T Nation

How Did You Start Working Out?

I started working out by pure chance - as stupid as that sounds.
I’ve only continued so I could push myself physically and mentally.
I’m just curious to see how the rest of you started.

My older brothers and cousins all did. It was just the natural thing to do.

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Once upon a time wanted to be sexy (er). Ended up getting a lot more out of it but still working on the sexy part

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I grew up a chubby kid with a massive appetite watching Schwarzenegger movies :man_shrugging: go figure.

Started lifting weights as soon as I could.

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When i was around 6/7 i remember every night before bed i would watch either bruce lee - dragon (the story of his life , not actually bruce lee) or the original mortal kombat before bed, and wanted to have a physique like them.
When i was about 12/13 i remember for my bday or xmas i asked for dumbells/ pullup bar and the mini pressup parapet things. pressups pullups and curls where a staple every night before bed ( and tbh i still beleive my best bit of hypertrophy to this day lol )
They obv as soon as i was old enough - 16 - i joined the local leasure center gym and started benching and machines (arms and chest f the rest!) .
Around 19/20 i joined a gritty bodybuilding gym , where i was shown you could also train legs and back
Around 23 while serving i was introduced to powerlifting
Now at 30 i have to work out or i get fat and get a massive sad on

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I had an uncle who introduced me to weights, he had a home setup and he’d mentor me there a couple times per week and on the weekend.

I initially thought he was one of those weird uncles but once I became of age, he really took me under his wing, turns out he was very cool.

If it wasn’t for him, I’d probably be doing some weird, useless fluff like pump classes, Tae Bo or ab circles.

Luckily, he was around and I got to learn the benefits of barbell training, like naked squats, naked good mornings and naked glute bridges.


my uncle used to get me to do naked lunges when i was younger too! good times

I started working out with my dad’s ridiculously massive vinyl weights (mostly just doing curls and sit-ups) totally retarded routine…but it got me hooked!

TBH I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t active in one way or another. Baseball, riding bikes, hockey, lifting, running, football, track, rock climbing.

It’s just a part of me at this point…been a lifestyle my whole life I think.

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Pretty much my earliest memories are of wanting to be big and strong. I remember seeing commercials for Weider home gyms in between cartoons and wanting to find a way to order the products.

Biggest obstacle was that I had it in my head that it HAD to be lifting weights, and I also had it in my head that I HAD to be 13 before I started because of reasons (which I assure you were HIGHLY scientific and in no way just wives’ tales).

But once I turned 13, I bought a standard weight bench and 2 spinlock dumbbells with about 130lbs of weight for $100 from Play it Again sports, set it up in my back yard with a tarp over it, and proceeded to bench press and curl every day of the week. I then joined the high school football team as a freshman and played horribly in both center and nose tackle, but got access to the weight room and did a lot more stuff.


God bless '80’s toy marketing … er, Saturday morning cartoon blocks.


I was fat(180lbs) and strong, then got skinny and weak(98lbs) decided I didn’t like that at all, so I started with body weight stuff. Couldn’t even do one push up. My mom bought my first set of vinyl dumbells for me at Walmart when I was 45 yo. This is something I have wanted to do since I was in Jr High and that my friends, was a loooong time ago. Both my exes were dead set against it, “didn’t want to sleep next to man.”

Now I have over 1000 lbs of plates, various equipment, and I am sitting here, impatiently waiting for the FedEx guy (he is not going to be happy) to show up with my new Titan bar.

My only regret is that I showed up late to the party!


I think my first workout was floor pressing the thickest volume of the encyclopedia.


There was a weight set in the basement of the religious school I went to as a kid.

Our Rabbi (an old IDF “chaplain”) would have us work out between study sessions so we could refocus. He also had us go surf. (We lived about 100 yards from the beach.) He called nature “the external Torah”. Bit of a Jewish Renewal guy for an Orthodox.

Working out is still how I refocus to grind out legal work.


I couldn’t keep up with the college and highschool kids in playing volleyball anymore. Decided to get back into playing shape and get my jump back

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damn Arnold Schwarzenegger movies when i was a kid.

Then my older brother bought one of those concrete and plastic weight sets and a bench when i was about 13…and it was all over for me. Lifting weights had become my passion.

however, pretty sure that weight training had kept me from getting into drugs, etc.

This stupid commercial started it all for me:

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Base gym with a guy that read t-nation actually.

I was like 90 lbs on the middle school wrestling team in 7th grade and I got sick of getting pinned so I bought two 10 lb dumbbells and it started from there. Getting stronger helped in 8th grade when I was wrestling. I started to win matches. I wasn’t the mvp but I was glad to contribute points to the team. That year the wrestling team was undefeated for the first time in middle school. A banner was hung up in the gym. I didn’t wrestle in highschool cause I got more serious with lifting. If only I went on T-nation during freshman year I would’ve been stronger than I am now. What a waste and I’m a senior now.

Counterpoint: you’re only a senior in high school (right? I don’t understand the american school system) so in 12 years time, you’ll still only be in your 20’s with 13+ years lifting under your belt. Go check out the Transformation 2020 Thread for @Pinkylifting entry for what that could look like if you do things right.