T Nation

Happiest Lifting Memories


Laughs in 135 lb calisthenics aesthetics bar bro

  1. Learning to do muscle ups. I had this goal for a while, and would try it at the beginning of a workout. Then, suddenly, I just popped up and it seemed so easy. Once I got the feel for it, I could then rep them out. I still do a few each week just so I don’t forget.
  2. Although not “lifting”, breaking a 20 min 5K. I did this at the age of 41, and had been running these things for a while. I got 19:26.
  3. Getting 225 lbs for 10 reps on bench. That happened within the last 6 months.
  4. In HS as a freshman, getting 135 on bench. I remember that being the goal, where some of the kids could do it and others couldn’t at all. I was less than 120 lbs then, playing soccer, doing cross-country, and playing baseball.


The first really big one I can remember was hitting body weight on the clean & jerk. Not only was it a big deal for me, but it happened RIGHT during the crescendo of an opera song (yeah, I’m cool like that). Felt like such a badass.

Next was hitting a 325lb squat. Weird number, but that’s simply because it was the prescribed weight for my 1RM attempt that day, and I hadn’t tested any kind of 1RM in a long, long time. I absolutely blew it out of the water, and it spiked my lifting confidence massively.

That same week, I got 405lb on the deadlift, which was another goal of mine. Made me super happy to know I was making strength gains, especially after being a high rep, BW junkie for so long because of martial arts.


The first time I pulled 200kg, it was with a shitty standard bar and plates that I had bent the hell out of!


I was benching what I thought was 40k, so I had an olympic bar with a 20k plate either side. Dude I trained with was like “mate, what you benching?” and I replied “40k,” to which he replied “you realise the bar weighs 20k, yeah?”

And just like that I went from a 40k bench to a bodyweight bench! Haha


Haha same thing happened to me. This is what amuses me today. It was so hard getting info back then that a bunch of us didn’t even know how to calculate the weight properly.

These days, someone with 6 gym sessions under their belt will tell you the true path to lifting success.


And always ask you how much you Bench and tell you how good they were for those few sessions


Deadlift was stuck at 500lbs for 2 years from around late 2012 to mid-late 2014. I deadlifted 550 and freaked the fuck out and cried. Since then I’ve pulled 675 sumo and 640 conventional (after competing at nationals/having the flu), but it never made me feel a fraction as happy.

Push pressing 365lbs at 235ish bodytweight for almost a double blew my mind. Still have no idea how I managed this. I’ve done 375 with a push jerk on an axle since at 220 so I guess that’s technically stronger, but didn’t quite feel the same. ]

365x12 on the front squat at 220 as well and 365x22 on the back squat. I really wanted 10 for such a long time, and 20 on the BS; surpassing that marked a huge milestone for me.


Haha, me too! Exactly 200lbs at age 13. Strangely enough, I turned out to be a god awful bencher. Best bench I’ve hit was a pathetic TnG 400 with my ass lifted off the bench.


Coming back from an interventricular brain hemmorage gym injury, and hitting 3-4-5 in the powerlifts. First time of ten pull ups way back in high school during the annual fitness tests in front of the whole gym class was awesome too.


I shook violently trying to bench an empty bar at the age of 18. I was probably 19 before I could bench 135.


This sounds horrific! How did that happen mate? Glad to hear you doing well now.


Squatting 380

Benching 210

Considering both of those are 20lbs away from the typical milestones we all know, and me being a female, I really congratulated myself on getting so close. They’re still goals I wish to surpass to get to that coveted 405 squat and 225 bench.

As my life changes, I realize training can become inconsistent, but I’m still determined to hit those goals.


I can still recall the first time I was able to bench 225 on a bar. I didn’t start training and till almost 20, and was far from the strongest or largest guy in that crummy college gym I started out at.



Well, now I gotta retell my story.

When I just started, I was doing some accessory work when some guy walked in and set up on the bench. Being a young asshat, I kept an eye on what he was doing (through the mirror and only while he was in the middle of his sets, ofcourse).

He gets to 1 plate and hits some fast reps. At this point, I had seen a handful of guys do 1 plate and usually singles so through my mind was going “holy shit”. He worked up to 100kg and hit 8 reps with the last one being hard.

I was completely blown away, 1 plate seemed so far away and 100kg for a single seemed unreal, let alone for reps.

It took me a while to hit 100kg, I was stuck in the 90s for probably 6 months. It was a commercial gym, nobody ever did more than 1 plate, I felt like superman haha

Anyway, I kept chugging along and soon 100kg was nothing. I had an AMRAP set with 100kg and I had my sights on that guy’s 8. I think Dr Squat had a website back then but you just didn’t see many lifts on the web, most people didn’t even know there was a web. I had only seen numbers on paper so 8 would make me the strongest human I had ever seen haha. I pushed out 13, I nearly cried, some fatso even said I was real strong for a skinny guy haha.

Then I went to a real gym and guys were doing 160kg with ease and I thought I’ve accompished nothing haha

Nowadays, kids will see 100kg get benched by nobodies all the time. It’s good that they get exposure to what is possible but I also feel for them never tracking into the unknown and the emotions that brings with it when the unknown changes.

  1. Deadlifting 4 plates about 15 years ago when I didn’t know much about training, but I thought I did.

  2. Benching 120kg for 6 reps at about the same time. I lost half of my right triceps shortly after in an accident and 120kg x 6 is about my max now :frowning:

  3. Squatting 165kg for 21 reps. It was supposed to be 20, but by the 11th rep I didn’t know what day it was, nevermind how to count properly.

  4. Deadlifting 300kg in the 38 degree heat.

  5. Squatting 250kg in the same heat a few days later.


Going against the grain a little- my happiest memories of lifting were when I was a kid, probably 11 or 12. Me and most of my friends had those old weider sets at our houses. Any time we hung out we’d start lifting and goofing off. It was completely unstructured with curl contests, one of those quad blaster attachments, bench, Incline, or what ever else was possible. And of course The Arm Blaster!

We’d make up rules like “You have to keep your back flat against the wall or it doesn’t count!” or what ever else came to mind, and keep at it for whole afternoons.

Those were some good times. Way before the internet.


Great thread idea @isdatnutty!

Age 14: Our high school had a 700lb, 800lb, 900lb and 1000lb “Club” that you became a part of depending on your powerlifting total (using a low handle trap bar for the deadlift). I was one of a handful of grade 9’s to get to the 700lb club (and was ~130lb at ~5’3").

Age 18: I hit a 405lb squat with the “strict” gym teacher (who is currently my coach!). He was the teacher you didn’t want judging your depth “because he made you squat so low”. The other two gym teachers were less strict on depth. I still remember him trying to psych me up and slapping me multiple times after one other kid hit 405lbs and I had already tapped out after hitting a PR at 385lbs. Anyways, I guess it worked, because I got it. But I still remember that squat grind to this day.

(Ages 20-24: Not much consistent lifting happened here, I enjoyed too many extra curricular activities at college)

Age 26: Pulled 600lbs after approximately 2 years back lifting consistently.

Age 28: Competed in two powerlifting meets, and set PRs at both meets.

Recently: Started working out at a small private gym with a coach. I had a big deadlift grinder a couple weeks ago that had the entire gym (~6-8 guys) screaming at me to finish the pull. Locking that out at the top was an awesome feeling. No real poundage milestone here, just a great feeling with the group (4.25" deficit deadlift against green bands with 525lbs on the bar, lol conjugate).


Just had another one for this thread. Same friend I was going the C+J’s with, this time at the school gym. They had a tire there we rolled out to the running track with the idea of doing some distance, probably a mile, of tire flips. It was like 95* and spectacularly humid out, and we made it probably half of a lap before the tire was so covered in sweat that it was getting nearly impossible to flip. Pretty sure we finished that lap and rolled it back before seeking out air conditioning.

I miss doing stupid stuff like that.


Lucky recipient of genetics, exposed after a month of working overtime hours and still going to the gym. Had a press and leg workout after one of the 12 hour days, felt a ‘pop’, threw up, and ended up in ICU. Grace of God I’m still kicking. Doc says coulda happened just walking around. Luckily being a gym rat, forced it when I was young instead of happening when old, and likely not recover.


Damn some of you guys were some strong as fuck in the younger days. I couldn’t bench 200 until age 28-30 lmfao. But I could do flips and rap in HS, so that’s how I got the ladies back in the day haha!