T Nation

Happiest Lifting Memories

What are some of your favorite personal lifting memories?

I have 2:

  1. First time I squatted 225 for 3 sets of 5. I felt so damn strong and accomplished. Putting on that extra 45 really made me feel special, even though in reality it’s really not shit lol. Took me like 2 or 3 years to finally get there!

  2. My first time squatting 405. This was my first big lifetime goal I knocked out. I remember when I first did it I reflected on how far I had come. Especially with my training ADD it made it even more special that I got here by just showing up and working and eating. I probably did 50 different programs to arrive to this point.


Dead lift 200kg - felt like a God.


First time I ever pulled 600lbs

Had been chasing that number for about a decade, and when I finally got it, I felt like I had finally gotten somewhere. At that point, I allowed myself to think I knew what I was doing as far as training went.


Deadlifting the same weight that I blew out my disk with 6 years ago. I avoided deads for years after the injury. 300 is not a ton of weight, but getting over the psychological aspect made it worth it.


Benching 302 lbs and deadlifting 600 lbs in meet.

Hitting a set of 11 pullups

Benching 225 lbs for a set of 10.

All of these happened in the last 12 months. Signing on with Greg Panora was the smartest lifting move I ever made.


You really only hit that this year??

You’ve been strong for a long time, did you never really do pull-ups?

1 Like

Yep. Starting out I tried to get good at them and got to sets of eight. I was sitting around 190 lbs. Blew my elbows to shit with poor squat technique and poor pullup technique and had to ditch them. Around a year later I picked them back up very, very gradually - around when I started leaning out. Got back to sets of eight again, much better technique. Then I signed on with Greg, put on around 50 lbs and got my first double digits pullup set weighing about 250 lbs.

Right now I’m good for five any time, a fair bit more if I’m not overly fatigued. We don’t do pullups often except during the hypertrophy phase, so I’ll be doing them weekly in about three weeks.


I would say snatching bodyweight for the first time, most because I suck at it

And squatting 220kg in sleeves because I nearly died


This. As a beginner, there’s just something about being able to finally squat two plates lol


Or bench/press 1 plate each side.
Its a great feeling.


Like 11 years ago, my best bud and I thought it would be a great idea to do 10 sets of 10 clean and jerk. I think we had 115 or so on the bar for it. We had these crappy old plates on a cheapo bar, and were lifting on a cement pad and just dumping the bar from overhead onto gravel in front of the pad, and rolling the bar back onto the pad for the next rep.

I was like 135lbs at the time and some point in that endeavor I bailed a rep unexpectedly and shattered the cement pad. Still laugh about it to this day.

Later we played tackle football for 2 hours with some friends.

Probably the worst DOMS I’ve ever had in my life.


First time in the weight room is a great one. As a young guy, coaches or gym teachers or instructors or my dad always told me what to do or how to practice. The weight room was the first place I could use real equipment and be in charge of my own training.

First time I got max pushups on my fitness test in the ROTC. Normally I could only do like 50 pushups but with my cool Super Compensation Peaking Protocol I could hit 71 on test day. Trying something sciencey and having it work was cool.

Lifting an Inch Dumbbell (replica) was fun. For 100 years only strong dudes lifted that thing. Getting all the Atlas Stones for the first time in a strongman competition felt great too. It was something I wanted to try/accomplish since I saw it on TV as a youth. Numbers always go up, but dumb, heavy unchanging circus lifts made me feel connected to the past.


First time benching 100kgs, first time ohping 100kgs & also 250lbs, first time lifting over 500lbs (I think I got 240kgs on hex bar deads), I’ve also got a real buzz out of circuit training…though I rarely train that way due to the fact that it conflicts with my regular lifting.

Oh & powercleans (back when I used to do those I never made it over 90kgs on pcs…but DAMN they felt good!).


OH & club bell work…super-high rep fun!!!

1 Like

Doing 5 sets of 10 on cable rows supersetted with hammer curls for the first couple of days of going to the gym with my friend because that was all we knew.
Starting to deadlift 5 months ago and getting 275, I was very happy with that weight becuase I remembered struggling with it in 9th grade. Im up to 425 now and im sure once I reach 5 plates I will remember it for a long time. 4 plates just didn’t feel special.


I’ve got a few that come to mind. Hitting my first 315 bench was absolutely huge, because it remains the longest-running solid goal I’ve ever had. I chased it for years, and I was so close for a reallllly long time.

The next couple were contest related. One was the first show I won. That feeling was out of this world, especially the way it went down with me sweating it out on the last event, stone to shoulder. I shouldered a 220 stone 9 times, and the other guy just needed to tie to keep the lead. He got 8 reps, and got the 9th halfway up. It was an unbelievable show for me.

Going to World’s and taking first place on each of the first 2 events was absolutely surreal. I just could not believe what was happening. I was shaking the entire time, I was so nervous. I honestly can’t believe I performed the way I did on the sandbag toss with so much anxiety. That event involves so much timing and I absolutely hit all 4 bags perfectly. Unreal. Then, winning the log press in the 2nd event and having a multi-point lead? That was so crazy because it’s such a standard event. Everyone log presses in strongman, and there’s less variance, less luck involved. So to win an event like that really solidified my place in the strongman world for me.


Benching 400 for the first time in the gym and then following it up in a meet.

My first 600 pound pull.

A gym squat session of 8x445 after my knee problems first cropped up; I remember walking out of the gym and thinking that if that was the last amazing (for me) set of squats I did, I’d be happy.


What an absolutely awesome thread idea.

Age 12: first time I squatted 170 pounds, with my dad in our old breezeway. The number might sound weird, but I got my start lifting at home with my dad on a set of Standard plates with a bar that weighed 30 pounds, and our biggest plates were 35’s, so this was my first time moving “2 big plates” per side on any lift.

Age 13: first time I benched 200 pounds, felt like a big deal because our high school had lists on the wall for people that year who hit various benchmarks (200 bench, 250 bench, 300 bench, 200 clean, 250 clean, 400 squat, 500 squat…I think those were all of them) and I felt SUPER cool as an eighth grader to be strong enough that I was on one of the lists.

Age 17: first time I benched 300 pounds.

(As with many teenagers, I liked benching more than anything else)

Age 21: power cleaning 315 pounds the summer before my senior year of college football.

(Ages 23-27, I was off running, biking, rock climbing, and not really lifting…)

Age 29: deadlifting 500 pounds for the first time.

Age 30: deadlifting 600 pounds for the first time.

Age 32: deadlifting 620 two months after my son was born; the number itself has no significance, but setting a PR after my son was born showed me that I didn’t have to give up on strength gains just because I now have parental responsibilities.

(As some of you know, now I take him to the garage with me sometimes and put him in his little jumper while I lift…gotta get him in the right mindset early)


Wait… what?!? I was happy with my 10 pushups at 13 lol


The first time I broke 300lbs in bench, I was 17 in high school, never played sports. It was a small town, and I had been going to school with the same kids for 8+ years. I was the fat kid growing up. Hit a growth spurt and went from about 180 in 8th grade (dont remember hight) but shot up to 6’2 in my sophomore year at 160lbs. By my senior year I was 195lbs, and that 300lbs was extremely significant for me. It was the first thing I worked towards and can say I accomplished by myself. Did wonders for my mindset.

2nd was about 5 years later. Had a pretty severe back injury. Lost a few jobs because of it, didn’t have insurance. I remember seeing a picture from high school of me and a few of my friends and it lit that same fire under my ass. I took up a fucking crusade against sugar and being able to deadlift… well… anything. Started out gunning for 225, hit it, back still hurt like hell. Starting running for 315, hit it, noticed a significant decrease in back pain, and overall health. Now I’m sitting at 445lbs, with an aggressive goal to hit 500 this year. Second time in my life I’ve exerted 100% effort into myself, and seen a significant improvement from it. Moral of the story, when I broke 400 I felt invincible, for about 5 minutes. What a fleeting high.