T Nation

How Did You Learn How to Workout?

When you decided to make working out a priority, Did you learn from a trainer?
Where you raised in athletics and just followed a coach’s directing.
Did you get your feet wet, and then start reading and applying books on it.

What’s your story?

Not sure if this is supposed to be in the training logs section, but I’ll tell ya;

I begun when I was 14, I was the weakest dude around (I couldn’t bench the empty bar and could half-squat it for 5 or so reps)

I didn’t really know what I was doing at the beginning so I only did exercises I saw other people do - lat pulldowns, bench, leg press. Eventually I learned about squats and deadlifts online and started doing those as well. I always pushed myself to the point of absolute failure.

Eventually, the dinosaurs of my gym (old bodybuilders, strongmen and wrestlers) started to take notice and they took me under their wing. They taught me a hell of a lot and I trained with them for some time before I moved into another city. During that time my girlfriend started lifting as well and I wanted to be able to provide the best possible training for her so I started reading up on bodybuilding and strength training and kinda got hooked on that and training other people.

So, old-school dudes and new-school science is what taught me. And I’m glad it went that way.


This is a better love story than twilight.


A man has to provide the best possible circumstances for his lady


Some old exercise book from my parents + Men’s Health Magazine…LOL

That is the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard !!
I started working out when I was 15 . I just went to a tiny rec center with my dad and he showed me the basic resistance machines. I became addicted at first rep truthfully.
I wanted to be a cop at that age so my goal was to do body weight pull ups and it came pretty quickly.
I got knocked up a few years later and did too much cardio trying to lose the baby weight. But a desk boy at the new gym I was going to told me to come to this site and I realized everything I was doing was wrong lol .
I read all the articles and posted form help videos and I took a course the get a little resistance training certification.
Now I’m only doing like 50 percent of stuff wrongly :sweat_smile:


Same here ( which I notice you do not see as much of in this day and age)… along with books muscle mags and trial and error

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That’s true - with information everywhere and virtually no hardcore gyms around the tradition is dying

It’s a shame really

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I took steroids and blew up. I don’t know how to train.


I was a sophomore in highschool. I was a social recluse and total reject suffering from major depression. I finally could not take the pain anymore and took gym class as my PE elective which allowed me to use the gym. There was a pyramid poaster on the wall that went 8/6/3/1/5 based off your max and I used that for bench press and I pretty much only did bro curls other then that. Well I quickly noticed that I was becoming one of the strongest benchers in a class full of juniors and sophomores. My addictive personality made weightlifitng become my only interest and I quickly looked for internet forums to learn how to get strong and big (I was no stranger to the idea of online communities) I happened to Wesley Silveria’s (R.i.p) Iron Addicts forum where I took in all of his philosophies and learned everything I needed to stand out from the rest.

In return I was no longer depressed, I had a ton of friends, and I had a 300lb max bench press at 17 years old. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FErR36qwDm8


Ah yes, there used to be places online populated with serious lifters which didn’t have noise from noobs who only know how to parrot things they read online.

Goid job on the bench.

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I love it when people go from the kid picked last in gym class to bigger, stronger. You’re likely aging a lot more gracefully than most of your graduating class. Wouldn’t get picked last now.

Ahhhhh ye good olden days of yore.


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Don’t you hate it when people try to simplify their exercise by focusing on what really will build strength for them?

Some weird combo of, “I’d like to take my recovery to the next level” and, “I’m actually pretty good at this, and I like it so I’ll put stuff in my mental arsenal and keep moving forward”.

I realize I’m not super equipped, and don’t have many of the resources others have, but I don’t mind, half the fun is just doing whatever you can, however you can.

Most of the training principles I’ve learned, I’ve just read. I just wanted to understand the main concepts and build in real time through trial and error.

I was in my late 20’s and had never touched a weight. My girlfriend was an aerobics instructor and in great shape. She used to make jokes about my chest. She said it was a pirates dream, a sunken chest! She kept tryin to get me to go to the gym with her. I walked in one time and saw all those huge guys and just walked around the indoor track for while and left. Me only being 5’6" , 125lbs with a beer gut,yikes!. Anyway being the analytical guy I am I purchased Arnold’s modern bodybuilding book and took 2 weeks to read over and over. I went back to that gym but only late at night when it pretty empty and started. I gained 20lbs of mostly muscle in the first year and I was hooked. Been at it for 32 years now and yeah I’m still with the girlfriend but now she’s my wife.

I inherited a gym set.

Wobbly bench with uprights narrower than my shoulders.
A bar that I’m stunned never snapped
And a bunch of cement weights with plastic coating.

After I nearly killed myself by stacking all the weights on there to bench (I did 30kg easy, so what’s another 50?). I decided to buy a crap book published by the most successful bodybuilder in our town lol Wasn’t that bad but he kept going on about how much he hated squatting haha