My name is Josh, nice to meet you. I’ve been lifting for a bit over four years now, beginning with Starting Strength, then a 5x5 routine and 5/3/1 for the last year or so. I’ve gained a bit of muscle and quite a bit of strength (though my numbers are still meager compared to most) and considering I didn’t start until I was 27, I haven’t done awfully. However, after a month or so of lackluster training sessions, I had quite the realization the other day: I really don’t look particularly good and I haven’t really been enjoying training for awhile.
I’ve always sort of told myself that I just training to get stronger and that looks weren’t really a priority, except that every time I would start to put on a little too much fat, I would diet down and end losing most of the strength (and frequently muscle) that I gained. I think I didn’t want to admit just how much I cared about appearance because I thought it would make me appear narcissistic and because I was afraid of the commitment it would require to truly go after those goals (it’s a lot easier just to lift and eat, then to pay attention to macros and calories etc.). But here’s the truth guys: I want to be a bodybuilder. I don’t want to do what I’ve been doing and I don’t want to be stuck in an endless cycle of gaining/losing with little to show for it.
I really don’t know much about about bodybuilding and the type of training for those goals, but I’m learning. That’s why I’m here. I’ve been reading the “best of…” threads and I bought Arnold’s “Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding” and I’ve been outlining a new plan for the coming year. Strength is still important to me, but it’s no longer the only priority.
My first step is leaning out some more. Before I try to add any more muscle I need to get legitimately lean. I’m probably 13-14% bodyfat, down from over 20% in July. I need to get lean enough that when I try to add muscle, I don’t add a ton of fat as well. I’m currently experimenting with carb backloading, though I don’t have enough experience yet to say much about it.
I’m really looking forward to a new style of training and a new set of challenges. I’m also looking forward to hanging around the T-Nation forums. As far as I can tell, this is the best bodybuilding resource on the net. Wish me luck everyone!