First, the actual exercises are difficult. You struggle to comprehend how they operate–“I put that there, and then I lay here, and then… okay… that seemed to do something…” Then you figure out how exercises go together; rows work nicely with curls; tricep kickbacks should follow barbell benchpress; doing incline, flat, and decline barbell benchpress doesn’t really do much. Then you figure out how body part splits should go together.
Meanwhile, your buddy brings in a Muscle & Fitness workout; it’s a 4 way full body workout–one day you “push”, another you “pull”, and then you work “angles”. Maaan, complex. And now you know what “real work” looks like and feels–and it’s hard. You take a week off for the first time “man, I’m fried…”
You come back, and work your normal 5-day body-part split again. This time you think “no mental barriers on how much I’ll lift”. And you make some progress. Suddenly you start to worry about your food intake; you start eating cottage cheese (but only 0.8%!) before you go to bed–your morning farts kill body odour and bacteria. You think “okay, ``eat big,’’ no problem, I’m eating like a horse.” You eat more protein, “`cause that’s what you need…right?”
You strain your front deltoid trying to push too much weight with bad form, but try working through it–doesn’t work, it just hurts. Now you realize you should clean-up your form; no more “jacking” a heavy, stuck weight, and better warm-ups. You drop your first back-squat and your buddy yells at you for “almost dropping the f****ing barbell on me!”, you yell “you were supposed to help keep me from falling over!” You continue to progress.
You pound the weights for a couple months, taking breaks every so often. You brag to your buddy “yah, did 30 working sets for chest the other day…” and think there’s nothing wrong with 2 hour workouts; “hey, that’s how it goes.” You don’t think anything about getting four colds in 3 months, or your aching shoulders.
You continue to pound the iron. You call it
iron' now. You're playingthe iron game’. You start to think of food as depots of nutritional content instead of ``food’. “Taste? What’s that?”
You’re doing 20 working sets a body part–that’s how it’s done!–and eating as much protein as often as you can–that’s how it’s done!–even to the point of nausea–hey, “you want to get big, you gotta eat big!”. Your weight hasn’t budged in weeks though, and you’re struggling to add iron.
You give up. You fucking eat everything in sight. You’re a black-hole-that-accepts-only-food, mutha-f***er on a mission: get effin’ HUGE. Wendy’s, A&W, steak, eggs by the dozen & raw if necessary, your farts kill small children. BOOM, you’re moving iron like a mutha-f***er! It’s working! OMG! It’s working! You brag about being on a “C-Food diet, I see food, I eat it!”
You get fat, but, hey, now you’re “bulking up”. You ignore the questions about “will you ever cut?”–hey, you’re getting bigger and stronger. You workout harder and harder, lifting heavier and heavier weights. You give yourself three colds, a throat infection, and shoulder and elbow aches galore.
Your sister calls you: want to go on a 6-week vacation to Europe? Hella yah! You lose 20 pounds of muscle and fat. And now you are weaker than a three day old kitten. And everyone, even the stupid cardio bunnies, is bigger and stronger than you.
You struggle mentally and physically, but soldier on. You try to find that spark and reason for being `in the iron game’. Somehow you don’t kill yourself, despite three nut-rollers and dumping the barbell–with only 185lbs on it–on the ground. You compress a disc in your back squatting below your range of motion.
But you need to get bigger, you keep doing spinal compressive exercises. For some reason, you see the light and stop all spinal compression exercises; your back gets better for some reason, but you’re wearing a “kidney belt” for everything, including car rides.
You’re getting bigger and better. You finally get back to where you were before you left on vacation, only 4 months after getting back, but it’s somewhere–you feel effin’ greeeeaaaaat!
Now you’re lifting in the strength zone; “if it’s got more than 8 reps, I get bored!” You realize that psyching yourself up for 7 minutes to rep a weight 3 times is stupid, and instead do several sets of lesser weight over that 7 minutes. You avoid failure-reps like the plague; you’re all about “the CNS baby, the CNS! that’s where it’s at!”
A light dawns: your workouts drop from 2 hour marathons to 50 minute sprints; you feel like you’re going to throw up at the end. You have a “big banger” exercise, some follow ups, and then a cleaner exercise. You balloon up on this new regime of heavy weights and heavy food; the big guys that are actually on the juice start talking to you.
This is where you are.