dip: (BW+90)X8
Kroc Rows With Straps: 120X30

These are the best numbers I have to date. I'm 19. I started training in August of 05. I started with a max bench of 135. I've gained at least 40 pounds in the last 2 years and have gotten leaner through the process. I don't know what my bodyfat is but I'm without a doubt more cut than any Abercrombie Model I've been unfortunate enough to see (which isn't saying much).

I'm not looking for any sort of praise. If anyone responds to this post I'm expecting a lot of scoffing and a lot of people saying that at my age I should have been able to reach these numbers within the first 8 months of my training life if I had known what the fuck I was doing.

The reason I'm starting this post is that I love lifting weights, growing, getting stronger, and changing my body. But I'm also swimming at a Division III college. I've been swimming for 9 years. If you know anything about swimming, here are my times:

500 Free - 5:27
200 Free - 1:59
50 Free - 23.7
100 Free - 53.9
200 IM - 2:17

For the past two years I've been training at my tiny high school in North Carolina and swimming against the competition there. I was one of three kids in my graduating class to continue their sport in college. I was the captain of the swim team and could outlift anyone in the deadlift, weighted chin, or weighted dip.

Now I feel torn between dedicating myself entirely to weight training or to try and continue my training along with swimming hard-ass practices 2-3 hours every day and still lifting 4-5 hours a week.

I don't like swimming anymore. I find the training tedious. Unlike lifting, getting better at swimming has a lot less to do with effort and a lot more to do with talent and height (I'm 5'9'' the 2nd shortest on the team) I'm no longer fast enough to be competitive at the college level. But I've been put in a Junior dorm for some reason and I haven't been able to meet very many freshmen so 90% of my friends are swimmers.

So do I keep swimming since it's my main social outlet? Or do I drop swimming and see what kind of weights I can put up with all my physical capital dedicated to getting yoked?

Have any of you ever had to make a sports decision like this? Did you regret it or were you pleased with your decision? What's your story? Go ahead and tell me I'm a weird, stupid motherfucker for asking advice on an internet forum. But it would be nice if 1 out of 10 posts gave me some advice.


I think you answered your question right there. If you don't like it any more, stop doing it.


I agree, try talking to more girls around your college, hey are probably more likely to invite you places then guys. Have fun man.


Even though many might not react much to your OP, it hit a big nerve with me. Your question about making a big sports decision you regretted hit home.
I threw the shot and disc at FSU on scholarship for four years. It paid for tuition, so I don't totally regret it, but I knew in my heart I really didn't have the genetics for making it to the Olympics in these events. The twisting and spinning motions involved just were never natural to me even though I made myself big and strong enough to compete at a national level.
I had two opportunities I passed by in the service of shot-putting. The first was an offer by Bobby Bowden to try out for tight end. I said "No thanks, Coach." That alone may qualify for dumbass motherfucker decision of the century. Second was not pursuing the sport I was most gifted at, and loved the most, Olympic lifting.
You only get one chance in life, although I'm sort of getting a second chance now. It's not as easy as some people make out..."Just follow your passion." Sometimes, you need to follow the money, sometimes, you compromise, sometimes, you do just follow your heart.
To me, if you need to swim to pay for your college, then you probably just have to suck it up and do it. If you don't, and you know in your heart your genetics and your drive aren't what they need to be, get out.
I lived two years in an athletic dorm, half of which was filled with swimmers. They were all bald, and all hung out with each other. They really didn't have much of a social life, and us other athletes poked fun at them while we played poker, had parties and enjoyed the hell out of college.
Trying to be helpful, Doc.


If it's making you miserable, just quit and deal with the consequences like a man. I'm sure there's more to life than swimming buddies. You are your own person.

From a different perspective though, you have almost your whole life ahead of you to concentrate solely on the gym. You only get to experience a college sport once.


I think this and dr. clean's post sum up my feelings. You shouldn't be doing anything you hate UNLESS doing that something you hate will get you something you love. In other words, yeah, training can suck, but if you still like the competing, etc, as mentioned, you have a very limited time to play college sports.

As for what dr. clean said, it can suck to pass up otehr opportunities. I would just suggest you make sure you know what those other opportunities are and not have some vague plan to "enjoy college"

sorry if that's convoluted, it's a tough decision that nobody'll have answers on, just some stuff you should consider


I've decided since I've made the commitment to swim this season, I'm going to finish it out. And until I see how much I improve after more months of practicing and a taper at the end of the season I can't really judge what my limits are this early in the season.

But 1 season is all the time I'm going "test the waters." If I don't get what I want out of this season, then I'll concentrate only on getting stronger and from there I'll decide if I want to pursue powerlifting, olympic lifting, strongman competitions, bodybuilding, or something else down the road. Genetically I don't really care if I'm well suited for this type of stuff or not. I just know I think about it a lot more than swimming.

And during the year I'll try to start partying with the swimmers every other weekend instead of every weekend so I won't feel as socially obligated to swim.


You have a scholarship to swim? I know it's DIII but for some sports like basketball they will give out an academic scholarship for an athlete thats actually based on their sport and not academics?


I made the swim team at a Div I school, but left for other reasons.

Thoughts: I've seen a lot of swimmers burn out. Two-a-days and thousands of yards of laps take a toll. Some people don't make it. But once you walk away, getting back to your prior competitive level is damn hard. If you get off the hamster wheel, you can't jump back on.

You were captain of your swim team, then you went to college and are just another guy on the team? Welcome to life. I lucked out, swam with an Olympic record holder and gold medalist through childhood - I knew I was good but not the best. (and I'm shorter than you, FWIW)

Switch to PL, OL, strongman, or BB - but get ready - you won't be the best in those. Even to be good, I'd say you have several years of hard work ahead of you. If that's where your passion is, and that's what you love doing, even if you place last in every contest, then knock yourself out.


What is a Kroc row? I saw the video but it looked like a regular dumbbell row to me?


They gave me a scholarship for academics that I can't lose even if I go on academic probation. At first I thought it was for swimming but after getting more perspective on where I fit in on the team roster I'm pretty sure it was actually for academics.

As for what a Kroc Row is, it's just a high-rep dumbbell row with the perfect amount of body English.


Well good luck swimming, unless your planning on competing in powerlifting or bodybuilding, might as well finish up your career with everything you have.


Don't be "pretty sure", be 100% certain.

If you quit swimming, find out you're mistaken, lose your scholarship, and are forced to get a job to pay for your education, well, that's dumb. You traded swimming for a job.

Before you make a final decision about swimming, be certain that you'll still have the scholly after you stop swimming.

When possible, always look before you leap...


This is the answer to your question. Since you don't like it, don't do it anymore. Concentrate on lifting weights since that is where your heart is.

I have never had to make a sports decision like this, so I can't give you any personal advice, but from what you state in your post, it seems like your heart is in lifting and not in swimming.


I know it's a hard thing to do, but if you are on the fence about continuing past this season, try and place zero expectations on yourself. Just go out, swim your hardest and most importantly, have fun. After the season's over, take a step back and honestly evaluate the situation with all aspects included.

If you're not the fastest guy but are really enjoying the practices, meets and being a part of the team, then stay. If most of those things bug and annoy you, then move on to something else.

Best of luck to you. I'm sure you'll make the right decision for you in the end.


What if he doesn't like class should he not go?


After even more thought I've realized that my decision to say I no longer like swimming was, to say the least, rash. Just to give up on what I thought has been my "passion" for the last 9 years because I've hit what will probably be the most difficult part of my swimming carrier would be short-sighted and cowardly.

I've looked back in my training journal. I've been able to make all my lifts go up every workout. So here's a better evaluation of my current dilemma.

-Swim Practice is pretty taxing but it's not holding me back in the gym. As long as I continue eating till I almost puke, I'll have enough calories to keep improving my times and my lifts.

-I like the people I've met on the team. I have a feeling they're cooler than the guys Dr. Power Clean knew. I've heard stories about guys on the Ohio State University Team who had to play "gay chicken" in order to keep their spot on the team. How fucked up is that? If I keep swimming I'll retain this group of friends and I'll be able to make new friends. If I quit I'll just be cutting my social life short.

-If my lifts are going up while I'm swimming, then why would I settle for just lifting heavy weights? Even though my love for swimming has been shaken significantly, I'm not interested in being a specialist if I don't have to be. I'd be far more proud of myself if I could build myself up to a weightlifter with iron lungs, near-unlimited lactic acid threshold, and an extreme tolerance to hypoxia than just a specialized athlete. I want it all.


I'm being paid to be a scholar. So it's kind of a different case.


Djwlfpack, KBCThird, phox, Dr.PowerClean, and the rest of you have been pretty damn helpful. Whenever I see personal advice asked for on here a lot of times I see people getting shit for asking questions that shouldn't be asked on internet forums. You all are class-acts.


No kidding. Typically people know what they're getting money for. You should, too. You don't look around at your swim teammates and decide that since you're not as good you must be getting an academic scholarship. Were you class Valedictorian? A National Merit Scholar? 4.3 weighted GPA? Something like that? If not, you're probably on an athletic scholarship.

Find out before you make any decisions.